Anyone who has been following our story will know that in August 2007, Stuart and I walked away from our franchise businesses in a considerable amount of debt.
For four years, Stuart and I worked hard to make our franchise stores a success story. At one point we ran 4 stores concurrently – one at the request of the Franchisor. It seemed for a while that we were a success story – even winning the State Franchisee Of The Year (ACT / NSW) and the Tuggeranong Hyperdome’s Retailer Of The Year.
However, it went horribly wrong and in some ways very quickly.
We can’t say too much due to legal obligations of our contracts however, what we can say is that as we saw it going wrong, we moved to remove ourselves from the situation. All to no avail – we were terribly in debt with businesses that were not performing despite our best efforts.
At that point, we could have gone bankrupt and just walked away. Heck, it would only be three years and we would be clear again. However, that didn’t meet the standards we had set for our integrity. We decided to deal with our suppliers and creditors and make reparation as we could.
The result – here we are 15 months later and we aren’t bankrupt. Sure, we’re living hand to mouth and we’re selling our last major asset (our home) and we will still be left with $300k in loans.
My point – we’re here, we’re not bankrupt and we have our family, our health and our own self respect. It might take us more than 3 years to recover – but who cares? The important thing is, we get to recreate our lives in the way we WANT to – not in a way we HAVE to. We also get to look at ourselves in our mirror every day and say – ‘I like that person’.