Sometimes you have to just walk away
One of the hardest decisions for any business owner is the decision to cease trading. This seemingly logical decision, based we assume on finances, is in reality extremely emotional. An enterprise is nurtured, like a child, and to cease trading evokes a sense of grief which is hard to face. Also there is a feeling of guilt around failure. The worry of what others think of you, and could you have done it better, worked harder, or made different decisions along the way.
The harsh reality is that failure is a normal part of the process of owning and running a business. Sometimes the business cycle kills, or a new technology terminally disrupts, a once vibrant market.
Fail well, and learn, is easy to say, but very hard to feel.
Some examples are offered in the article from The Guardian. Note that in every case the business owner has chosen not to go back to working for someone else.
Not everyone has the energy to get back up and start again. Each person will deal with their feelings in their own way.
But let’s be really clear here, a decision to close a business may be a failing of the business, but it is not a failure of a life, just part of a journey. How you deal with it is the issue.