I watched the film Flight; the premise of the film is that only when you face up to your failings can you develop, grow and be happy. I speak to business owners about how everything we do in life leads us on to the next thing and that we are always meant to be exactly where we are at that moment in time (even when you are in the Sht)! We may not understand the lesson at that moment but nevertheless we have to trust that there is one.
I developed my skills and experience and a business with a partner, I met all the challenges of growing a start-up business, but it all went south between myself and the landlord and the partner. I was left with a bankruptcy order and a debt and with no business assets as they had been stolen.
Sometimes you do a good job and get a bad result – it is how you deal with disappointment and what you do next that set your path.
The brewing company in 2006 tied me in to a rotten contract and then made me bankrupt. I signed the contract and so cannot cry about it now, however, I am in good company with Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Donald Trump and Elton John; the bankruptcy order last for one year.
Could I have done it differently?
I remember Peter Thomson coined the phrase ‘don’t deal with tossers’ (DDWT). I did not like or trust the landlord and I knew the business partner did not have a business mentality. I have to take full responsibility for my action to continue despite this warning; the risk did not pay off and the result is mine to own. Perhaps I would make a different decision but this is with the benefit of hindsight – regret is a waste of energy.
What have I gain?
· The business skills I did not experience doing my Cranfield MBA.
· Ability to evaluate not only the financial but the cultural impact and if necessary to walk away.
· Better people and leadership skills and experience.
· Courage and conviction to trust my instinct and walk away when it does not feel right?
· The knowledge that happiness is a choice.
· Humility and Gratitude.
As painful as the experience was – I would not want to change it. If like me you believe you are meant to be exactly where you are at that moment in time, then even if I had made a different choice, there is nothing to say that result would be any different. Life deals you some hard lessons; all you can do is learn them and move forward with the insights.
What have I learnt?
· Trust your instincts (DDWT) and walk away with a clear conscience.
· You choose to create your own happiness.
· The harder the lessons – the bigger the insights.
· You are meant to be actually where you are at that moment in time.
· You can survive anything if you choose
· Enjoy the journey every day is a blessing.
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.