Failing business and anxiety - anyone help?

This is my first post here, so hello to everyone

I am 38, male and have been suffering anxiety / depression for about a year.

Symptoms include tiredness, demotivation, lots of tension particularly in the morning, worrying about everything, but particularly money. (or lack of it)

It seems to have been triggered by problems with my business which have got worse and worse. its very close to going under. i dont really have much debts, but i cant seem to make a decision on my future.

Luckily i have a partner who can help financially with the mortgage, but I seem unable to make a decision on whether to continue with it, and try and get new business (which is a big problem as I am very de-motivated, but which I am doing at the moment) or try and find another job - and go back to being employed, with a regular income coming in (again i find interviews stressful and feel out of my depth, as i work for myself and haven't brushed up on my skills) - I also dont know what job to apply for as I dont feel to be able to make clear decisions.

has anyone been in a similar situation?

I have seen the doc, and he has done bloodtests to check for the usual things, but nothing back yet.. I am reluctant to take meds, due to side effects.



6 Replies

  • I know how you feel.

    I've been self employed running my own business since 1995 and these last few years have been very hard and in consequence I suffer from stress, bad anxiety and health anxiety.

    I've just about got my head above water but that's working flat out just to stay still.

    I have real problems now with self-motivation. Something I never used to suffer from at all.

  • Hi there, it seems you have a number of issues that you wish to resolve. One is your health and two is your lack of direction in your work life. I have very recently experienced both. I will address lack of direction 1st. Most people who have been self employed find that working for an employer constrictive, however it is offset by a regular income and as you have money worries that is why you are thinking about getting a job. You can get help for interview training and cv's if that is what you really want, job centre or private companies can help. Getting/ setting up another business requires a lot of effort and hard work not to mention the capital required. Also what makes you think another business is the way forward? Your current business you say you are de- motivated and struggling financially. What was the reason you set up the business in the first place. What did you enjoy about it? If it was your friends business what advice would you give? Try to look at the areas that are the most important to sort out first. Deal with them (you will have to face some fears but you will feel a sense of achievement and relief) take it bit by bit, baby steps. You are panicking and don't know which to turn, bringing me onto your health. Because this has been going on with your business you are not switching off. The thoughts just keep coming about what's going to happen etc. learn to meditate/ relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises also help as you will be shallow breathing so take some deep breaths. NLP techniques help. Trying to find things to be grateful/ thankful for will help you to stop thinking in a negative way. It is hard but learn to believe in yourself. Stop telling yourself negative things like I am no good etc. you are you just need to realise it. All the best and hope this helps. x

  • Please don't let whatever happens to your business affect your health, there is no shame or any need to feel embarrassed about going under. My aunt owns a manufacturing business in near Bristol and unfortunately the same could be happening to her due to non-paying clients it all has a knock on affect.

  • Hi Camel, and welcome to the site - there's lots of support here!

    Okay - I'm going to make some suggestions about your business and, - forgive me if they're nonsense. I've mainly worked in the public sector, so I'm not really a "business" person, but a couple of ideas spring to mind.

    first, are you a member of your local Chamber of Commerce? I ask this as running your own business - particularly as, i gather, you're a one-person band, can be a lonely job, and just getting together with other business people, networking, making contacts, even getting advice, might just be the "motivator" you need? Worth a thought? I'm putting the website of a Chamber of Commerce near me, just so you can see what they typically offer:-

    I've also found this site for small businesses - know nothing about it, just googled it, but it does look as if might be useful? Go to:

    I do agree with others who have said, if you lack motivation in your own business, are you really going to "find" that to either set up another business, or go out and get a job, in quite a challenging job market? You say you don't have many debts - it's "close to going under" - but it hasn't gone under, so you must be doing something right!

    Maybe, try some of the above, get some help for your anxiety - which you're doing - and then set yourself a timescale - like, say, 6 months - to see if you can start to turn your business around? Also, do you have any "business wizard" friends who could have a look at what you're doing, and make suggestions?

    You don't say what your business is, but are there any trade organisations you could join, again for support, advice and networking? If you're selling igloos to Inuits, probably not, but otherwise, there's almost certain to be some trade organisation you could join.

    As i say, I'm an ex-public sector worker, so forgive me if I'm teaching my grandparent to suck eggs, but just a few ideas - discard if ludicrous! ;)

    good luck, and keep blogging - we're here for you!

    All the best


  • Thanks all for the responses. It really helps. I am having a better day today.

    A few more details - I don't intend to start a new business - I don't have the capital, or willpower - the options are to try to recover my existing business by marketing more effectively or get an employed position and close the business (or even moonlight for extra cash).. I don't really have an alternative, as I feel I am being a financial burden on my partner - she is paying most of the bills for the last year.

    The business is web design - I have had 7 good years and the last 3 bad years. I started the business to have more control and independence as I was made redundant from my first job - and had a complete arse for a boss. There seems to be less and less money in it, and its a real struggle, with the economic downturn - I tried networking more, belonging to a BNI group for a year, but it didn't bring in enough, and the 6am crack of dawn starts every Friday really didn't work for me. I keep on thinking whether its worth continuing or doing something else. I work a lot from home, so dont have much contact, unless at client meetings.

    If I was less anxious I feel I would have more energy and clear head to make a decision. Someone recommended me a self help book called At last a life by Paul David (no connection with the author and this isn't a plug!), and i have read 6 chapters in the last day - and it has helped - i feel slightly better today as its therapeutic to read others struggling the same issues, and have been more productive - by accepting I have anxiety, not to let it stop me doing things, and not to fight the feelings. Fighting the anxiety has made me mentally fatigued - if I start to get anxiety I do something else to take mind of it.

    Another thing is that I have not had a holiday in quite a long time - at least a year - I am getting married in September so hopefully will go on a honeymoon - but the problem is I feel shattered now, and want to have a break now to revitalise to move things forward career - wise, so I am not such a mess for my wedding! I think my partner has struggled with my attitude towards the wedding, as she is very excited, but because i have these issues weighing on my mind, I haven't been.

  • Hi again, can you try to diversify your business? Web hosting, social media management for clients, business startup packages for people? Ask your existing clients what you can do to improve their sites, find out if they are thinking of setting up other websites etc. do they know of people they could recommend to you? Working from home is lonely, I know I did it and that doesn't help the anxiety. Can you join a club, or go to the gym? It would get you out and give you something else to focus on. Exercise can help as it produces the natural endorphins we have. Regarding your partner, if she is happy to support you then be thankful, don't feel a burden to her. You can always make up for the lack of funds in other ways. But do show her appreciation so she won't feel she is being taken for granted. Do take an interest in the wedding, as its your wedding too. It will be something she is looking forward to and is important to her. It will also take your mind off things. Focus on the positive in your life. Think about how fortunate you are to have a partner who is loving and giving. I found this helpful for my situation. Get the book out from the library called Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers, it will help. Also if you have a smartphone down load the release anxiety/ stress app from Andrew Johnson. He has a couple of free ones for relaxation you can try. Listen to the app either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, but do it for a minimum of 21 days. He also has cd's and mp3 downloads if you don't have a smartphone. Hope this helps and I am glad you are having a better day. I sincerely hope you will start to have more better days going forward.

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