11 January 2013

When the Business Fails

Entrepreneurs look failure in the face, and move on . . .

When My Business Failed - Dan Pallotta - Harvard Business Review: " . . . When someone close to you dies, sympathy reigns. People send flowers. The loss of the business couldn't have been more different. On the day we were closing our doors, employees were coming up to me asking if they could start their own event businesses, ripping away what they could from the carcass of the company before the body was cold. Liquidators were selling desks and bookcases I had remembered purchasing personally in the early days of the business — in some cases selling them to former trusted employees who were buying them for their new event businesses. Others were going to work for the competition. Meanwhile, creditors were knocking on my door at all hours of the day and night. I had lost my source of income. I was on the hook for millions in personal guarantees I had signed in order to fuel our expansion. I was at risk of losing my home. And I was dealing with a press that had, as the press usually does, gotten the entire story wrong. And no one was sending flowers. Or calling. No, death is much easier. Ten years later, I have recovered. I managed to keep my home by working with our bank to sell some of the assets of the company and by agreeing to help them get recovery via the lawsuit against Avon, which they did. I have three beautiful children . . . I learned who my real friends were and are, and developed a much more realistic and mature definition of friendship. I have a less sophomoric approach to trust. Don't offer it freely, unless you're prepared for the consequences. I've learned that people will take what they want, regardless of their word, if the temptation becomes great enough. And they will concoct all manner of rationalization to justify it. I've learned that the adage about innovation is true — that at first, people say your idea is absurd, then they say it was obvious all along, and then they say it was their idea to begin with. I've learned never, ever to sign a personal guarantee, unless you can afford to lose the entire amount. There is no particular lesson here beyond these. I haven't lost my daring or my enthusiasm for life or business. But it would be inauthentic to say that the loss doesn't hurt deeply, even ten years later. . . ."

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepreneurs | TechCrunch: " . . . . persistence is not the self-help cliche “Keep going until you hit the finish line!”. The key slogan is, “Keep failing until you accidentally no longer fail.” That’s persistence." - James Altucher

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