That’s what they say, but to be honest, at the time it doesn’t feel like a friend and I wouldn’t like to be friends with anyone who could kick me in the balls that hard!

Over the next two articles I wanted to share with you some of the feelings or despair I had when I lost my business in 2007. It was a tough time and truly my rock bottom.

The failure itself was just a point in time, an event that happened that I allowed, for a long time, to dictate what I did and how I felt about myself.

These articles are brief, and I don’t have the time or the space to share everything with you, but hopefully you’ll see how we can all use a failure to positively affect our lives.

The failure is your friend quote is something that I heard John Maxwell say from a stage at his certification event I attended in Florida in 2016. I have to say it made a huge load of sense to me then but that’s because I had made a lot of progress since my catastrophic business failure in 2007. Ironically it was more or less nine years to the day from that fateful day I accepted the inevitable (about 6 months too late in honesty) and locked the doors on my office for the last time, until I heard him say those words.

A lot of water had passed under my bridge in that time. Some was a trickle and at other times it felt like a raging torrent of white water. Needless to say, I had learned a lot from that chastening experience, and I wasn’t the same person anymore.

I’d been down and out and at rock bottom and from there jumped back, for a short time, into being employed before finally climbing back on that horse with new spurs and a goal of never going back to that cold, dark place again.

I had been metaphorically kicked in the balls (by a pissed off thoroughbred racehorse!) but I was back in the game.

I saw this quote on the internet the other day, when I was composing this article and it resonated well.

“Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tyres because you’ve got a flat

You can’t ever give up, and part of the healing process for me was accepting what had happened and making peace with myself. At some stage you have to move on and make peace with yourself. Hopefully, by being in the Renegade community and surrounding yourself with the knowledge and positivity that comes from it will ensure that if you’re going through, or have been through a tough time, it’ll take far less time to make that peace than it took me.  

I think, like any kind of mourning period, healing takes time. I don’t use the mourning word without realisation of its seriousness, but to me, losing my business and that first failure resulted in just that, a period of loss and I spent the 3 years mourning. 

Looking back, I feel that on the outside I got back into things quite quickly. To be fair, with a wife and two kids, a mortgage, etc, etc to pay, I wasn’t left with much choice on that front. So, I just sucked it up and got on with life.

I was hurting inside, that is the understatement of the year.

“Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tyres because you’ve got a flat”

I was blown apart by my first ever failure. Until then I was young and dumb and full of bravado and believed I was invincible. I could use silly sayings like, “at least you’re not dead” or “it won’t kill you” but in honesty, on times I felt like I would have been better off dead. Sad, but true. I never once felt suicidal, but I was very down and I did a great job of hiding that from everyone, even those closest to me.

I did some odd jobs and kept money coming in and even went back to being employed and then started a new business in 2009 but I still wasn’t right.

It’s fair to say that even though I had picked myself up somewhat, I wasn’t 100%. My mind was still in 2007 and I knew I needed to snap out of it and move on and if I didn’t do it soon my new business would be doomed as well. 

The day of reckoning came totally out of the blue, literally…

By being in the Renegade community and surrounding yourself with the knowledge and positivity that comes from it will ensure that if you are going through, or have been through a tough time, it will take far less time to make that peace than it took me

In 2010 we had planned a holiday of a lifetime in Florida. It was at least two years in the making. Since 2005 we hadn’t had a proper family holiday, my business had robbed us of all the necessary funds to make that happen and I refused to give up the time. Sad but true.

My family had paid the price and made the sacrifices that I enforced on them. When you think about it, by not setting up the business properly I had been so selfish in pursuit of my own satisfaction. I’m sure I’m not alone in recognising that and I appreciate that there are hundreds and thousands of entrepreneurs out there doing exactly the same now. 

Anyway, in 2010 we had planned three long weeks in the Sunshine State where we would travel around and see some of the parts that all the tourists see and some only a few do. We had our itinerary meticulously planned and everyone was excited. 

Looking back, since the business had gone in 2007, I had never really had any length of time to reflect and think about what had happened. I had lurched from liquidator meetings to creditor meetings and then survival mode and then back into full time employment where I hid away and tried to get our lives back together. I hadn’t had time to stop and think about things. As like any holiday, this would be that first time. I hadn’t consciously set out to achieve that head space, it was helped by clear blue skies, warm sunshine, time with the family and copious amounts of Cuba Libre!! 

After landing in Miami and a couple of nights to get the body clock synced, we headed up Alligator Alley to the beautiful gulf coast and a week in Clearwater Beach.

We had booked a great hotel right on the beach and like always in the States it came with the kind of attentive customer service with a smile that you can only get State side. Not being one to sit on a sun bed all day, I alternate between get wet, either in the pool or in the sea, having a kick about or fooling with the kids or walking around and partaking in a favourite sport of mine – people watching.

I can spend hours watching people. I try to be discrete, but this is a habit I must have taken from my mother. That said, Mum is far from discrete and simply loses herself watching others and unless she is alerted to the fact can spend hours just staring at people which can be embarrassing!

Outside of that I used to take a walk up and down the beautiful sandy beach. I used to walk at the water line, slowly padding up and down the beach as the gulf waters lapped my feet. I could spend a good hour in isolation on a walk which inevitably would lead to me having a good hour, totally undisturbed to partake in my new pastime – kicking my own arse, telling myself how pathetically stupid I was and good old-fashioned self-depreciation and loathing. Pathetic really but it’s true.

One day, on one of my walks, I was continuing in the same vein as the previous day’s discussion with the dick head in my brain. Pretty much the same conversation that had gone on for nearly three years after the dust had settled on the liquidation.

I was looking out over the blue waters of the Gulf and watching as the pelicans nosed dived into the still waters for their lunch time snack. All of a sudden, I stopped walking and stood still. My brain was still active, and the argument was still raging in my mind, but I was just stood there on a quiet part of the beach away from the few people that were on the beach that day.

As I stood there, totally still, with the sea coming in and out relentlessly covering my toes, and then my ankles, a voice spoke, louder than the argument that was in full swing between the good and the bad in my brain.

It simply said, “Stop. Enough. Stop It. Enough. No More Arse Kicking. It’s done – now move on”.

Next time I’ll share with you what happened after that moment of clarity and the lessons I learnt from that experience.


To be continued. . .