“How bankruptcy changed my life”

One of the toughest moments in my life, was the day when I was forced go to court and file for bankruptcy. The feeling of defeat was indescribable. I completely lost my self-confidence. I was lost. 

For over six years I had been fighting hard to turn my business profitable, despite all the setbacks that crossed my path. I could have complained for years and perished in self-pity, but that is simply not in my nature. Sure, there were times that I have screamed aloud and that tears were flowing over my cheeks. I won’t deny this!

I had overcome my second divorce, worked hard for years and "puzzled" my way to eliminate the huge debt from my formal marriage. 

Suddenly an opportunity crossed my path. I could get rid of the business for a nice fair price. All my problems would be solved. Debts could be paid off in full and I would still have a small piggy bank left. Agreements were signed and the light at the end of the tunnel was finally in sight … 

Was it not that the owner of the building, a multinational, suddenly pulled in the tail and did not agree with the new owners and their plans. They refused me to sell my business.

So I went to court, I would go and get my right ... 

Six months later came the verdict: I had breached the contract by changing the destination of the building. I was expelled from the building. The judge gave me six weeks to clear out. I could still keep my business going during those weeks. I need not to tell that that came as a shock to me. I was emotionally completely brought down. 

The following day I decided that the only option left for me, was to file for bankruptcy … It was already a fact that it had to end like that.  Those six weeks could only bring me more down. I took my passport and went to court. My life as I knew it was gone at a glance.


Closing

People in my environment did not always understand my behaviour afterwards. Of course I was deeply hurt. Of course I did not feel so good about myself. The first two weeks were tough. Life as I knew it, just stopped. No more getting up in the morning to open up the business. The daily routine was no longer there. ‘What to do next?’, was running through my mind all day long. 

I did not perish in self-pity! No! No time to be depressed. No time to bombard myself with the same questions. Life goes on. I didn’t need to go into the deep valley and then slowly crawl out again. 

That would only take a lot of my precious time and slow down the progress. 

(To be honest, that dark deep valley gives me the creeps. No way I would go near there! What if I got stuck and couldn’t find the way back! We’ve got no business there. Life is full of surprises and even the negative ones always turn out in a positive way. Trust me on that!)

I’m  aware of it that this dramatic twist in my life was a good thing. I wouldn’t go back and live the same life again. That’s already a given that I have learned. What happened freed me from a heavy load that was on my shoulders. Finally that chapter of my life was closed. I wanted to close it already long time, it just took a different turn than I had in mind. 

It has allowed me to enjoy my family, the children. Finally be able to sit at the table and enjoy supper together. Go on holidays. No more sleepless nights or nightmares.


Professionally - A new passion 

Just a few weeks later I rolled back into ‘Corporate world’. Something I loved to do in the past, Sales. I got an assignment for one year at a start-up company. I launched at my previous level and climbed my way up. The trust I had built up within my network was unashamed. On the contrary! 

My bankruptcy did not raise eyes but enforced respect.

I got the opportunity to get to know all about digitalization and implementation. Brainstorming and developing new ideas within the digital world has become a passion to me. I often see companies all screaming out that they are working on the implementation of digital solutions. They all request expensive analyses but then freeze when it comes to implementation and roll-out.

The fear of the unknown inhibits them. Again and again they go back to that old habit. That what offered certainty, that what is translatable in figures. The way of working as they have always known it, is more tempting than ever before. There, too, you see that making the leap, for many involves a fear of risk. 

This is how I live life today. This is my happy path. This is what makes me smile. Finally freed from my past and living in the present time, looking forward to the future. 

Just remember to never give up courage and always think ahead. Let go of the past and enjoy all the new positive things that you get in its place. 

We all are winners! Just Live life on your own terms and Dare to leap!

© Vicky Drappier

“How bankruptcy changed my life”

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