I’m in a mood. A snarky, take no prisoners, get out of my way type mood. My patience and tolerance is being tested today. So I’m using that energy to enjoy my most epic failures. Why not? Epic failures = legendary success. The bigger the fall, the better the climb and the taller the peak.
- When I tried to start a business that I knew nothing about at an age where responsibility was a word I was completely unfamiliar with. I was 19 and my father just retired. So, he had his retirement and we had my college savings which I had no inclination of ever using. I hated school and wanted nothing to do with it. It was an auto parts distribution company that my father purchased using both our funds. One of the biggest mistakes we ever made is not having an attorney review the purchase contract. (A mistake I’d make again, many times) It was a 35 year old company doing well and we thought just taking it over would be a breeze. What we didn’t count on was that the reason this 35 year old company was doing so well was because they had a 35 year old credit history with their vendors which gave them the deepest discounts making them the best priced distributor against all our competitors. When we took over? Our credit history started from scratch. Yikes! Our customers were buying our parts for less than we were paying for them. It took us all of 6 months to go bankrupt. We probably could’ve prevented it if we didn’t get brand excited and decide to change the name of the company. (That got real expensive really fast)
For me, I was young and had a lifetime ahead of me. To this day, it breaks my heart that we couldn’t make it work for my father – who pretty much spent the rest of his life trying to find success again. He never did.
- MLM – 13 years of failures to sum it up. For 13 years I listened to the hype and the sales and the people on stage. “If I could do it, so can you!” And I believed them. I spent more money in those 13 years than I ever made – and I made more money in MLM than 98% of the people who try it will. That should say something. However, all that disappointment in MLM has left me loving and enjoying the sweet taste of success today. I picked up some of the best sales and marketing skills ever by this experience. so let’s just pretend that was 13 years of education for where I am today.
- This is a long story that I’ve explained here in the blog post, Bad Publisher and how it’s stupid to ignore the red flags , but basically trusting a friend and thinking I didn’t need any sort of contract to back up our business venture. The one contract I had basically screwed me out of everything. This one still leaves me quite bitter and I’m still waiting for karma to bite her in the butt.
- This one sort of ties in with #2 but because it was different than sales I’m separating it. I was invited to be on the board of directors of a brand new network marketing Bitcoin company. The idea of Bitcoins really made my Libertarian feathers tickled pink. But, it really matters who runs a company and this company was poorly run. 20 of us invested $5000 in the board and had zero say in how it was run. The founder was stubborn and had the ego the size of Holland. He invited us 20 to be part of the board of directors, supposedly, because of our experience. But not once did any of our ideas make it to fruition until it was too late and the ship was already sinking. Less than a year later we were liquidating and we ended up with a small part of our original investment – which I fully didn’t think we’d get.
4 things but the amount of hours that went into these endeavors ranks up into the thousands. Thousands of hours spent pursuing things that’d never pan out but the lessons I learned were priceless. If I had to do it all again I would – and I’d make the same mistakes all over again if it meant I’d be where I am today. I’m just glad I don’t have to go through it.
There are a lot of people who are in the middle of their mistakes – they don’t know where they’re going, what they’re doing, and are spinning circles with no end in sight. Or, they feel like they’ve hit rock bottom. It’s a pretty challenging place to be – but the results of it are worth the journey. Remember you may be in the middle of your own story as we speak.
What is the biggest mistakes you’ve made and what did you learn from it?