Some time back after leaving for home after dark I stopped at a traffic light and my passenger front window was smashed and my two cellphones were stolen from my car. It all happened in a flash. I heard the loud bang against the window, the crashing glass and looked up but I didn’t even have a chance to see the criminal’s face. I drove home with glass splinters in my hand and back and when I got out the car I could hardly stand my legs were so weak.
After a few hours later, I was feeling better but I had an interrupted sleep, waking up in the middle of the night several times. Even though this was not a massive crime, it shocked me. It’s not only the money to replace the phones and the entire front passenger window but also how disaster can strike at any moment leaving you feeling vulnerable and aware of your mortality.
The incident also reminds me of the times that I have survived armed robberies, hijackings and household break-ins. It also reminds me of those who have lost their lives at the hands of criminals. The butcher in a small town who was shot and killed in cold blood together with his assistant just for a few Rands. It reminds me of the 75-year-old woman I saw with a head smashed in and her eye looking unrecognisable. It reminds me of the small business owners I have known who have been shot and killed in their own homes or at their business premises.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs have to deal with all sorts of emotional upheavals, disasters and crises. A large customer doesn’t pay on time and they don’t know where they going to get the money to pay for the payroll. Striking workers trash their premises. A power outage leaves the perishable stock destroyed and worthless. The bank calls in their loan at the worst possible time.
It takes guts to get up after your knocks in life and carry on regardless. But it’s crucial that you bounce back as fast as you can. Enthusiasm, energy and creative drive propel you as a business person. Your creative energy is your most priceless asset. The sooner you climb back onto the saddle, the better.
How then do people and small business owners in particular get back after their falls? Some might find strength in their spiritual beliefs, others may need to see a psychologist, yet others may have developed their own methods such as meditation or creative visualisation. You also may want to talk to someone but after a crisis it seems that nobody is really listening. Who really can show empathy towards your emotional impact? A loving partner who listens to you in your darkest hours is a precious gift indeed.
Small business owners, start-up founders and entrepreneurs need their positive energy to drive them towards their goals. Knowing what works best for you after an emotional upheaval or disaster is critical as it can fast forward your recovery and help you see your life and the world through an optimistic perspective.