A lot of things happened since we decided to postpone our world cruise. In fact, our lives has been turned upside down and we are struggling to fit in with life on the hard.
After a High Court case we lodged against the people who bought our company in 2014 and with the judge deciding in our favour, we returned to South Africa in October 2015. We soon found ourselves in the thick of things and getting lumbered with problems almost beyond belief. When we sold our business in 2014, we handed a healthy, vibrant and profitable company to the new owners. When we again took control of the company a mere 12 months later and the changes were astounding, the attitudes and problems sickening and endless - the company incurred huge losses and could not pay it's way.
We found the company in total disarray, financially plundered, no longer profitable, incurring huge losses every month and most of the staff pulling in all different directions. Most played the blame game whilst almost nobody accepted responsibility for their own actions, the company no longer worked as a unit to a common goal - indeed, it was a matter of "every man for himself" - self enrichment at the expense of the company. Several key staff members lost all meaning of hard work, expected extra ordinary success and financial reward whilst doing as little as possible. Then, the bit of work they did do, was fraught with mistakes, non profitable and completely out of sync with company systems and procedures.
We had to inject a pile of money to kill all the outstanding debt, grab the rampant bull by the horns and hang on for dear life. We lost experienced staff members in the process, the timing was all wrong to recruit new employees and we had to limp along, struggling to keep the boat from sinking. Each day presented new problems, revealed further flaws inflicting mortal damage to a now struggling company. With ever more formidable problems emerging out of the woodwork, at times it felt like we were fighting a losing battle, we were stretched to the limit and were forced to consider possible closure.
With huge amounts of money flowing down the drain and with no end in sight or effective solutions, the entire situation started wearing us down. We seriously contemplated closing the company down on several occasions as the pressure kept climbing and became intolerable. Since returning to South Africa, we have been working at least 16 hours a day and with the help of some committed employees, we started fixing, shaping and steering the company in the correct direction. Whilst we are still not out of the woods, we have made some good progress and the changes will soon start bearing fruits. It will still be another couple of months before the company returns to profits and solid ground - but for now, the worst seems to be behind us.