Business Just Failed Top Ten Tips to Beat Entrepreneurial Grief
Your business has just failed. You feel like a member of your family has died. You have no income, bills are pressing, family are bewildered – what next.
Here are 10 Top Tips for Newly Failed Entrepreneurs
1. You are Not a “Failed” Entrepreneur but An Entrepreneur Whose Business Just Failed
This is a vital distinction. If you can get your mind around the difference between a project failing and not yourself, your recovery will be faster.
If you chose to start again and Bounce Back – then you will be a Bouncepreneur and one of us.
2. Expect to Feel Bad
You will feel terrible. You are in Entrepreneurial Grief. Your business just failed. It is like losing a member of your family. Your emotions are natural, remember that. If you didn’t have these emotions you would not be human. Like all grief it WILL pass. But right now it is pretty awful!
3. Stay Fit or Get Fit
Your mind and body will be under ENORMOUS stress right now. Your business just failed. It will last for at least 3 months. So to keep you mind in a balanced state you HAVE to exercise. YOU HAVE TO. If you are into sport do more. If you are not into sport start now. WHATEVER you do train every day. Doesn’t matter what, but get that stress out of your body. It might not go completely, but you can reduce it. If you don’t exercise you will risk heart attack, stroke, depression, erratic behaviour or even violence to others. Worse still you may consider taking your God’s greatest gift – life.
As Nike say so well Just Do It. Don’t make it complicated just sweat hey!
4. Avoid Gaming, TV, Social Media, Drinking, Drugs and Porn
Your mind will be looking for an escape hatch after your business has failed. Do not get into a couch potato mentality. This is the road to a very long drawn out and dismal stage. If you are alone, or your partner has left you, this stage is a very easy trap for recent entrepreneurs who have failed. It may in fact be a longer term problem for you.
5. Don’t Try to Restart or Diagnose the Failure Straight Away
Frankly your brain is not ready to go again immediately after your business has failed. Life boat businesses too often repeat the same flawed business model. You need to recover. It is like tennis elbow, unless you give tennis a complete break it will not recover. Leave your business go. Of course you will have lessons to learn. But let your mind readjust to your new reality. Only then will you be able to see clearly.
6. Get Closer to Your Family
Many Bouncepreneurs tell me that the love of their family and family unity was strongest in the immediate months after their business has failed. Stronger than the times when money gushed!
Always remember your kids want you, not your cheque book. Spend quality time with them.
Most importantly, have a Council of War bring everyone in around the table. Explain that your business has GONE. Tell them you are sad. Tell them you did you best but it has gone. THEN show leadership. They will love you for it. Ask for their support and understanding. Explain money is going to be tight. Put them to work finding ways of making money go further. Engage them. Explain there will be more chores for the kids and they may have to get Saturday jobs themselves. Ask your partner to be the main bread winner for a while. Tell them you need three months to set things straight before you can go again.
7. Porridge in the Drawer
Porridge in the Drawer is Bouncepreneurs speak for getting through tough times. Financially you are going to find it tough. So you need to get busy selling personal assets. Involve your kids. You are teaching them about real money and educating them in a way they won’t hear at school. Read Rich Dad Poor Dad. There is no better time than now.
You will need 3 months to cover household expenditure. Do not give your good stuff away at the car boot. Car boot sales will suck you in a spit you out. Anything of value sell on Shpock, Amazon or eBay. But main message is – sell you unwanted things, but don’t give them away in panic.
8. Advice – Good and Bad
Get used to the idea that sources of advice that come your way come in three types. Learn to recognise them quickly:-
a. Practical and viable in your situation
b. Old Order – advice that was valid when you had good credit, was an MD or Owner of a successful business – but it is simple not relevant to you any more
c. Apparently Good But Not – ask yourself the question will this work for a poor credit, broke person with limited resources
Ensure you do not waste your time with people, or applying for help from wasteful avenues. Get smart quick and recognise you are in a different world now. You are effectively living in a world of cash not borrowing and no big splash outs just micro-spends.
Swallow you pride and get down to the Job Centre and get signed on. Their advice is simple and effective. Get a Job and Up skill. Yes the money is not much, when you have a £50,000 Mercedes outside on a contract hire deal you are stuck in dole money seems laughable. But it keeps you in a routine and any money coming in is to be scoffed at. You can easily transfer to the Enterprise Allowance Scheme if you choose to go self-employed again. The Job Centre will help you retrain and pay for it. They might be more creative than you expect. It might be Prince 2 Practitioner sourced on Wowcher – but all retraining is good. We would recommend accountancy courses every time.
Banks probably won’t want you as a new customer, loans won’t be easy to get and could make things worse. Get your accountancy costs to a minimum. Do your own tax return or use Tax Assist who are belt and braces but very cheap. Legal firms may ask for an advance. So your answer there is no. Get used to being in a different tribe and using different resources.
9. Friends and Positivity
This is one of the hardest areas for Bouncepreneurs. You have to ensure that you are surrounded by positive people. It is better to spend the day alone than with a Downer. Think about your friends as Uppers or Downers. Avoid blaming others for your business failure. Do not have family around who say “I told you so!” Do not be around people who are moaning about their own job or situation. It is ESSENTIAL you keep your mind on a positive track.
You will find this experience is very beneficial to your life in general. You will see who your real friends are. Be prepared for some surprises. I have written about friendships in another post. I certainly was surprised after my business just failed. Those I expected to vanish because I did not have the money to play in their world didn’t, moreover they opened doors and gave huge support. Those who I thought would help for sure took some delight in my fall from grace. This was disappointing. Remember most people are good!
But ensure your time is spent with people who can help you regain confidence, fitness, ideas, inspiration and drive.
10. Expenditure – Personal Spending is the Order of the Day Now
You have to be in command of your finances. Your business just failed I know. It is very difficult to do. But you must. But you have to drag your butt to a spread sheet and make that income and expenditure analysis. Sure you are going to be spending more than you earn. But you need to do this. The VERY ACT of gaining understanding of your household finances WILL keep your mind ticking over as a Business Person.
So categorise Expenditure – Housing, Transport, Insurances, Pension, Food, Children, Entertainment, Loans and get stuck in. Organise your paperwork and organise your budgets!
Make a log of all renewal dates on mobile/cell phones, internet, TV and other subscriptions. As soon as you can dump them. I cut my mobile phone from £25 to £9 with Three for example. Just hack into those costs ASAP.
Likely your mortgage is your biggest cost, so maintain dialogue with them whatever you do. People are reasonable and will help you as much as possible. It is surprising how far they will go to help actually.
On Entertainment you will go nuts if you don’t have some release. Go Polish. I have some great Polish friends. They are a very social race the Poles. Not big drinkers in my experience. But I notice that they party at home more than the Brits and this saves lots of money. Often food is prepared by guests and pooled. The same with alcohol. So instead of dining out, invite 8 or 10 friends, but tell them you want them to bring a dish and some booze. By doing this you can have a great night for £20 rather than £120! You might want to hold this party as a Wake for your business. It is an opportunity to leave the past behind and move forward. Burn a candle and go into your garden with friends and burn some momentos of the business that failed. Draw a line and move on.
These are just ten tips for those whose business just failed and are dealing with Entrepreneurial Grief. There will be more to follow.
Remember – Lift Your Head Up Entrepreneur – It Isn’t Over Yet!
Written by Michael Allen – Founder Bouncepreneurs
Follow Me on Twitter @bouncepreneurs