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Facing the Financial Risks of Entrepreneurship

In our present day culture, successful entrepreneurs are idolized. The Mark Zuckerbergs and the Elon Musks of this world are looked up to. However, what is usually hidden from public view is the fact that many ultimately successful entrepreneurs had to struggle in the beginning with mounting amounts of debt and the sense that their enterprises might crumble.

Small Business Statistics in Canada

It might seem encouraging that 85% of small businesses survive their first year. However, from this point on it’s all downhill. After two years 70% are still surviving, but this number falls to only 51% at the five-year mark. That’s a big number of Canadian entrepreneurs who have failed and who generally end up with a mountain of debt instead of business success.

The Difficulty of Achieving Entrepreneurial Success

As those who has tried it know, starting a company from scratch is tough. It takes a toll both financially and psychologically. If you are dreaming of quitting your regular job and becoming an entrepreneur, you’d better face up to the financial risks you will be taking on. Let’s look at a couple of examples of the entrepreneurial experience. 

John’s Story 

John had been a successful stockbroker but had always dreamed of starting his own business. So, relying on his savings and based on the fact that he was a good credit risk, John set up a financial services company. However, attracting clients proved to be more difficult than John had anticipated and after three years John seemed to be heading for almost certain financial ruin.

John had found it necessary to max out a $60,000 line of credit and cash in his 401(k) plan. He had even been forced to sell his Rolex watch with which he had rewarded himself out of his first-ever paycheck as a stockbroker. It had gone against the grain to ask his father for help as when he was growing up his father had instilled in him the precepts that “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “never do business with family.” However, he was so desperate that he accepted a loan from his father of $20,000. 

John’s Struggle

In order to keep his existing clients and to attract new ones, John made a big effort to project a calm demeanour and an aura of optimism towards his employees and his clients, but the reality of his situation was taking an enormous mental toll on his life. Fortunately, he was able to confide in his wife, but then the pressure on him increased when he discovered they were going to be parents. John remembers staring at the ceiling unable to sleep. John felt that he was a weak person and was ashamed of his failure. John endured endless months of anxiety before finally turning to …………………………….. for help.

Dave’s Story

Dave is an example of a highly successful entrepreneur who was undone by events over which he had no control. In 1992 Dave launched a successful management consulting firm. He was on top of the world, happy and prosperous. However, in 2008/2009 the global financial crisis happened, and his phone stopped ringing. His former and prospective clients didn’t have time for anything other than paying attention to their own survival. The bottom fell out of Dave’s business – consulting fees plummeted by 75%. Dave was forced to lay off his five employees which was very painful to him as some of them had been with him from the beginning and had helped build up his business. In addition, in a short space of time, he exhausted all of his financial assets and had sold anything that would bring in money including his cars and his wife’s jewelry.

Dave’s Self Image

His self-image suffered a major blow. He had thought of himself as one of the masters of the universe, and suddenly he saw himself as nothing. He had a severe confidence problem – he felt that he shouldn’t have let happen what did happen. Dave stopped leaving his house and gained fifty pounds through overeating. His main source of temporary relief was provided by an old enthusiasm, playing the guitar. Alone in a room in his house, he practiced solos by Chet Atkins and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The guitar was a life saver and provided some short-lived peace. However, he had sunk so much into debt that he finally realized he needed to step out of his isolation and get some help, and this is when he turned to ……………………….

How a Debt Counsellor Can Help

You’ve poured the last several years of your life and your savings into your business venture, but it isn’t working out as you expected. Now all you have succeeded in doing is amassing a big pile of debt, and you are unable to pay your employees, your investors and your bank. ………………………….. are debt management experts who have helped countless entrepreneurs like John and Dave dig their way out from under massive amounts of debt. Contact us today for a consultation.

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