How Low Can You Go...before sleeplessness creeps in and waking up through the night takes effect?

Part of my brand has been about telling stories and as a brand making them authentic. Which means being honest with myself as well as the readers. But does that present a special problem for the SME business owner? Does that honesty extend to talking about tough times?

“How are you?” The first question many of us are asked at network meetings by other business owners.

“Fine”, we say “And you?”

“Yes! Good. Talk soon.” And so the conversation goes on.

How many of us have lied?

How many of us have wanted to say that we are close to the bottom line?

How many of us have come very close to pulling the plug and doing…

Doing what?

That is the question I’ve asked myself over the last month as circumstances have accumulated to push the business I’m running close to that bottom line. The question that has caused me to wake up during the night and question where I’m going and how much longer I can keep going.

Everyone knows that when the business starts waking you up and the first question is “How much money have I got left in the bank?” You are in trouble. You know you are in trouble, but the thing is that you know you’ve been here before and even just asking yourself that question means you’re still here. You have survived before.

This is being an entrepreneur, a business owner and the part of business many people not involved in running a business fail to see. It’s why, when the opportunity comes along to sign a major contract, we deserve every penny of that contract within the legal tax limits. But part of the scheme seems to be that we cannot allow anyone to believe we are in tough straits.

I understand the reasons why we do that. Business owners may have empathy for our situation, and many will be in the same boat but does that mean we have to unload on them?

The question we all ask ourselves is perhaps I’d be better off doing something else!

But doing what? What else would I do? What else would you do?

 What do you think? Am I crazy posting this?

If you are in the situation or have been in the situation described above then you will be in an ideal position to pass on your take on how you dealt with, or are dealing with the business ramifications! How honest should we be with our replies to that question:"How are things going?"

This post was instigated by a conversation with business owners who have suffered badly from stress-related mental issues either personally or with a much-loved family member.