My website is getting a makeover. This page hasn’t been done yet. It shouldn’t take too long before normality is achieved.
I have just read a post by Jessica Lewis on LinkedIn group ‘Online Visibility Boost for Entrepreneurs’ ( http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Entrepreneurship-Business-Strategy-Dealing-Failure-3987482.S.236007402?view=&gid=3987482&type=member&item=236007402&trk=eml-anet_dig-b_nd-pst_ttle-cn). The post discusses some serious issues that entrepreneurs must face when their venture fails. This is a subject that all entrepreneurs have tucked away in the back of their mind, hoping never to have to drag it out. I also dealt with this subject in my very recently published eBook: ‘The Venture Capital MasterClass: everything you always wanted to know about raising equity capital … but until now, you had no one to ask‘ (https://chironthebusinessdoctor.com/the-venture-capital-masterclass/). I had a slightly different slant on the subject, but we each reached virtually the same conclusion.
The simple fact is that there is no glamour and no glory in failure! But the reality is that failure pervades all business life. As an owner or director of a company that fails, you will not see yourself praised for your good judgment, business acumen and wisdom on the front page of influential newspapers; unless of course, the magnitude of your losses sets a new record for business mismanagement. Needless to say, no one in his or her right mind would want to be remembered for setting such a dubious record.
However, from another perspective that you may not have considered, the fact that many businesses everywhere are in trouble or distress is quite normal. Put another way, business failure is everywhere around us, and given credence by the business failure statistics issued regularly by government authorities worldwide.
The poignant issue here is that throughout western society, business failure is both endemic and ubiquitous. Of course, this is as it should be in a free economy in a democratically governed country. One of the fundamental rights of a free economy is the right to fail. Think about that for a moment.
Is it not the purpose of business competition and competitive business strategy to eliminate or at least substantially reduce competition so that customers and clients will only turn to your products and services to satisfy their wants and needs? Doesn’t business competition and competitive business strategy mean that some businesses will fail to ensure the success of others? Isn’t the history and tradition of business riveted in failures just as it is in successes?
When you become aware that your business is in distress, try to be positive. This is the message from Jessica. This is not the time to bury your head in the sand hoping problems will go away. They won’t. Your next actions therefore will be particularly difficult, probably complicated, undoubtedly painful and uniquely character building, not necessarily in that order. Essentially, you must face your demons, look them in the eye and stare them down. While this is an easy prescription for action, there is no guarantee of success. However, you must keep that thought in your heart, nurture it and use it to keep your spirits and resolve positive. Faced with an adverse distress situation, a natural consequence is that your stress levels will rise dramatically, making it easy for you to fall into the trap of self-pity or simply giving up.
Although you may have suffered the ignominy of a business failure, as a person with an entrepreneurial spirit you will soon be searching for new ventures. I can almost guarantee that, for that is the way of the entrepreneur; you will simply not be able to stop yourself from keeping your weather eye open for the next business opportunity. So, fill the fuel tank, let off the brake, put your foot on the accelerator and engage first gear; and then slip gracefully back into the line of business traffic. At that point, you will be quite entitled to shout out loud: ‘Hello World! I’m Back!’
Chiron! the business doctor.™ ... relieves business pain!™.
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© Graham Segal, Author. March 2013. All Rights Reserved
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