The Day My World Went To Sh*t

October 26th 2020

3 minutes read

The Day My World Went To Sh*t
Written by LiveLink
October 26th 2020
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Day My World Went To Sh*t

I was in a reflective mood yesterday about when I first started LiveLink. That was almost 10 years ago and it wasn’t an easy time.

We all have a business story. If it’s not a roller coaster, you’re very lucky. This is mine.

I started from scratch with no funding and it was tough. An ex business partner was attempting to sue me for £25,000 before I had even launched. My Mum died within the first 3 months.
So LiveLink sort of bumped along without purpose for a little while. And then I got myself together and we started getting a few clients. NatWest were pretty helpful. They gave me an overdraft facility and wrongly or rightly I used that to fund a member of staff. I could go out networking, get more clients and learn how to run a business.
We bobbed along for 3 years then along came 2014.
I can remember now how I felt when NatWest called me. Horrified. It went something like this. “Hi, this is your business manager. My name is blah, blah, blah. I’m calling to introduce myself.”
Well, that’s interesting because my business manager is Hannah. Not that I’d heard from her in two years. So it was all news to me that I had a new one anyway, but I guess that’s par for the course. Her next words stopped me in my tracks. I was frozen. “Congratulations! We’d like to renew your overdraft facility and offer you an overdraft of £500 pounds.” All very well and good, but our overdraft facility was actually £5,000. And we were almost at the limit.
The issue now was that they wanted the £4,500 paid back within two weeks, which we couldn’t. I sort of went into a real meltdown that day because I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t pay me, I couldn’t pay Martha, I couldn’t pay any of our bills. I couldn’t do anything because our account was frozen.
Payments were bouncing, bank charges accumulating. Of course they were. There seemed to be no way out of this. It was madness. The only way I survived for a little while was a friend paid my mortgage for three months.

What Happened Next

I said it was a roller-coaster and this is going to sound bonkers. This episode was a catalyst to everything changing. Finances were such a mess, we were put on special measures. It sounded horrific and scary. It wasn’t. The manager genuinely wanted to help us.
Exactly the same day, an advert popped up on my Facebook feed. Nothing unsual about that. It was for Entrepreneurs Circle Convention at the ICC in Birmingham. Never heard of them. Yet, something made me grab my credit card and use my last bit of credit to buy a ticket. Crazy hey? It’s definitely a case of trust your gut. It was the smartest thing I ever did.
I went along and listened to Nigel Botterill and a range of other speakers, including Sir Chris Hoy. It was a 7am slot on planning that Nigel ran which was my lightbulb moment.
Can you imagine if I hadn’t seen that Facebook ad, or turned over and went back to sleep and missed that slot? The likely outcome would have been that I would have lost everything.
That evening in the hotel room, I put a plan together. I was ready to speak to the bank. I put my plan to him. It was by next November we will have x number of clients which will mean £ turnover.
This seemed the longest hour of my life whilst he went away to speak to his colleagues.

Screaming Blue Murder

An hour later, my screams could have been heard all over the City. He said they would fund me and remove all the ‘ridiculous’ bank charges.
We hit our November target in June.
I learned how resilient I am. That’s served me well over the last 9 years.
Sometimes you look at people and you think, yeah their company is doing okay. They’ve got a load of clients. This that and the other, but you don’t know what their backstory is. Bank special measures and Entrepreneur’s Circle, were pivotal to where we are now. Without those two things happening at the same time, I doubt we’d still be in business.
So whatever you’re feeling today, Coronavirus, lack of funds, staff struggles. There is always a way through. It might not be as bad as you think, and things will turn around. You need to dig a little bit deep. Speak to other people, not be a hermit and keep yourself to yourself because that’s not the way to go.
As a friend and life coach once said to me ‘stop being so bloody independent and let people help’. I did!

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