I've lost my business - what shall I do? - Business Works
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I've lost my business - what shall I do?

Andrew Miller, owner, ARM Coaching Despite a fall in corporate insolvencies in recent times, almost 21,000 companies went into administration or to the wall in 2012. For those business owners who lost everything in the process, they do not want to hear that they were on the wrong end of a shrinking statistic. Losing their business, especially for an SME, can be heart wrenching and the impact of winding up their business, devastating. For those whose life and soul has been destroyed, how do they get back on their feet and start working again?

Take care of yourself first

Much of the pain experienced arises because we invest so much of ourselves into our companies. However, we have to remember we are not the business. You may have set it up, controlled it and determined its direction, but the two entities are completely separate. All that has gone is a number at Companies House. Your dreams, ambitions, skills and abilities still exist.

look after your wellbeing

The prime objective is to look after your wellbeing. There may be financial concerns, but you can only deal with these problems if your head is in the right place. If things are really bad, seriously consider professional counselling, as extreme stress can lead to mental health issues.

Guilt can be a massive element of business failure and worrying about owing money and breaking the news of job losses can be extremely stressful. Spend some time thinking about how much benefit they got from you whilst you were trading successfully. A lot of people may have made quite a bit of money out of you. That doesn't mean that you can treat these business debts with levity, but just get the swingometer moving a bit closer to reality.

You are not your business, so you don't have to feel like a failure

Then there can be the lack of confidence. "My business has failed. I've failed. I'm a failure." You’re not a failure - simply put, something you tried, didn't work. So you made some mistakes! Come in; sign up and sorry about the lack of elbow room. What is important is that you learn from the experience.

Now is a very good time to re-evaluate the things that are important to you and establish in your mind what you want to achieve in life. You are likely to find that it's not just about the money. The non-material elements: family, friends etc start to move up the rankings. This can impact on what you want to achieve and, therefore, your definition of success – and failure.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide how big a problem 'the company going bust' was. If this is the end of your life as you know it and you live a miserable existence thereafter, then, yes, it was a big problem. If you are able to get back on your feet and turn it into an anecdote at a networking event, then how big a problem was it really?

keep a sense of perspective and focus on what's important

Business loss is the hardest thing an entrepreneur has to face. If you can keep a sense of perspective and focus on what's important, you will come back stronger and wiser and everyone will benefit as a consequence.

For more information about Andrew please visit: www.hopewontpaythewages.co.uk/ and: www.armcoaching.com

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