Philippe Rambaud – Les vertus de la faillite – TEDxVaugirardRoad

Philippe Rambaud – Les vertus de la faillite – TEDxVaugirardRoad

I have a dream: that we never feel ashamed by the word liquidation Sometimes I am under the impression that liquidation, is a bit like a nervous breakdown, you don`t talk about it, out of fear of the judgment others cast upon us. However, when you do start talking to others, it amazing to see how tongues free-up, how people give testimony as if the shackles were being cast aside. I believe we are facing a taboo. So I`m in the process of setting up an association which will take on this problem and which will help entrepreneurs who have gone into liquidation or bankruptcy to get back on-track. And we will fix them so they can go off on a new entrepreneurial adventure. In my dream, there is something else, it is that the way we regard failure, the constant need to find fault evolves and that rather than traumatizing those who try but fail, we traumatize our own conformity and prejudice because what is at stake for Mankind, socially and economically is enormous. 60 000. There are, every year in France, year after year, 60 000 companies that file for bankruptcy. I was of course one of these 60 000 which I why I feel so close to this. Please note by the way that 60 000 companies, with let`s say 5 employees each, that`s according to my calculation 300 000 jobs. Do the same calculation for 10 years , because every year it’s the same number, then we are looking at what I consider 3 000 000 jobs. We are talking about a major phenomenon. To bounce back, to rebound, this is the obsession, this is the project we are putting together, it’s like fixing these entrepreneurs, once their business has been liquidated at the Commercial Court, their company becomes untouchable. The idea is to reach out and save the entrepreneur, the business founder who has entrepreneurialism in its soul, to save the expertise and talent left behind. Some have said to me it`s not my problem, it`s up to the system at the end
of the day to look after them That those entrepreneurs who succeed don’t care much about others and anyway they will probably end up recycled in the economic scheme of things so there`s no real need to worry. This is probably one of the reasons why these 60 000 bankruptcies occur in total silence. I have even heard people say “if they are real entrepreneurs, firstly they don`t need anyone and secondly if they are real entrepreneurs they will bounce back all on their own therefore there’s actually no need to look after them at all!” You can read into this, that this distance I have heard is not always but sometimes taken blamed on classical non-interventionist liberalism. Yes, here again I was fed up. Fed up of hearing for 40 years that France has no entrepreneurs, that France has no SME`s, that these SME`s are not daring or innovative enough and that herin lies the prinipal source of the lack of economic competitively of France and naturally as a consequence the source of the wave of chronic and harmful unemployment which affects us all. Well, I wanted to do something about this. I said to myself: I have to find a way to do something. So I got fed up too, that`s when the penny dropped, seeing all these students, in business colleges in particular where I sometimes lecture, I made them speak about their dreams, their furture, how did they see themselves. I was quite stunned that they almost all told me: “well on the board of a FTSE100” they don’t quite put it like that straight away but they`d say “I want to get into L`Oreal.” But I have seen what they meant. And I said to myself, at the end of the day if they are like that
it`s because they have been made to conform like this it’s because we have told them, success, is this. The SME`s , the small enterprise, to learn, to throw yourself out there: no the elite cannot possible stay like this. And I said to myself : here again we have to do something, things simply can`t remain like this. Because these entrepreneurs, we have a whole stock of them. 60 000. So rather than trying to convince men and women who don`t want to, or who are terrified of
the idea (quite normal, it is terrifying of throwing out that little boat into the ocean of business Would it not be a lot more efficient to
try to take those who have already tried, who have taken the jump, even if they have failed, in order to start a new entrepreneurial adventure. This is where we come across another problem, that is after such a failure as bankruptcy or liquidation, the entrepreneur, the business founder is destroyed, he/she is devastated. He or she has just been through a triple traumatism and what`s worse all three simultaneously; personal trauma, a financial trauma and a professional trauma. A personal trauma, because because even if you have not started your business you understand very well, a dream, a central motivation, even a basic structure of his/her being has collapsed it’s all gone, suddenly, with the disappearance of its business. But it gets worse: in fact he/she is assailed by, I think, a very pernicious feeling, the shame, the shame of being mistaken as a bad student at school and the shame of having cheated, having deceived those who trusted him, his colleagues first then the shareholders who invested their money and third even its clients. So, loss of vitality, gone with the collapse of the structure, shame and guilt, you’ve got the key issue that must be confronted and must dealt with, and that is the foundation of all subsequent reconstruction. As long as this personal foundation is not rebuilt, I think it is not even worth trying
to endeavor to reconstruct a professional adventure. The second shock is financial: the business founder, the entrepreneur has usually put most if
not all of his savings into the business, what`s worse is when the chips are down he or she probably went “scraping the bottom of the barrel.” I see it every time. He or she will be entitled to no unemployment benefits, therefore there`s nothing in the bank account once the commercial court has pronounced judgment. And, in general, he or she didn`t pay enough private insurance because in the beginning when the business was launched, he or she was convinced it was going to work and that there wasn`t enough means to pay it. They are ruined, but they are not only ruined they are marked because in France, when you file for bankruptcy or go into liquidation a circular is distributed by the Bank of France throughout the entire banking network. Between you and me this circular the O40 simply means : “be warned, this man or woman is probably very nice but is definitely dangerous” So, if the bank where you are looking for
a loan or a new professional account types on the keyboard and spots a flashing message: “I`m afraid no, we cannot open a professional account” This is totally blocking and I have been there. It is very disagreeable. Third trauma, I call it professional but wonder
whether it should not be called societal: the entrepreneur, man or woman whether they have
gone bust or filed for bankruptcy is perceived in France as a “loser”, a baddy and even at this my words are too kind… I suggest one day to put on your CV “At
30 or 50 I set up my own business, and underwent liquidation, bankruptcy”, you will see written on the faces of the employers in front of you, it could even be one of the reasons
why we don`t often talk about it. I was lucky to work on many occasions in the US, like everyone in this room who have been there and worked there, they have been struck by how entrepreneurial failure is perceived there. It`s the opposite to ours. We, are a loser, well over there, they say:
well guys, he tried something, that`s an achievement. Here that’s not the case; its cultural therefore, it’s not technical. In the US, I said to myself, hey, it`s
amazing, they use sporting metaphors at every turn. But in the sporting metaphor, there are many lessons about failure. Very early on in schools, there is an idea that other than that trying is to fail and that a succession of
failures and tenacity which will nourish future successes. And this we know very early on The American success stories simply amplify this type of example; we love people who succeed and who started with nothing, from scratch. But like the cycles of failure and success are accelerating, we will all have several professional lives during the same lifetime. Well we tend to love those who got to the
top, who fell and who got going again. Today, it is in the process of inspiring a change of mentality. The United States have managed to do something quite remarkable that is in this ultra-liberal country the moment when the state gets involved is the moment of liquidation or bankruptcy, for those who know the term, Chapter Eleven: it protects the company which has filed for
bankruptcy because they know it is precious. In my personal case, in the personal case
of my bankruptcy, I was very lucky. I was lucky to have by my side a wonderful
woman but more importantly a wonderfully understanding woman, I was lucky, she does coaching so she deals with professional problems every day. The second thing which helped me tremendously, and I`m
sure you will understand what this means my customers, those who I have known for fifteen years, continued to trust me. I admitted them my liquidation, some said: “don`t say anything”, say you stopped your business, people may not even know. I said: no, I can’t, I don’t want to, it’s perhaps naïve but
I can’t, I can’t hide it, I need to tell them; if I don’t tell them, I couldn’t keep frequenting them and anyway if I tell them but if they don`t
understand well at the end of the day, we wouldn`t be able to work for long together anyway. I was lucky for another reason; my customers gave me some consulting work. This is where I take my hat off, to give someone
back their confidence, this is a pretty good way. A third bit of luck, I crossed paths with a psychotherapist who helped me make considerable progress on my journey. In fact she helped my retrace all my successes throughout my life. In chronological order I had to write, when they were? Then she made me write down on paper all the failures throughout my life, the disasters, the suffering that I had been though. She wanted to demonstrate by this that my successes-she achieved that- were nourished by an energy inspired from these failures. A considerable source of energy but one which I had never understood. She said to me: your liquidation will be the same. It`s difficult to grasp immediately, at the time I wasn`t in a good place, “But, believe me, you will find in it – we
will work on it – an amazing renewal.” I said “I think she is exaggerating.” She was right. She helped me understand also that it was an opportunity, that this was how I would find the motor of my development, the stepping-stone of my reconstruction. I asked myself how many of the 60 000 entrepreneurs who go bankrupt have such luck: my wife-I`ll hold on to my wife- my customers and my psychotherapist. And I said to myself : ok, I’m
not going to give them my wife nor my psychotherapist but perhaps I could, in my own small way share my experience and the conditions which at the end of the day I found myself in and which enabled this reconstruction. So, I decided, with a great professional coach and a great legal expert to put together an organization, an associative organization to help individuals with the same level of professionalism that I had received myself, help these men and women individually to reconstruct, to get repaired in order to be able to rebound and throw themselves back into an entrepreneurial adventure. We would like to, over and beyond this dream, that society takes a new look on failure, I said it, but in particular that the individual understands, we all understand, that in order to progress we have to fail; and that it is though these failures that we build our success, to accept this, integrate it and admit it, is a considerable benefit. In our personal life, since we live our relationships through love, we accept, it is done, sentimental failure, matrimonial failure; as long as we are ambitious for our education, our children`s education, we accept failure at school and university. I dream of a society, of a world, which accepts entrepreneurial failure in the same manner and I think that we will have in such a way taken down a considerable barrier preventing individuals from becoming fulfilled adults. But believe me; we will also have freed considerable energy into the economy which, since then, had been sterilized. Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Philippe Rambaud – Les vertus de la faillite – TEDxVaugirardRoad

  1. Superbe initiative  et merci de votre message  très positif  parce  qu'il faut repartir  et  bien souvent  c'est le "comment"  qu'il manque aux entrepreneurs !!!

  2. bravo!!! j'aimerai recevoir des vidéos similaires.merci.
    s.v.p comment les ape contribuent a l’amélioration de l’éducation?

  3. Bravo.. oh combien j'aurai aimé rencontrer une structure comme la votre au moment où j'ai défailli !
    Oui c'est un véritable manque et un vrai changement culturel à introduire en France.
    Bravo et merci pour votre témoignage. Bon Vent !

  4. merci à vous …même si je rebondis mais en étant employée pour bénéficier de temps pour moi après l'artisanat…mais je suis toujours ambitieuse et prépare un business plan comme pour une entreprise.

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