Losing a Business & Other Major Life Stresses

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Experts say that losing a business can impact your stress levels to a similar way to a divorce or loss of a loved one. So many hours of hard work, vision and anticipation have been sown into a future which has been cut short causing feelings of disappointment,  blame, financial loss, anxiety and feelings of failure. These feelings can be overwhelming, and the effects of which cannot be underestimated. The George Hazell & Co. team are here to help you through this difficult time, and we’ve seen enough people through this transition, to be able to instill hope that there is life on the other side.

Bearing in mind, the emotional strain experienced, it’s worth being mindful of the five stages of grief that can be experienced. These stages are according to the work of renowned Swiss born psychiatrist, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross:

1. Denial. This stage is a healthy stage when the individual asks the question, “Why Me”?, and develops strategies to develop defenses against the impending stress.
2. Anger or Resentment. Blame occurs in this stage.
3. Bargaining. This is a “truce period” where an individual makes “deals” in their minds, if “only” things don’t play out the way they are bound to do so.
4. Depression. This is the real grief phase, and an individual will primarily feel discouraged and hopeless.
5. Acceptance. This is where reality is dealt with and the process of “going on” begins. Withdrawal from others may occur temporarily here.

Although these five stages were identified through the study of dealing with terminal illnesses, the principles can be applied to many major life stresses, including the loss of a business. Of course, this is not a ‘to-do’ list, but sometimes it’s good to be aware that you and others around you may be experiencing certain elements of grief in processing what is happening. It’s important to allow yourself the time and flexibility to process and adapt before gaining some perspective, hopefully some further wisdom and starting to look to the future with hope.

You may choose to analyse ‘what went wrong’ and make a list:

1. Why did it fail?
2. What mistakes were made?
3. What could be done better in the future? 

Learning from our mistakes and getting back on the horse can be painful analogies, but these life lessons are some of the most valuable adopted by successful business people the world over. According to Richard Branson taking calculated risks is the only way to be successful, and he of all people knows what it’s like to fail, pick yourself up and try again, and he’s got an island to show for it (amongst other things). So take heart, you’re in good company, and we at George Hazell & Co. are here to help you through.

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