- The first step is to pause and figure out where you are and what you have.
- You might be gripped by emotions and fear so much that you forget the few resources you have that can help you rebuild your life or business.
- Secondly, seek support from various groups including family members, friends, and experts.
A middle-aged man recently looked at me despairingly and said, “Nimefika mwisho” (I have hit the rock-bottom). His business had been going south for years and Covid-19 pandemic seemed to draw the last nail.
He felt it was impossible to pursue the dream he cherished. This made him despair and give up the fight. I tried to inspire him to rise and start again with the words of James Clear, “Starting from zero can be a gift. If you don’t have much, to begin with, you don’t have much to lose. You can be bold when you aren’t trying to protect something.”
He curtly told me, “If I have to start, I don’t start from zero. I am already below zero and weighed down by the heavy burden of debts, low energy.”
It is rare to find a person who has never faced a monumental challenge in life. Ordinary, life is fluctuating and checkered with moments of losing business or job and getting another one after some struggle, sickness and recovery, and other ups and downs. We get used to that as part of life.
However, what pushes us to the limit mentally, emotionally, and physically are the few times we hit gigantic, dramatic obstacles such as chronic illness, loss of business that has been a source of identity and livelihood, divorce, or even loss of a loved one.
These tragedies hit hard that it seems difficult to get out of the situation. But that is not so. When you lose everything, you have nothing more to lose. You can only gain.
The first step is to pause and figure out where you are and what you have. You might be gripped by emotions and fear so much that you forget the few resources you have that can help you rebuild your life or business.
Secondly, seek support from various groups including family members, friends, and experts. Remember a problem shared is a problem half solved. Don’t trust your gut, but at the same time know whom to ask the specific kind of support you require.
Thirdly, take control of your life. Be proactive rather than reactive. Rather than give up and accept whatever situation you might be in, keep trying different ways of getting out. In most cases, it may require you to downsize, cut costs tremendously or close that line of business and start something else.
Fourthly, be humble and start all over again in small ways. This may be very hard for someone who has been at the top but most successful people have eaten this humble pie.
Finally, take care of your health. This is your greatest asset or wealth. Even if you lose your business and everything else in life, there is the hope of bouncing back as long as you have good health. But if you lose your health you lose everything forever.
Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market’