Has your business hit rock bottom? How to bounce back from the abyss

Failure is the ultimate taboo in an entrepreneurial culture of overnight success and magic formulae. Yet any good entrepreneur will tell you that failure is just part of every good business’ road to success, writes Brent Grundy, the entrepreneur (and now multi-millionaire) behind the global trampolining empire, Flip Out.

However, there’s no playbook for navigating through turbulent times like the one we’re in now, as COVID-19 pulls businesses to their knees and sends many of us into unknown territory,

Before I founded Flip Out, I incurred my fair share of challenges and setbacks – finding myself exactly where some of you are right now – rock bottom.

Due to some poor financial decisions, I suffered blow after blow, eventually losing everything I had worked for. I was left broke at 29; a single dad and with no means of picking myself back up again. It was a miserable time, however, I soon realised that I’d rather be rich and miserable than broke and miserable, so I seriously had to get to work.

Rather than sitting around and letting others define my value – I used my position at rock bottom to catapult into my greatest success; emerging with a multimillion-dollar business.

So, to all my fellow entrepreneurs and business owners out there who feel like throwing in the towel – here are some simple strategies that have helped me bounce back from my failure time after time.

Reflect and realise

As someone who’s literally watched my money, home and dreams disappear before my eyes, I know how easy it is to feel like giving up. In those dark moments, my anger and frustration had become so profound that I decided the only thing to do was accept my losses, embrace my “broke” moment and accept that it was short-term.

If you let yourself delve into a downward spiral, you will lose what little control you still have during uncertain times. When something doesn’t work out or a crisis occurs, it forces a business to get creative and find that plan B that will push them closer to succeeding. If not plan B, then plan C, D, E, F, G….until you have something that gets your company back on its feet.

I hate procrastinators because they fail every time. A wrong decision is much better than no decision at all. So, best to fail today and succeed tomorrow. Just suck it up and fail fast so you can win fast and get your business back to where it should be.

Lead strategically

If you haven’t realised it already, when you’re at rock bottom, the only option is to go up! When you accept this, you will soon find that you are able to examine your business objectives in very raw detail, and in turn, build up a new sense of clarity for the future.

You need to be in control, whilst also providing clear and strategic direction to your team. I always say, “You’re either on my bus or you’re under it, because I’m not stopping for anyone.” This attitude shows great leadership and drive that is an attraction to others.

With these newfound perspectives, you are able to let go of everything that you’ve lost and instead focus on what’s ahead. Whether you like it or not, life is handing you a fresh start, so embrace it thoughtfully and strategically.

Check your attitude

More than anything, success is an attitude.

Success isn’t measured when the sun is shining. It’s easy to feel successful when things are going smoothly, but when a crisis hits and you find yourself at rock bottom, the best companies are those that take pride in resilience and are willing to do the hard work.

Being at rock bottom helps you reevaluate and look at the bigger picture. It helps you identify what you really want and what is missing from your dream. Use it as the ultimate motivator to guide you out of the uncertainty and into your greatest achievements.

Trust yourself

As I always say to other entrepreneurs I mentor; you are the only one who knows your full capabilities and potential.

By hitting rock bottom, you wake up from needing outside validation and begin to trust yourself in a completely new way. Use this uncertain season to help find a new sense of purpose and direction. Despite how tough the circumstances may seem; you need to back yourself like never before and show the world that you are here to fight.

Don’t be afraid to pivot

When I told my friends and family that I, (a completely bankrupt man from the back streets of Penrith with no business degree) wanted to start an adult trampolining business – let’s just say there were many laughs and doubts. But to hell with the negativity, because when you own a business, you need to do whatever it takes and pivot in any direction in order to survive. People will inevitably try to bring you down, so you need to erase those who are negative around you, or you will subconsciously adopt their fears.

So, whether it may look stupid to others, stick to your guns and go above and beyond to take your business from rock bottom, to rock solid.