As great as it is to see people all around us see in the New Year with a positive outlook and the drive to make meaningful changes, it can really twist the knife if your financial well being has spiralled out of your control. If you are in the process of filing for bankruptcy or see it as your only available option you may feel that your entrepreneurial career (not to mention your personal finances) will never be the same again. As stressful and upsetting as this can be, now is an important time to gain some perspective.

Bankruptcy is not the end! It can be a new beginning and an invaluable lesson that starts you on a new, moe fortunate path that’s free of the mistakes that led you to file. If your finances are irretrievable beyond the help of it can severely affect your sense of self worth. But bankruptcy really is something that happens to even the best of us. Just look at these fabulously wealthy and successful people who’ve been declared bankrupt and try to learn what you can from their bankruptcies…

Aaron Carter

Aaron Carter

Remember teen heart throb Aaron Carter? Kid brother of Back Street Boy Nick, Carter’s fame and fan adoration clearly went to his head, because by the time he filed for bankruptcy in 2013 he was a staggering 2 million in debt… mostly to the IRS. It just goes to show that no matter how well you or your business may be doing, it’s important to manage your spending and always, always, always pay your taxes.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain didn’t have an excessive lifestyle (that we know of) but even one of the most enduring icons of American literature can be financially waylaid. Riding high on the success of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain invested heavily in a new form of printing press that turned out to be a bum steer. He declared personal bankruptcy in 1893 at the age of 60. This just goes to show that even great minds can make poor investments and that you can never do too much homework before putting your money down on even the surest sounding money spinners.

Isaac Hayes

Younger readers will remember him as the voice of the sagely Chef in South Park, but Hayes was (and is) one of the most important voices in music of black origin of the 20th century, penning the iconic theme tune to Shaft as well as enduring pop hits like “Soul Man”. Despite his success, the musician fell afoul of poor financial management which led to bankruptcy in 1976. Hayes admitted that he placed too much trust in others to manage the administrative side of his record label while he focused purely on the creative side. Hayes’ cautionary tale shows that a little business sense goes a long way.

50 Cent

He always said that he’d get rich or die trying, but the rapper demonstrated an inability to stay rich when he filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2016 despite his net worth being estimated at $155 million by Forbes the previous year. A series of poor investment followed by an expensive litigation against him shows that however successful you may be, your behavior must be unimpeachable if you’re in the public eye.