Photo source: Tim Swaan
I’m sitting here nodding my head. ‘Darn, people still don’t get it about business loss and the impact on mental health.’ There’s some dos and don’ts when working with business owners who have lost everything.
The belief perpetuated for many years is that those who have lost businesses (even bankrupts) – have nothing to offer. The belief is they are failed people.
Let me tell you something. I’ve heard and seen some pretty rough stuff of late. It comes from business people with no understanding of business loss and the impact on mental health – and the way they relate (directly or indirectly) to business owners experiencing significant trauma.
Here is what that looks like: advertisements – ‘pivot your business,’ pay $29 for a resource, ‘I have helped 100’s of businesses’ (says person who looks unsympathetic). There’s even an ‘organisation’ thrown in there who charged $1700 plus gst for two-day workshops – now trying to help people get across the line – using a different name. (Their workshops before Covid-19 never worked – because the business advice was unsustainable). I’ve even seen comments like ‘be positive,’ ‘aim high and never give up,’ ‘be resilient,’ Who are those messages directed at? The ones who have lost everything, the vulnerable.
If you converse with someone who has experienced business loss and the impact on mental health, you won’t get anything like that. They will spend more time listening than talking. They have been through the effects of: PTSD, Anxiety, Grief, brokenheartedness, and so much more. They have experienced isolation, shame, blame, and everything else that comes with significant trauma. They have had to – start all over again. They have had to learn to be ‘resilient.’
People who have experienced business loss and the impact on mental health have a range of additional skills. Production management, operations management, administration, staff recruitment, management, people management, health and safety, policy writing, customer service, b, book keeping, basic accounting, social media marketing, technical skills, numeracy skills, problem solving skills. In fact anything and everything to do with running a business.
People who have experienced business loss – can teach lessons they learned from their mistakes. But the biggest thing is, you won’t have to explain yourself to them – because they understand your situation.