Last week, I was investigating an aspect of the closure of a business unit, once owned by a large multi-national when I received an email from a close friend that he had decided to close down his small company after many years of trying to make it a success.

There’s not much sadder in life than having to close your own company. All the hopes and dreams you had set for yourself, and for those around you, become mixed with the anger and pain that come with seeing how things could have been so different.

My advice to my friend, as indeed for all people in this situation, is not to look into the mirror of failure for too long but to work out a short explanation that suits both yourself and those your failed business impacts on, and then get on with the job of closure, no matter how painful.

Having said that, I believe it is vital that after six months or so, to invite some successful and some unsuccessful entrepreneurs and perhaps a professor or two, to your house for supper. Then Go through with them your whole sorry tale and ask them for their opinion on what went wrong and what could have been done differently.  When your guests have all gone home write their reflections and advice down on a large sheet of biodegradable paper, then put it in an old box and go out into the garden and bury it!

Doing this will turn you into a wise person. You will have lived through experiences that not everyone witnesses. You will have failed in your venture but will have learned from this failure.  Even if you have no intention of ever running a business again, you will own the knowledge and wisdom required to support and advise others along their journey.

For it is not only the mountain climber that has made it to the summit you should listen to, but also to the many that had to turn back, they can often tell you far much more.

Big hugs from someone who’s been there!

Have a good week,