Perhaps the best thing about building a successful business is that it sets you free, giving you the financial freedom to only spend your time doing things that make you happy. It’s a key driver to why many entrepreneurs get involved in the inevitable stress of running their own business, and it’s one of the most satisfying experiences when you deliver on your commitment to yourself.
However, when things go wrong, the financial pressure of a failing business can be amongst the toughest to deal with, and coming back from this takes real resolve and character.
The good news is that if you recognise something of yourself in that intro then you too can learn how to develop the resilience to overcome these challenges and win.
That’s what happened with today’s NEVER SETTLE interview, Matt Haycox. The entrepreneur was wildly successful, earning tens of millions of dollars from his business empire, and living a life of supercars and supermodels. However, when the 2008 credit crunch crippled financial markets around the world, he saw his fortune wiped out overnight.
Finding himself at rock bottom, Matt regrouped and went again, this time as an investor and mentor, and has since made a second fortune that dwarfs his first.
We caught up with the businessman to find out how he did it, and what we can learn from this.
Name: Matt Haycox
Location: Splits time across investments in London, Spain, Las Vegas
What’s your story?
I’ve been involved in business ever since I can remember, starting from back in my childhood days when I would sell snacks to kids in my school at lower prices than the school shop.
I always wanted to build something worthwhile, and had a desire to work in the leisure industry, and built a leisure empire of bars, clubs, shops, and many others, and by my early twenties I was able to live the lifestyle I always aspired to.
However, in 2008, when I was in my late twenties, I lost the empire I had worked so hard to create, thanks to the global credit crunch.
I had a short spell of feeling sorry for myself, until I pulled myself together and set out to use that experience of being a businessman, and being a business borrower to teach me how to become a business advisor and a business lender, helping other businesses, which is effectively where I’m at for round 2 of my career.
CHOOSE 5 PHOTOS FROM YOUR PHONE THAT BEST SUM UP YOUR CURRENT LIFE.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST ADVERSITY YOU’VE FACED ON YOUR JOURNEY TO LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THIS?
The toughest part of the journey by far was going bankrupt in 2008.
After being a successful operator I suffered bankruptcy in the most catastrophic, abject way. I had been so successful so quickly and I lost all of my businesses and all of my personal wealth, as well at a time that I was young and on a very fruitful and aggressive expansion journey.
Worse still, I had a 2 year old daughter and no money coming in. It’s when I lost everything that I very quickly found out who my real friends were.
How did I overcome it? My general strategy for overcoming anything is constant application. Powering through.
The only way to deal with any adversity in life is to accept that these things are challenges, and sitting back and moaning feeling sorry won’t fix anything
I had no choice but to get back on the saddle, and find out what my motivation was. For me, it was that I had a child and a family that I wanted to provide for and I had my own personal level of expectation that I wanted to deliver for myself – i.e. I wanted to earn and spend money. I needed to get out there, face my fears and disasters and make it happen again.
I’ve been lucky enough to have done just that, and it’s very important to me to share my experiences of flying too close to the sun, so other entrepreneurs don’t make the same mistakes – I firmly believe that we are all stronger if we share the things that went wrong, as well as the things that went right!
WHAT’S YOUR GOAL FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER?
My goal for next chapter is a continuation of what I’m doing now.
I’m taking the years of experience and negativity, and flipping it over to become an advisor/mentor and hopefully an inspiration to small businesses, wannabe entrepreneurs, struggling businesses and struggling entrepreneurs out there today.
I cannot stress strongly enough that if you are in the middle of what seems like impossible odds that this is just a passing challenge, and if you stay calm, see things as they are while retaining your optimistic positive vision, then your future self will look back and thank you for stepping up.