Light at the end of the tunnel?

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drogers18

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Light at the end of the tunnel?
« on: March 21, 2013, 11:16:35 PM »
Hello,

I felt I need to share my story to fellow bankrupt people, as I need to get this all off my chest. First off, I'm 24, am presently still undergoing a 21 month bankruptcy (I'm 11 months in, last I checked) and from Alberta. My business was based in the music industry, (I know what you're thinking, a music business fails? Wow, I'm shocked) and it was first of it's kind in my city. I was only open a year and 2 months before having to call it quits, and it was, and will probably remain one of the most heartbreaking and life changing things I've ever done. I poured myself and all my experience working in the industry, my own money, and my (hard-earned) education into making the business a success, and while I'm a fighter, I am beginning to feel I will never truly recover from this. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, who are not well off, but successful and happy, and have always taught me to follow my life's passions. Mine was music, and when I finished college, worked 2 years in the industry and came up with a unique business idea, I threw a business plan together, started making arrangements, and applied for a business loan, which I was shocked iI was able to get. Ecstatic, I rushed to get to work setting up shop, found a location, renovated, and opened my doors only about 4 months after receiving the loan.

I don't know what happened, wether it was my 'slow to start' number of clients or my lack of business experience, but very quickly, I ran out of money. In hindsight, my biggest regret was buying all of my businesses equipment right up front, instead of financing it to have more capitol for monthly expenses, but it is at this point besides the point. I finally started getting the clients rolling in, and things for a couple months seemed steady, but it was a tooth and nail fight to keep the doors open each month with the massive expenses, and I ended up having to take out an additional few loans from family members and I even maxed out a substantial business credit card too. It was my father, who with his business, has been an entrepreneur and successful business owner for 15 years that convinced me to 'throw in the white towel' and file for bankruptcy. I trusted his instincts, but I didnt want to face the end so soon and though my business had more fight in it still, all it needed was another cash injection. To be safe, I went to meet with a trustee to have the process explained to me. The credit 'blacklisting' didn't matter as much to me at the time as the restrictions on income and long, lengthy payment schedule. Inevitably it was decided it was the only logical thing to do, so here I am.

Today I work for a reputable cable company, have a steady income that meets the requirements of the bankruptcy, and life is comfortable, and yet I feel trapped. I cannot advance my career or pursue my passions out of fear my trustee will take all of my extra income or extend the length of the bankruptcy. I feel as though the very spark of passion that drove me to start the business in the first place or pursue my love of music is gone and that it is going to be harder with every day that passes to get it back and once again live my life to the fullest.

Why I'm here and sharing this story, I'm not too sure. I guess I just have a need to express what this terrible experience has done/is doing to me, and to seek the support of others in my position. I suppose I need to know that there is a light on the end of this otherwise long, dark tunnel that is bankruptcy.

Thank you for reading.

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TreeFrog

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Re: Light at the end of the tunnel?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 02:06:18 PM »
Hello!

I just want to reply and say you're right - there IS light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm 47 and my husband and I run our own business, also in the MI industry. We both had to file Consumer Proposals in 2009 because of old debts that we just couldn't seem to shake, incurred in our business start-up over 15 years before. We didn't go the business loan route at that time, but funded our capital expenses with credit cards. In good times, we managed to pay off much of the principal, but in harder times, the balances sprang up once again, fuelled by 12-21% interest rates. When the recession hit, business declined, and it was clear that we would not make it through without an insolvency solution. We were mortified - but things are turning out fine.

So, these situations can happen to anyone, whether just starting out, or 20 years later. It's not the end of the world by a very long shot. I know you're not thrilled about working for the cable company, nor have I been thrilled about working for our local municipality, but sometimes you have to take measures to get through to the next step.

Your analysis that leasing equipment or financing it, rather than buying it outright, would have given you more capital is an astute one - but it's very common to prefer the simplicity of buying outright, when the future is so bright you've gotta wear shades.You are not the first, nor the last, to take that road and later believe it was a mistake. No need to be embarrassed!

My husband and I still have our business and are working on making it grow again. It's been hard, because, having chosen to do a CP, we signed up for 5 years of payments (15 payments left!). At least your BK will be cleared up quicker. And then, if I can offer some advice - start again. Your entrepreneurial family background will not let you be content with a bland but secure job. You won't make the same mistakes, or encounter the same set of circumstances, again.

So, save up your cable dollars, get clear of your bankruptcy, and start again with a new improved idea!

Best wishes,
~Wendy

 

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