One of the pitfalls of being successful in business (yes, there are pitfalls!) is not asking for and accepting help. Just because we have been successful in the past does not mean we will be successful in the future. We need to regularly review our situation so that we do not get caught ‘unawares’ by changing business conditions, sector needs and demands, as well as our own needs, wants and abilities.

In times where fortunes are high, profit is soaring and your reputation is unbeatable, it can be difficult to imagine an alternative.

However, the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 brought many crashing back down to Earth. Business is still recovering and we should take comfort in knowing we are not alone. SME owners and managers should talk with one another to overcome any feelings of inertia and helplessness.

Some useful tips to manage the ups and downs include:

  1. Rather than proudly keeping your own council, share and reciprocate your feelings and knowledge within your trusted network.
  2. Try to maintain some balance in your life by:
    • Doing some kind of exercise
    • Spend time with family and/or friends – and talk to them about your difficulties!
    • Keeping regular sleep patterns
    • Focusing on what is good in your life and try to adopt a positive attitude
  3. Consider joining a professional mentoring group such , where challenges can be discussed in a safe confidential environment and everyone can learn from each other.

These tips may not be the panacea, but will enable you to see things more clearly and help you to take action.