As I mentioned a while back, I had things to say, and sometimes life is not always the easiest. I get the pleasure of attending my first deposition today, what a joy!!!! Yes I am being extremely sarcastic. Essentially, a business that I have been involved in had a partner, who was legally obligated to make monthly cash payments to the business. I went into financial obligations based on those cash payments. Unfortunately, my partners defaulted, paying $60,000 of a $680,000 debt. This action killed my cash flow, which ultimately caused me to default on my obligations. Needless to say, everyone is suing each other, trying to get paid, the attorneys are getting richer, and when all the dust settles, what you have is quite a few hard feelings, more bills, and little to no cash.
So why is this relevant. Here are a few valuable life lessons you can learn from my business failures:
1) Never give up control of the business, maintain at least 51% ownership
2) Don't expect that a legal binding contract will protect you. If your partner has more money than you, they can drag things out in court until you run out of cash, in the end, you loose
3) "Good will" in business is priceless, once you loose good will, your screwed
4) Forecast, plan for 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, nothing lasts forever, even if things are perfect now, all things come to an end
5) Don't take things personally, this is especially important, your business success or failure does not define you, what defines you is how you do business, how you approach life, the choices you make
6) Time heals all things, you still have to get up and get out of bed, because somebody out there loves you unconditionally, life gets better
7) Manage daily risk, everything is risk, getting out of bed and driving to work, the choices you make, the people you associate with, manage risk well, and you will be successful
I found out today that a former good friend of mine (We had a huge falling out) who hired me at Pebble Beach, who went on to an epic golf career at two of the most famous golf courses in the world, who had fancy cars, clothing line contracts, huge salaries, a beautiful wife and three children, lost it all. He is divorced, out of the golf business, selling in Portland. He judged me because I killed a business, I judge him because he killed a quality of life. Loose-loose as far as I am concerned.
Anyhow, so where do we go from here, the debt will likely get settled out of court, the company will get dissolved, you make better decisions next time, life goes on. Hug your kids, embrace your wife, and be grateful you can still enjoy sunsets, a glass of wine, and your children begging you to play ball.
"You move forward, because you have seen worse"