Going Broke, Staying Sane & Starting Over In Business

By the end of 2020, many businesses will be lost, many will also evolve, and some will even prosper, but the lives of the owners, leaders and employees of all business will be impacted. A future will emerge, and your individual future will be set by how you confront the challenges and losses that may cross your path and will certainly cross the path of many whom you know.


Active Knowledge Questions:

How is your preparation proceeding to emerge successfully from the impacts of the coronavirus on our business world? And who are you reaching out to assist and support?


Hand In Hand

With apologies to the new and ever-expanding social distancing rules of our society, what our business owners, leaders and employees need now, is to move forward hand-in-hand so all may be helped through the challenges of surviving the current economic conditions and emerging with a business that can be rebuilt.

So, while we all bunker-down, work from home and avoid contact with everyone else, we must also reach out to the businesses in our community and give them a hand-up so there can be a future for them.

There are many ways we can do this from businesses that are still trading well, and even those not trading so well, as individual customers and as community members. As individuals, we can continue to buy from them, increase the amounts we typically spend with them, inquire as to their wellbeing and listen, and if you see an opportunity for them to increase their revenue, point it out to them and even help them win that work.

For businesses, still in business, think of how you can support your fellow businesses to survive. Again, there are many ways – find temporary work for their employees, buy from them, send business their way, allow repayments to be extended or deferred, reduce rental charges etc.

The message is simple; there is no place in our present world for spectators. And as for opportunists, those who wish to profiteer and take advantage of those who may be weakened, well, let us not support them in their acts of self-interest. No spectators, you are either fighting your way forward through what has befallen you and/or stepping up and offering a hand to and uplifting those who need help.


What follows is a brief extract from a guide I have written this week while working from home. It will be released next week in a digital (pdf) format, free of any charge, to whoever it may assist. I will release it as widely as possible to support as many business leaders and owners as possibleClick here if would like to be notified when the guide is available for download.


We Have and We Haven’t

No one has experienced what is presently occurring in our communities, our businesses and around the world. But adversity is not new, and many of us have been challenged in our lives and our businesses in all sorts of ways.

What has worked and has not worked in overcoming adversity and challenges is our reference point. And this reference point can provide an anchor and a pathway forward to those who may need it and those who are seeking to support others.

What follows comes from my formal learnings, personal experiences and through helping others.  May it assist you in your journey forward.

There are simple guiding principles that will anchor you in a position of stability and thereafter strengthen and enable you to plot the safest and most effective path forward. They are common sense, but that does not mean that in times of adversity that they will be to the forefront of your thinking, nor easy to sustain.


Seven Principles

Here are the seven guiding principles that I believe will allow you to weather the storms and emerge stronger and more capable as a person because the greatest asset you have is you. And it is you that we want to ensure is around to build an even greater business than whatever existed before.

  • Accept the realities of the losses that have and will befall you, release this past and engage actively in creating a new future.
  • Bring clarity too your financial position, know your losses and risks, mitigate them, and craft a path forward through this adversity. Go forward from a position of knowledge, not doubt.
  • Create your action plan and execute it with a determination you have not mustered before while always adapting to emerging challenges and evolving opportunities.
  • Draw your team of three champions to your side and leverage that combined strength.
  • Do not allow adversity to overwhelm those traits and values that define who you are as a person.
  • Establish the care programme that will underpin and sustain your personal strength and wellbeing and make it a non-negotiable deliverable.
  • Always see the light in your life and hold onto it with both hands as it is your life-vest at the most challenging of times.

And there actually is an eighth principle that flows from those above:

  • Reach out and help others in distress and find the strength that comes through helping others.


Be very clear with yourself; there is a journey that you are about to embark on as you confront the business challenges that this season is presenting.

You will need to fight and draw upon all your resources and strength in this journey as you travel forward to find a solid landing and foundation for your business – a landing upon which you can rebuild your business.

This journey requires preparation, planning and focused execution to be successful. You cannot allow yourself to become weakened on this journey or you will be in even greater jeopardy.

Through the principles, outlined above, journey forward through adversity and succeed.


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All the best in the success of your business,

Richard Shrapnel