While I’ve never been the
best at anything, I know I have the potential to do great things. I wasn’t at
the top of my class, I didn’t win any contests, and I wasn’t good at sports,
but I have a burning desire to succeed. When I started a business I couldn’t
afford to fail.
I had great people working
with me and we had all the money we needed for the first two years. We focused
on execution and customer and operational excellence. People loved the product.
Everything was going really well. We won the outstanding entrepreneur of the
Finally, I was the best at
something. I was finally being recognized for my hard work and I was being
recognized for the person I really am. I was nominated for more awards and
asked to speak at conferences. The press would call me for quotes. I was on top
of the world.
The recession hit us much
worse than we expected. In six months, business was down 24% and we had to let
people go. We had reached our credit limits. We staggered on for three more
months and then had to call the administrators in to wrap everything up. We
were finally sold to our major competitor for 10 cents on the dollar.
When the business died, I
died. The business was me and I was the business. I feel like a total failure
and I can’t get distance from what happened.