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  • #984730
    mediaman
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    Hi everyone,

    Here we are, the fifth year in a row, in a financial quagmire. The bank is closing in (although we are working through the issues with them) and we are looking at our different options; ways to save everything we have.

    We have been struggling in an unsustainable up/down cycle for some years and those who support us are running out of good will. Our business has been changing before our very eyes and amongst other reasons such as little or no advice from our old accountant, it’s pretty obvious to us now that we haven’t changed quickly enough with the times. There is still work there, but just not enough.

    But what I am finding most difficult is the stress I am feeling and how I am finding it difficult to operate whilst feeling it. I was ok and then suddenly I felt like I am walking around in a daze; on another planet. A head filled with worry. And this makes it difficult to work through problems and work up the energy and drive to get out and try something new. I just can’t shake the feeling. It’s consuming me.

    This business is all I have known for over 20 years, so it’s not easy for me to simply go and get a job.

    Have any of you been in this position and come out the other side? If so, any advice?

    #1149317
    Past-Member
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    Hi mediaman – it is indeed difficult when you have not have good financial advice and that you fear losing everything. Your sense of overwhelm is evident and you must feel exhausted.

    However, although things around you are failing, don’t fall into the mistake of thinking yourself a failure. You are not – you have tried to sustain and are working to resolve problems (‘we are working through the issues with them’). And you have asked for help.If you have a family then the welfare of your family is paramount. What is best for them – for this particular business to keep going or for you to change direction? If you have a partner, how do they really feel?

    The challenge for all of us is that many of us have long-term businesses that have changed before our eyes – equipment worth nothing and the challenge of knowing what to do and how to adapt. I spend my whole life adapting in my industry, and so does my partner. It’s an ongoing challenge.

    It would be good if you could talk to someone away from the family … if your GP refers you, a therapist won’t cost much at all under Medicare. And there are some good ones. Find someone you can talk to responsibly away from family and friends. You need to get out all of your frustrations and despair.

    Then you can ask yourself, ‘what do I really want?’, ‘what is best for me/partner/family?’ etc. and the answers will become clearer.
    You have to much happening to see clearly without help. So please go to your GP and get a referral to someone who deals with this kind of overwhelm without the need for medication.

    And finally, what is it you love to do? What makes you happy to go to work as? What can you see yourself doing if there were no financial pressures? Start a visual board or visual diary where you can put notes, pictures etc.

    Time to put on the kettle and have a cuppa.
    Take care of you and have confidence that with change, the future will be better. Best wishes.

    #1149318
    Osmond Mcleod
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    I am not out the other side, but i think i might make it.

    We have been loosing money for the last 2 years from a failed business and my other business is only now just profitable that i can draw a small wage. Its not as serious as your situation, but we did get a few nasty letters from the bank along the way.

    I am not sure what advice or help i can offer you without knowing your field, but i keep telling myself that worrying about things is not something i can invoice for.

    What are the business that are sustainable in your field doing/offering. Can you chase freelance work? Do you have contacts you may be able to leverage work from? Follow up old clients?

    Goodluck.

    #1149319
    Greg_M
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    mediaman, post: 171328 wrote:
    Have any of you been in this position and come out the other side? If so, any advice?

    Yes I have, not much fun while it’s happening.

    Sounds like you’ve been struggling for a while and there’s really not enough demand for your current business model.

    I can only tell you that when I stopped smashing my head against a wall, and got off the treadmill, things got better … slowly at first, but the feeling of not digging the hole any deeper helped. It also gave me some clarity about what to do next, and better still, what NOT to do.

    In hindsight “going to the wall” was the best (and toughest) business and life lesson I ever learned.

    If you do wind it up (or play on), get professional advice, sounds like you need an objective and professional opinion on how to proceed.

    Good luck with it.

    #1149320
    mediaman
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    estim8, post: 171351 wrote:
    Yes I have, not much fun while it’s happening.

    If you do wind it up (or play on), get professional advice, sounds like you need an objective and professional opinion on how to proceed.

    Good luck with it.

    Thank you.

    What did you do to proceed…to BEGIN to get out of the mess you were in? How did you actually move forward?

    I think one of the things I am struggling with most is exhaustion. I can’t stop because to do so would be to give up and I need to keep moving in the hope to make some kind of advancement, but it’s near impossible to MOVE because I am tired, stressed and consumed with fear.

    #1149321
    ScarlettR
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    Please take my suggestion with a grain of salt as I know it’s not for everyone, and I have not been in your situation before, but I know what it is like to live with anxiety and stress and to feel yourself in lock down.

    The most important thing right at this time is you. If you aren’t functioning, neither will your business. You need to create a safe and calm environment for yourself where you can make clear decisions and figure out what it is you want- both for you and your business.

    I believe that my business is a reflection of who I am, and when I open myself up to change, to abundance, the universe works with me to align with that. Is there something within you that doesn’t want to change? Do you have any old, residing beliefs which don’t want to let go of the business as it is now, and is stopping you from evolving?

    This is separate from not knowing *how* to evolve your business, but is actually looking at your core beliefs inside your mind.

    So my suggestion is to give yourself permission to let go of the business as it is now and be open to the changes that need to happen to move forward, or be open to new, different and exciting opportunities. You have vast amounts of skill and knowledge not just in your area of expertise but in *running a business*. As far as I can see I don’t know why you feel you would have to return back to the workforce. You just have to find out what your next business plan is :)

    #1149322
    mediaman
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    Thank you ScarlettR

    Of course returning to the workforce is the “quick” band-aid solution…the one your friends and family suggest when they realise things are going badly.

    “…have you thought about doing some shifts at Bunnings?”

    Well, yes I have…but…to be honest starting a job there would feel like starting a jail sentence!! :-(

    Returning to the workforce wouldn’t really solve our problem anyway unless, of course, I instantly found a job that brought in six-figures. And with very few other skills, I highly doubt that is going to happen quickly….and packing grocery shelves sure isn’t going to solve the financial stress!

    So I believe you are right. But, when you’re tired and feel completely overwhelmed, the *obvious* way to relieve the stress caused by lack of money is to find a way to make money FAST! And that isn’t easy to do by looking into yourself and manufacturing change.

    This is a very hard place to be…I just have to find a way to function at the most basic level and work my way through this one day at a time.

    #1149323
    Greg_M
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    mediaman, post: 171353 wrote:
    Thank you.

    What did you do to proceed…to BEGIN to get out of the mess you were in? How did you actually move forward?

    I think one of the things I am struggling with most is exhaustion. I can’t stop because to do so would be to give up and I need to keep moving in the hope to make some kind of advancement, but it’s near impossible to MOVE because I am tired, stressed and consumed with fear.

    Been there, done that.

    I can’t give you professional advice, but at some point, if you’re going backwards one of your creditors (usually the ATO or your bank) will move against you legally and you’ll have little control about how it ends.

    A financial councillor (depending on where you are, there’s usually some local community service), or similar (accountant maybe) with no emotional involvement, that can act as a pressure relief valve, and deal with your creditors, and buy some time, maybe put together a plan to move forward that’s in your best interest, and that of your creditors.

    I did it the hard way, not something I’d recommend … wall to wall warrants, and the ATO wanting to bury me.

    I changed my business model, worked my butt off for a couple of years, and lived to tell the tale … it wasn’t nice, only recommended if you have a very thick skin. My creditors eventually got paid and I lived to tell the tale.

    Sounds to me like you need a circuit breaker of some kind, to help you work through it.

    One thing though, the Sun will still keep shining regardless … while it was complete shit at the time, I can now see the funny side of it, and life is still good.

    #1149324
    mediaman
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    estim8, post: 171367 wrote:
    Sounds to me like you need a circuit breaker of some kind, to help you work through it.

    One thing though, the Sun will still keep shining regardless … while it was complete shit at the time, I can now see the funny side of it, and life is still good.

    Again, thank you. It is really very helpful to hear from people who have actually been through it.

    Fortunately we dumped our old accountant, who, incidentally did nothing for us except get us money would should never have gotten because we couldn’t afford it. Talk about relying too long on bandaid solutions!! We now have an excellent accountant who is actually working for us. Working through our problems and dealing with the bank and ATO.

    But having an excellent accountant does not help solve the problem that we have of reduced income. I do need to adjust the business to suit changing times but, again as I said before, it’s mighty hard to think creatively/constructively when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted.

    One of the other issues of course is that quite often the way to get out of such issues is to refinance/consolidate. But when your credit rating has taken a hit during all of this, it’s mighty hard to get money.

    I have resigned myself to the fact that it is going to be a mighty hard 5 years ahead of us.

    #1149325
    Greg_M
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    Glad to hear you’ve got a pro on your side, nothing like a good accountant!

    I don’t think you’re alone in all of this, a lot of small businesses are finding it tough.

    Some of my old clients are hanging on by their fingernails, one has been in business more than 20 years and is employing people.

    The upside of a tougher economic environment is, that with so many in the same boat most of your creditors will be be more patient than in the midst of a boom … they don’t stand to gain a lot by pushing too hard … better to negotiate for the best possible result.

    Hope it works out.

    #1149326
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Hi mediaman,

    One thing that no one has mentioned is giving yourself permission to take a bit of time off, so that you can recover and think more clearly. And no – I am not recommending a couple of weeks on the Gold Coast – but just give yourself an afternoon off. Totally off. Out of the office/warehouse – away from the phone and email. Maybe an afternoon at home, maybe out at the zoo, maybe down the local park – that’s up to you. But you need to allow yourself some time out – let your subconscious work on all the ideas that you have and that have been provided – and see what happens.

    Good luck!

    Kathy

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