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Getting through the period leading up to the termination of a franchise and dealing with post-franchise scam life-changes can be bitter and difficult times. Although many report a ‘lifting’ and a wonderful 'relief' once they are released.
While the following article does not specifically relate to franchising, it hit home following some recent discussions regarding the need for such franchisees to understand they are not alone and they are not the first to be scammed; and sadly they will not be the last.
And (I) feel like a failure myself. I’ve been left feeling confused, alone, disorientated, helpless, withdrawn and depressed every day. The motivation is gone. - The Healing Game
It has been suggested that the trauma of failing in small business is magnified many times when the operator has been subjected to influences controlled by another party and this suggestion would resonate with many ex-franchisees.
Whilst we have not collated data on depression and small business as such, I would estimate that at least three-quarters of the small business people who use our services describe symptoms commonly associated with anxiety and/or depression stemming from any number of causes. – YELC’s Lisa Paraska
When questioned regarding the level of franchisee victims of scams that she encounters in her work, Lisa stated quite simply and in obvious frustration; ‘lots and lots’. And we are not surprised.
Prior to leaving YELC to enter the bar Lisa suggested;
It seems to take a long time to get government to understand that small business people are worth looking after.
Many scammed franchisees fight the ‘good fight’ in the hope that they will minimize the numbers to repeat their experience. Some fight a war against the perpetrator and some take it too far to where they lose contact with life and the people in it that should matter.
Many of the worst effected franchisees are never heard of as they move on to a new life, however; anecdotal evidence suggests that many don’t move on far enough to escape the bitterness they seem determined to endure. Such a reaction helps no one and certainly continues the damage to family and friends and finishes the healthy potential that a post-franchise scam life does offer.
But learnings from business failure are precious. Grief, if it lasts too long - or is not recognised and dealt with - gets in the way of learning. Understanding grief and having a strategy to deal with it can speed the recovery process and lift the odds of success in your next venture.
There is life after a franchise scam although it could safely be concluded that it would be a rarity to find such an ex-franchisee prepared to enter franchising waters for fear of a repeat drowning.
The emotional obstacles encountered after being ‘ripped off’ are quite different to those experienced when a small business operator can point to an influence that was not avoidable or even to a lesson learnt. Yes a failure to perform effective due diligence is a lesson learnt but it does not excuse the rogue franchisor.
But there is no use in quitting. Quitters offer very little value to those that depend on them and they become the architects of their ongoing failure. I cannot imagine any reason to allow a low-life fraudster to continue to wreak damage long after it is over.
Time does heal all wounds and turning disaster into a great life offers the opportunity to raise the middle finger of the right hand to those who karma winds up. People need to learn from the experience and make happy for happy is still there for those who want a piece.
This blog has been dedicated to new friends with 'guts' and who will get over it because they KNOW they matter and they WILL have better.