When It All Goes Wrong
I remember standing in our warehouse staring at the line of racking filled with our award winning products.
Products that were created from an idea in our head.
The forklift truck in one corner, our fully functioning clean room, our packing area, warehouse & admin office; all eerily empty.
Forty-eight hours earlier it had been bustling and busy, filled with positive and upbeat staff.
We had to send them home at lunchtime, we couldn't explain to them why and I remember the confused and concerned faces.
You see, our bank had called in the administrators.
It was over.
Ten years of eating, sleeping, breathing our business 24/7 and it was disappearing in front of our very eyes.
There wasn't a single thing we could do.
The year was 2009.
I will never ever forget that day and the feeling of absolute disbelief, the emptiness, the worst case scenario; it was happening.
My ex-husband (founder of the business), along with company directors (including myself) stood in complete silence.
There were no words, no emotions.
The previous few months and the desperation of exploring every possible avenue to prevent our company going under appeared futile.
We were about to lose everything, and we did lose everything.
I can only describe the feeling as one of complete numbness.
Our company had grown from a small cafe in Glasgow into an international award winning brand.
Our customer base included every multi-national in the UK, 80% of the luxury department stores, to shipping all over the world; in particular to the US.
How, Why, What Next?
Why, you may ask did we fail?
It's THEE question and one that I know each of us has repeatedly asked ourselves.
There is no ONE reason.
Sadly, it wasn't lack of customer orders.
I guess you could say we were 'victims of our own success'.
For anyone who has or had a business you will understand.
Each time your business grows, and the order book increases (which is all you want!), you need to find significant working capital to fund the growth, and keep the cash flowing.
I won't delve into the reasons why we failed out of respect to everyone involved.
I only want to share my experience, and to let anyone else who maybe facing a tough time ahead that you WILL be okay, you will.
I'm not going to lie, it's tough.
You will question yourself, every decision you’ve made, and question every aspect of your life wondering if you could have prevented this from happening.
You will feel like a failure.
In the US, failure is okay, they talk about it, even celebrate it.
In fact, most really successful entrepreneurs or business people have failed several times.
In the UK we don't talk about it.
No-One Talks About Failure
I'd like to see more people stand up and talk about when things do go wrong.
You learn so much more from these situations, and we need to share these experiences and help those experiencing challenges.
It's not all doom and gloom, you can survive and go on to do great and better things.
If there is one thing that I learned from it all, life isn't about what happens to you, it’s how you REACT to what happens.
Sink or Swim.
That's the option you face.
I'm a fighter, I'm incredibly stubborn and I wasn't going to let this define me.
I dusted myself down, got back in the saddle and I tried all over again, and, I'll do that every single time.
In fact, I'm still doing it.
A couple of years ago, I went for a job interview.
The interviewer tried to tear me to shreds with blunt and provocative questions.
I have never shied away from successes or failures in my life.
I'm an open book and I rose to the occasion with my own positive beliefs.
One of his questions was 'so how do you feel about the massive failures in your life?'
I was quite shocked by his bluntness but not surprised.
You can look at situations whichever way you choose; positive or negative.
Sadly, most of us look at things in a negative light.
Instead of congratulating or acknowledging that I had done something amazing and grabbed 'life by the balls' and did what I wanted (even though things didn't quite work out the way I had planned) I tried my best.
Needless to say, I was never going to accept any job from this person.
It took me all my power not to tell him to f*ck off!
I have zero time for negative people who choose to look at life challenges in such a bleak manner.
We are all prone to challenging situations in our lives.
Challenges are what ‘makes’ the person in my opinion.
There are so many upbeat, positive stories about believing in yourself, in your business and your life purpose, as it absolutely should be.
However, if you are experiencing challenges in your life right now, it can be so hard, and you can feel so alone, even if you have the supportive family and friends.
I entered into a very dark phase in my life and had constant battles with my 'mind' and suffered anxiety attacks.
I was trying hard not to feel like a complete failure as my marriage had broken down too. Suddenly I had no job, and shared custody of my son.
Failure in business, failure in marriage - what I said to myself on my down days.
I read books, researched online and watch YouTube clips trying to find anything that would prevent me falling into a deep dark depression.
I started to find 'Motivation' and 'Meditation' videos on YouTube.
One of my favourite clips was from Mel Robbins, in fact it was probably the turning point in my life.
Mel Robbins Interview This video was and is a life line to me and I still listen to this clip when I feel low.
We all have to find our ways or methods to heal and Mel Robbins was the one for me.
You Will Be Okay
This isn't a paid advertisment and I do NOT get any money for mentioning Mel Robbins, I just want to share what helped when I needed it.
I still listen to motivational videos and read self-help books.
This isn't for everyone however it's what works for me, and quite often I'll walk around the park listening to one of these videos.
I want to share my experience of when things do go horribly wrong, and that you will get through it.
If that helps one person who's going through a similar or challenging situation then that makes this blog worth it!
I'll never judge or look at anyone's struggles or difficulties as a failure.
My struggles have made me the person I am today.
I’m not everyone's cup of tea, but that is there problem not mine.
I'm stronger, tougher and wiser, and you will be too.
Wouldn't life be incredibly boring if we didn't take risks, or chase after your dreams?
You might not always get the result you hoped for, however remember you had the 'ball's' to go for it in the first place.
You will be okay!