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Excerpt from Business Killers.
When I vaulted into my first business in 1980, I hoped to be a successful, positive force for those around me, and an asset to my community. Seven years later, the day I declared bankruptcy, I felt crushed, enslaved, and worthless. Not the glory I’d envisioned.
In the harsh glare of my failures, I realized that I’d underestimated my misfortune’s impact, not only on myself, but also on those closest to me. My parents were shocked and concerned; employees and customers were disappointed; unpaid creditors were pissed at me. I felt victimized and ashamed, but really—I’d engineered my own horrid nightmare.
I was optimistic to the final blow. I was sure I could continue spinning magic tricks to keep the business afloat. I’d orchestrated so many miracles during the venture’s life, I believed I was invincible. While I groped around for the next eye-popping performance, reality bludgeoned me.
I was terrified. While running my own business, I’d tasted freedom, and I didn’t want to let it go. As the tentacles of insolvency tethered and strangled me, I feared I would once again be reduced to punching time clocks at insufferable workplaces. Defeat settled in, quashing my optimism.
Mired in that avalanche of complications and blunders, I believed my romance with business was over. I didn’t realize then that entrepreneurship was embedded in my DNA and that my education was just beginning.
Are you a business owner? Is your business developing the way you planned it?
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No matter how well-intentioned your business idea, things can go horribly wrong. When I vaulted into my first business in 1980, I hoped to be a successful, positive force for those around me, and an asset to my community. Seven years later, the day I declared bankruptcy, I felt crushed, enslaved, and worthless. Not the glory I’d envisioned.
So, you’ve gone to all the effort to get your venture off the ground and survived the start-up phase. Aside from the fact that you’re too busy to socialize much, or take holidays, your business appears to be thriving. In your circle of friends you might even be a bit of a hero.
Congratulations might be in order. In starting a business, you’ve achieved something that many people dream about but never do. But are things as rosy as they seem?