There’s a point in each entrepreneurial journey where a choice must be made – continue pushing forward or quit and go back to the 9 to 5. This tipping point is often preceded by a do or die moment in your business – or as I’ll refer to in this post, “hitting bottom”. And since most entrepreneurs fear the 9 to 5 like the plague, going back to one can feel like an unthinkable proposition.
But if you’ve been in business for yourself for any amount of time (like even a week), you’ll probably admit that the road to Entrepreneurship is paved with challenges and failures and that it takes an enormous amount of heart and hustle to build a successful business. Most businesses fail within the first five years, which means that if you’re in business for yourself, you’ve very likely come close to hitting your bottom.
Hitting bottom is different for everyone. To some it may mean a wrong turn that leads to a massive loss in capital, while to others it means burning out and having to take a long hard look at your business model. But there exists tremendous power in that Do or Die, Make or Break moment in your business journey. Because in that moment, there is a proverbial line drawn in the sand that forces you to either ante up or fall back. But one thing’s for sure, you will have to make a choice.
If you decide that the only option is to keep on pushin’ and succeed, hitting bottom could be the rebirth of your business and here’s why:
Hitting bottom creates urgency and forces you to decide – There’s nothing more motivating than a consistently negative bank balance to light a fire under you. It forces you to take a long hard look at your business – including your business model, your team (or lack thereof) and your level of focus and dedication and it literally forces you to choose whether to keep continue, change it or scrap all of it and start fresh. But one thing’s for sure, you’re no longer able to burry your head in the sand if that’s been your m.o. and ignore what’s not working.
There is immense power in saying “enough is enough” – This declaration creates momentum. It’s the defibrillator that will jolt your business out it’s current state of “cardiac arrest”. Having enough of the feast or famine cycles, lack of structure and direction or consistent cash flow issues is what will cause you to take the important next step in fixing what needs to be fixed and letting go of what may no longer be working. This may mean you’ll invest in having a pro look under the hood to help you asses the issue and give you the tools and accountability to take action. Or it may mean that you scrap your current services or product offerings, go back to the drawing board and create something that is much more aligned with your long-term vision. But it all starts with the spark that is lit when you decide you’ve had enough.
Hitting bottom is a chance for a fresh start, but with a new level of experience under your belt – Imagine starting your business today with the level of knowledge and expertise you currently have vs what you had on day one of your entrepreneurial journey. You’d be unstoppable, wouldn’t you? Hitting bottom can be an opportunity to start over with new energy, momentum and new systems in place, but now you also have the advantage having acquired some hard earned experience that will benefit you in your new venture.
If you’re in a slump or are seriously considering whether you’re cut out for entrepreneurship, you’re actually in the best place to revive your business. The fact that you’re still in business means you can turn it around. But you must have both the desire to do it and the audacity to say “enough is enough, I’m ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make my business a success”.