When a business goes broke, the owner generally struggles to see beyond the current calamity. It feels very personal and there is a real sense of loss and failure. Sadly we forget that millions of businesses have gone broke before us and that millions will go the same way long after we have gone. It is simply a fact of business life.
I had to put a company of mine into the hands of an administrator (kind of like Chapter 11 in the USA) a few years back in the midst of a partnership dispute. It was really tough as I basically had to hand a stranger the keys and the check books for the business. I felt as though I was the only person in the world in this situation. My receiver was a lovely man and he laughed when I told him how I felt. He took me to his file room and showed me the 400 other cases he was working on at that particular moment--and I felt much better.
We have to take the emotional aspect out of the situation and simply accept what has happened. Clearly this is easier said than done, but even if the business has gone broke because of our own mistakes, nothing can be gained by holding on to a sense of failure. I have met people who have gone bust and held on to their sense of failure for decades. It has stopped them doing so many things with their lives and they have grown old and bitter. Now, that is a tragedy!
We can struggle to accept the reality of what has happened, we can lash out in anger, or we can go into denial. I have been in an office when the men in black arrived and started removing all of the computers and files and changing the locks while the owner of the business sat sobbing and refusing to let go of his desk until the police came and threw him off the property.
Yes, it is hard and yes, it seems unfair. If only we had an extra month, or a few extra thousand dollars, but really, would it have made any difference? I doubt it. Businesses don't go broke in a few days. It happens over time and there are plenty of warning signals. So the sooner you can accept that the business is finished, the sooner you can get on with life and start looking towards the future.
How many inspiring stories have we all heard or seen on television about people who have gone broke a dozen times and finally made it? When you think about it, there is a certain logic to this. As you learn more in business clearly you make fewer mistakes and as a result you achieve the success you desire. If you make some big mistakes along the way, it is unlikely that you will repeat them. The people featured in these success stories simply learned where they went wrong and kept on trying. Many got it wrong time and time again, but eventually they got it right.
Where you come from does not matter, but where you are heading does. Right now, accept that businesses go bust and even though this has happened to you, it is not going to ruin the rest of your life. This is an opportunity for you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and look to the future where there are endless opportunities. The best part is that you are going to chase those opportunities a little smarter and better equipped than before.