Becoming a small business owner is an exciting adventure and has many rewards. We have discovered on our own small business journey, that along with the incredible rewards comes heartache, stress, and loneliness. As employees, we had the support and guidance of our managers, work colleagues we could bounce ideas off and share aspects of our lives. We had someone to vent to and someone to run our ideas by. There was a social connection too, Friday night drinks to celebrate a win, a team dinner, or awards night.
At first, we didn’t notice the impact of this lost connection. Around our 5th year in business we decided it was time to grow, we moved location (no more home office) we grew our team from 5 to 12. Within a few weeks of this exciting growth, several customers went into liquidation owing tens of thousands each. Talk about the wind taken out of your sails.
Before we knew it, we were completely exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. The strain of cashflow, meeting timelines, finding consistent work, managing employees had built up and stress and anxiety become the norm for both of us. All the reasons that we had started our own business had been forgotten.
The plan was to have the freedom to take family holidays and not have to take it in turns taking annual leave over school holidays. Our weekends were going to be full of adventures and quality time together. We'd be free to do pick ups and drop offs to school, be there for sports training and games, calisthenics practice and competitions. Instead, we worked, more hours than ever before, and stress and anxiety didn't see us having the healthy relationships and being as present as we had imagined. It took going through that rough patch to reach out for help.