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A few months back our family bought a piano from a local piano refurbisher and after making several phone calls to book an appointment to have it tuned with no response, I decided to stop by the business to see if I could speak with the owner personally. I had met him when we purchased the piano and learned that he had been in business for more than 20 years. On this particular morning when I drove up to the front door it became obvious that the business had shut its doors as the space was empty except for the sign still displayed on the front of the building.
Being an entrepreneur or business owner can be a lonely place. For those of us that run businesses we learn to be comfortable with always being “on”. We need to be “on” for our staff and our customers even when we don’t necessarily feel like it. When troubles comes it can be very difficult to find someone to turn to or to find someone that understands what you might be going through. The worst part for many entrepreneurs and business owners is you often don’t know your business is in trouble until the 11th hour.
It’s sad when a business fails. It’s sad that entrepreneurs and business owners need to live in stress and not have a readily accessible outlet for their problems and challenges. We all understand the risk it takes to start a business but experiencing the risk is quite different than just thinking about it. For those individuals brave enough to run a business the highs can be really high and the lows can be really low – even more so if you do it alone.
If you find yourself in a moment of financial stress get out and talk with other business owners who have been through it because trying to go through the moment by yourself is not a good idea. Maybe your business just needs a fresh set of eyes to look at the problems you are facing or maybe you need someone to give you different things to think about. It has been said that “if you know how to generate customer and a sale the bottom line can take care of itself” and this is never more true than when a business is in trouble. I have learned that successful business owners who have gotten beat up and recover often have better businesses after paying the “education tax” associated with a mistake, misfortune or a misplaced decision.
I remember waking up one morning and knowing that I most likely had to close the doors of my business. I remember the days and weeks leading up to the decision and I remember the numerous sleepless nights I experienced trying to figure out (by myself) how I was going to get out of the spot I was in. I decided to get out and talk with different people in my network and was able to work out of the problem after making serious adjustments.
When you find your business in a bad place try to ask yourself: “what would get us out of this problem?” and write down every idea no matter how crazy it sounds. If you really want to stretch yourself ask the question: “if we not only had to get out of this problem but wanted to become better because of this problem, what would we have to do?”. You may be surprised to see what answers you come up with and the hope that those answers might give you. You might be encouraged when you share them with someone else who has experienced similar circumstances and that might be all you need to move forward.
My goal is to get up every day and contribute to the lives of business owners and entrepreneurs who need someone that understands what they are going through. Let’s chat if you (or someone you know) needs some help with their business.