I bet you read the topic of this blog and thought, boy, what a contradiction. You probably also thought: “Yeah right genius, it is the end. Closing a business IS the end”.
Well, it is the end for that specific business, yes. But is it the end of your career as an entrepreneur? Sir Richard Branson certainly does not think so after 15 failures.
Is it the end of your creative journey? No, you just need to come up with a different angle on your business idea. This time you have a chance to start over while knowing the pitfalls and dangers.
Let’s be real for a second though, closing a business is not easy. In my job of saving companies, this is the exact opposite of what I am trying to achieve. Sometimes, things just don’t work out. Sometimes, you have to explain to your staff members that they do not have to come back to work on Monday, which is probably the hardest thing to do. Looking a father, a mother or young graduate in the eyes and seeing their disappointment and disbelief is unbearable for me. I absolutely hate it. After all, they actually did nothing wrong.
I always try and look for the positive in any situation. It is no use to mope around for the next 6 months trying to figure out why something like this happened to you. Put on your big boy pants, or big girl pants, and get on with life. Life does not stop for anyone. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. Absolutely nothing happens by chance.
In this failure, you need to figure out what life is trying to teach you and take the lesson to heart.
When you are faced with closing a business (and I do say when) as failure is part and parcel of doing business, get up in the morning, motivate yourself to tackle the day and go look for more opportunities. I do not want to sound like Tony Robbins here, but he famously answered a question about how to bounce back from failure by saying “…quite frankly, we need to stop talking about the story of what we’ve been through, and we gotta focus on what it is we’re gonna create”. Motivation cannot be taught, it cannot be given by someone. It can only be built with your own self drive.
Follow a checklist, make a to-do list, read motivational meme’s or do whatever it is you do to get up and going again. My business partner Sam likes to switch off for a few hours and binge watch The Real Housewives to help get motivated, and strange as it may sound, for her, it really works.
Make sure that the closure of a business is not the end of you as a person, but only the end of the business venture which you had to close down. And remember, the closure of a business is not unique to you as a person, South Africa has had an average of 236 liquidations per month from 1988 to 2016.