“This is the end of the road for me.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Business Dynamics Statistics, around one out of every twelve businesses closes each year.
Data also suggests that many businesses close due to personal reasons such as illness/injury, age, or selling the business.
The truth is, business closure is unavoidable. Every business has its own cycle of life, whether it’s a successful exit, a forced buyout, a change in leadership, or just closing down.
And, as much as you may dislike admitting it, it may be emotionally draining. Even the finest possible exit requires a time of emotional adjustment for the owner. So, here are some strategies to deal with the intense emotions that come with change:
Embrace Your Emotions
Losing a business is similar to losing a loved one. It is common to avoid unpleasant feelings instead of dealing with them. After all, they may be excruciating to cope with. So you resort to band-aid remedies and go about your business as if everything is OK.
Emotions, on the other hand, have a way of catching up with us. And before you realize it, your bottled-up emotions are wreaking havoc on your life.
Don’t allow them to get the best of you. Recognizing how you feel is the first step toward taking control.
Don’t Make It Too Personal
Failures, in general, are frightening when they happen. It is accompanied by self-doubt and questions about one’s value.
As an entrepreneur, you may be tempted to blame yourself, feeling that “you are a failure.”
This notion might stick with you and make attempting anything difficult. While there may have been things you did or did not do that contributed to the fate of your business, this does not imply that you are a failure!
Looking at it from a compassionate lens will make it easier for you to move on when you realize that making business mistakes and going through failures are part of being an entrepreneur, and most especially as a person in general. Some seasoned entrepreneurs view their failures as a ‘badge of honor’ that prepares them for the next opportunity.
Create A Routine
While you are experiencing a range of emotions, make it a priority to include healthy coping activities in your daily routine. This doesn’t imply that you should avoid your overwhelming emotions at all costs.
Going aimlessly through your day will just accentuate the many feelings you are experiencing.
Journaling, meditation, breathing exercises, going for a walk, engaging in physical activities, and reframing your thoughts are some evidence-based activities you may engage in.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all activity. So, make it a point to use healthy coping skills that come naturally to you whether that is journaling, medication, exercise, or spending time with close friends.
Turn To Friends And Family For Support
It is normal for business owners to deal with issues on their own. This emotional journey, on the other hand, maybe best overcome when shared with a strong support system such as friends and family.
Remember, you are not alone in dealing with the stress and overwhelming feelings that come with a business shutdown. Other business owners are another great resource for support.
Speak With An Expert
Closing a business may take its toll on you. Stress robs you of your happiness and focus. However, do not keep it to yourself. Instead, reach out for help.
Whether this entails communicating with a therapist or seeking the advice of a business mentor or other business owners you don’t want to be trapped by these emotions.
And when it comes to business guidance, make sure you consult with someone knowledgeable about this shift. Uncharted seas and abrupt changes in events can cause tension, especially if you make it too personal. An expert can make you objectively see your business for what is and what is not.
And, while everyone’s experiences differ, it’s still useful to learn how others overcome this obstacle. This will put you at ease since you’ll know you’re not the only one going through this.
Make A Strategy For Moving Forward
You’ve given every ounce of your energy and effort to your business. It may appear that closing it down is the end of the world to you.
The fact is that this experience might be the catalyst you need to go on new adventures and achieve previously unimagined heights.
You’re ready to make a strategy for moving forward once you’ve spent some time acknowledging and processing your emotions.
Bringing the lessons you learned with you, break the cycle of maladaptive thoughts like “I am a failure” or “I will never establish a prosperous business again.”
These maladaptive thoughts will only make you stuck. Try to rephrase your thinking when you see yourself doing this. Instead of saying to yourself, “I am a failure,” you may tell yourself, “I failed at this attempt and I am capable of trying again.”
Of course, it will not be as simple as it appears. It would need practice, sticking to facts, and challenging your thoughts.
But after you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to focus on the next steps and what you’ll do differently next time rather than dwelling on failures.
This is an emotional rollercoaster ride. Processing your emotions as they arise will assist you in carrying out the remaining actions required to formally end the business.
Once you have reached a point where you can proceed, begin by liquidating your assets to pay your creditors and determining a fair valuation range.
It’s important to remember that taking small steps at a time will keep you from becoming overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to perform.
Losing a business means losing a dream, a habit, a delight, a job, a financial future, and many other things. It is a slash to one’s ego and an earthquake to one’s future. Acceptance is a process rather than a single action, such as closing the doors for the last time.
While it may take some time to recover from the emotional emotions associated with the closure of a business, genuine entrepreneurs will get up, learn, and move forward.