There’s a hidden secret in the world of entrepreneurship. It’s something that I believe needs to come out from the shadows. When is it time to pull up stumps?
A challenge in entrepreneurship – and in life more generally – is embracing failure, knowing when to quit, and overcoming the mental blocks that come with this.
Closing a business is one of those subjects that isn’t out in the forefront in the world of entrepreneurship; and when it is, it’s often cloaked in a veil of failure, sometimes salaciously so. No wonder people struggle to determine whether or not to close a business. That’s where holistic business coaching can really come into its own. I’m not just for growing and scaling business – I’m here for the entire lifecycle of a business and sometimes that might involve helping you navigate a path you didn’t necessarily plan for when you launched.
I have had an incredibly diverse and fulfilling career. My work life started out in the banking and finance sector before I returned to study to explore my love of incredibly good food in a more professional capacity. I moved into hospitality and launched a restaurant, catering and gourmet food store in beautiful Western Australia, where I also worked in the tourism sector.
A move to Melbourne saw the closure of that business and I moved across to HR services. Now I work every day with female entrepreneurs as a holistic business coach. I’ve experienced firsthand the rollercoaster of emotions and competing mindsets that happen with a shift in career and it is inevitably personalised when it is your own business, no doubt about it.
My experience and that of working with many, many businesses over the years have shown me that there are distinct signs that are clear indicators that it’s time to close the business:
Your health is suffering- physical, emotional and/or spiritual – and it’s having an impact on your relationships.
You’ve lost sight of your vision or it’s evolved.
You simply don’t care! You’re bored and you feel stale and demotivated All. The. Time.
You’re simply not creating a product or a service that people want or need and you can’t convince them otherwise.
Bottom line – you’re not making any money. If you’ve made cashflow projections (and if you’re my client than you have!) and you haven’t met them significantly over time then this is a clear indicator that it’s time to ask some hard questions.
Deciding that it’s time to give things away – ie pull up stumps – comes with some unique mindset challenges. The end of something isn’t necessarily bad; failure isn’t inherently negative. It’s our judgement that makes it so.
Some people stick it out because they feel like they need to justify it, to prove something – usually to others but guess what? No-one really cares! They have their own stuff going on. Let any expectations, including your own misguided ones or those you believe others have, take less priority to working and living by design. Your design.
If your business is actively obstructing your ability to live your life the way you intend, then it’s time to make some significant decisions. Walking away can take infinitely more courage than stubbornly sticking it out. Closing your business is about embracing a new challenge and taking a different path. It’s not about failure unless you choose that mindset.
None of this is easy – especially for female entrepreneurs who may have allowed their work or their business to define them they see it very much a part of their identity. Please don’t go it alone – my extended business plan is a means to locking this down on paper, as are my programs right here. Just reach out!
To your success…