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Managing the Emotional Impact of Losing Your Business

Oct. 3, 2018

If you have envisioned, launched and built your own business, you likely have a tremendous emotional attachment to it. Should the business experience a severe downturn in revenue and an associated upswing in debt, you may consider bankruptcy. Here are four tips for handling the emotional roller coaster:

1. Seek support

Open up. Talk to professionals about your business issues, the prospects, the legalities and the steps you should take at this point. Talk to friends and family, people with whom you feel comfortable and will support you as you navigate this difficult period in your life. Do not hesitate with this step because you think you will be a burden to them. You need their strength, and you should not feel ashamed to ask for help.

2. Rely on your team

When facing the possibility of bankruptcy, you may have to cut your staff. This is a difficult thing for any business owner to do. However, taking such action also enables you to retain loyal employees, people who believe in the company and will help you work toward the best possible outcome for its fate.

3. Allow negative feelings to exist

The prospect of losing your business probably seems as devastating as the thought of losing a loved one. You may even go through all the states of grief, from anger to denial. You may think that the best way to handle this is to suppress these troubling emotions, but they will not go away just because you try to deny them. Accepting your feelings is the first step toward letting them go so that you can think and plan with a clear head.

4. Make your choice

If it is at all possible for you save your company, the professionals you talk to may be able to help you strategize; for example, by boosting revenue or by offloading some portion of your debt. If filing for bankruptcy becomes inevitable, think of it as a way to begin anew. If you have been successful in managing the emotional side of losing your business, you are sure to succeed in making the right decision going forward.