The DreamBody Centre has closed. The Very Painful – Yet Temporary – Taste of Failure 

A few weeks ago I sat with my leadership Team in our orange meeting room.  It was a heavy meeting; the energy was low and morale was visibly depressed.

We were deep in thought, looking at the numbers, and weighing our options.  It was clear that keeping a DreamBody Centre (DBC) running in Bahrain was no longer feasible.  I wish I could say that our type of business was immune to economic realities, but it’s not.

As soon as the government subsidy reductions were announced we saw our sign-ups drop.  It was clear that as the cost of living went up for people, things like weight loss and wellness expenditure went down.  We’re a luxury that few people can – or want – to afford right now.

To be honest Bahrain was never the real business, it was just the template for potential franchisees.  As long as it was self-sufficient, we were happy.  The real growth was world-wide.

But as we sat there and looked at the numbers, it was clear that Bahrain was heading nowhere fast, and the centre was not self-sufficient.   “The final decision is yours, Sensei,” someone said.  It was one of the most depressing moments of my professional career.  I had to pull the final plug on a business I had built from nothing.

Can it really be that I have to break up this amazing team that has been working together so amazingly for so many years?  I agonised for 3 days as I came to terms with the reality.

I met with the management team again and confirmed what they sort of already knew.  I told them we’d close down the DBC. We later met with the rest of the Team Members and broke the news to them. They were shocked. They knew the numbers were bad (we’re completely transparent) but I guess they didn’t think the day would ever come that we’d actually close.

There wasn’t  a dry eye in the room. Of course they all worried about having to find new jobs, but what really affected them was the loss they felt because the DBC meant so much to them. They absolutely loved working here.

I was depressed for the couple of weeks that followed. I remember one evening I was trying to clearly identify the emotion I was feeling, and then I realised what it was…

Grief.

I lost something that mattered so much to me and I was literally grieving. I am the first to believe that when God closes a door he opens a window. I didn’t need to be told that this was meant to be and that other good things will come, it’s already part of my core belief system. My faith was in tact, I just needed to get over it. I  needed time to grieve. In a situation like this no pep talk can lift you up, you just need to go through the process.

I went through a mini-depression. Though closing the business was heart-breaking, it wasn’t about the business per se. What really hurt was having to break up this amazing Team I’ve built up over the years. The leadership Team had been with for seven or eight years. Breaking up this dream team was really hard. I hated it.

What also hurt was that all the hard work did not bear any fruit. In the old days I’d wake up at 4 am and start work by 4:30 am, and get home anywhere between 10 pm and midnight. To think that the years of the hard work I put in – and my Team put it in – came to nothing was a bitter pill to swallow.

Of course having lost a lot of money was also very painful, but that’s not as hard to take as the rest. Money comes and money goes, and God willing it will all come back and then some.

So what’s next? I’ve not given up on the DBC idea just yet. I plan to reopen in Saudi directly, rather than enter there through franchising. I am utterly convinced that the world needs a unique weight loss centre that offers diet and nutrition advice, motivation, and fitness in a 23-minute format under one roof. With 2.1 billion people around the world either overweight or obese, I feel a sense of obligation to continue with the DBC. But for now, the dire economic circumstances in Bahrain don’t allow for a DBC.

After closing the DBC on the 24th of March I moved into the Falak Consulting office and installed myself as CEO. I made sure to take Saba, the remarkable DBC GM, with me. I also took a short holiday to London to break the routine, and to think and reflect. The trip did wonders for me and I’m glad to report that my depression is gone and that I’m feeling revitalised and ready to turn Falak Consulting into the world-class company I know it can be, while also preparing for DBC 2.0.

I have no regrets. Being an entrepreneur is a risky, stressful and exhausting life. But choosing the path less trodden is also very rewarding and I wouldn’t change a thing.

The future is bright.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

12 Responses to The DreamBody Centre has closed. The Very Painful – Yet Temporary – Taste of Failure 

  1. Jennifer Yakub 6 April 2016 at 6:45 pm #

    Hi Suhail, Read through it to the end. Congratulations on having done something not all people have the courage to do. Congratulations on building and running DBC sustainably for as long as you did. Thank you for having the courage to share this. Your faith will inshallah bring you bigger better results in Saudi Arabia.

    • Suhail Algosaibi 6 April 2016 at 6:56 pm #

      Thanks for the kind comments Jennifer, God bless.

  2. miss hard work 6 April 2016 at 7:38 pm #

    I never attended the DBC but I heard good things about it. Wish you all the best on your new endeavour and don’t forget that what does not kill you makes you stronger .

  3. Ibrahim eltayeb 6 April 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    You shall prevail….with ur business acumen and hard work..u shall rise again. Iam sure

  4. Sajeda Barni (@SajedaBarni) 6 April 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    I loved the idea and I’m glad to hear that you are not giving up DBC , good luck !

  5. Ayat 6 April 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Suhail. I was a member of DBC. It was the highlight of my stressful day. The idea of spending only 23 min yet working out your body from head to toe was a dream come true. I was devistated when I heard the news. I must confess, I got so pissed and angry at you. I used to read all your inspiring and encouraging emails which you sent out on a weekly basis.. and then when you suddenly closed down I felt like all the emails you sent were just blabberings and lies.. But soon I realized the tough decision you had to take due to the horrible economic situation in the market. I so wish you succeed in Saudi and be able to reopen DBC in Bahrain again. It was a unique place like no other.

    Wish you all the best. God bless.

  6. Alaa 6 April 2016 at 10:37 pm #

    Bro, what you just did is an inspiration to all of us, it is easy to celebrate success but it’s the brave of us who admit failure. I know these words are no concelation but I think I know you well enough that I am confident that the BDC will be resructed even bigger and better as your energy and passion is behind it. All the best for the future. Never give up…

  7. Ali 7 April 2016 at 1:24 am #

    Su hail I am no entrepreneur or any expert.but I would really think hard why many brands such as cross first, VLCc and fitness first have still.survived while DBC not !!! Anyway I am sure the big lessons in business are with the mistakes and failures we encounter in our life which is really hard to admit. It needs a brave heart like u to share with us such insights

    Stay well sensi

  8. Farhan 7 April 2016 at 4:47 pm #

    These things happen. Bahrain is going through a tough time but will take some time to pull through. Saudi is a good option. Dubai in the future? You have the mind and the spirit to take this in the right direction. Wishing you the best at all times. Salaam. 🙂

  9. Ebrahim 8 April 2016 at 8:22 am #

    I wish you all the best Suhail.

  10. Yosr Fareed 8 April 2016 at 3:51 pm #

    Suhail thanks for sharing your experience, you’re a brave outstanding entrepreneur and sincerely wishing you all the best for any future innovative plans

  11. Mahmood 9 April 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    Many of internationally successful people failed several time before making it! You may lost a business but I’m sure that you gained a lot of experience that would definitely help you in future. Wish you the best.

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