I was discussing the pitfalls of insolvency with an accountant and his client when addressing the client’s business debt problem recently.
The chap’s limited company was in great difficulty and had traded for quite some time. He was in his mid-fifties and very despondent as he told me that he was “not used to failing”.
The fear of failure
This raised a common point that I hear from practically all directors that I speak to who require company debt advice; the fear of failure. I pointed out as best I could that you have to have at least tried before you can fail and I think it was Albert Einstein who said if you haven’t failed you have never tried anything. Learning to live with failure is as much a part of life as is drawing breath.
There are those who appear in the media who we believe have far better lives and succeed at everything they do, but the truth is that we are all the same. Everyone learns to live with failure in one way, or another at some point in their lives.My Mother was a big Shirley Temple fan and she was telling me how big a star she was and what a wonderful life she must have had.
I eventually found out that she had a rather sad time. After being presented with an Oscar at aged six she asked her Mother – “can we go home now?” She also pointed out that she had everything that she wanted except for friends. To top it all, just about all of her earnings disappeared by the time she was old enough to enjoy them. She said that she had to manage her feelings of failure at the age of twelve when she was overlooked for the starring role in the Wizard of Oz. Imagine that – having the fear of failure at twelve, but of course we all have to face the fear of failure at some point.
The definition of bravery is overcoming ones fears
Thinking about it, if you overcome your fear of failure in business or any other environment as most of us often do then that must make most of us brave as the definition of bravery is overcoming ones fears. Every time someone goes into business they step into the unknown and face their fears and this tells us something about ourselves too; if we are in business. Something we should be proud of after all in this country is our reputation for churning out businesses and business people.
The moral here is to face your fears head-on and do not shy away if you are faced with a daunting situation such as business insolvency as there is always a solution and a route to resolve the current issue. Don’t stick your head in the sand and speak to someone about your business debt problems sooner rather than later to reduce the potential risks.
Written by: Mike Smith