A Tale of a Business Failure
A Tale of a Business Failure
Author: John D. Davis
Pages: 292
Language: English

A Tale of a Business Failure is a story of how a highly successful company quickly eroded and failed. The impact of the company on the shareholders lives modified behavior and decision-making to the point that the company was directly affected. This is not a story about why businesses fail. Instead, this is a story about how my company failed and how the shareholders lives were forever changed. Unfortunately, my education, training and experience were not enough to prepare me for the events that led to the demise of this company. Businesses fail. It s that simple. Research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that 56% of startup businesses do not survive past four years. With the odds being against an entrepreneur, what makes them even try? In my case, it was simple. I already started and built a successful public accounting practice. Additionally, I had acquired a troubled company in the transportation industry and completed a successful turn-around. I knew that I was smart enough to be successful again, so failure never even entered my mind. When the opportunity presented itself again, I was eager and jumped at the chance. But the deal did not go as planned. After having fantastic initial success, we soon struggled tirelessly and endlessly to find solutions to save our company. But we could not. As a financial professional, this event is much too embarrassing to share. In fact, after drafting most of the book, I put it in a drawer never wanting to show it to anyone. Why share such a personal failure with the world? I continued to ask myself. Besides, I realized that the company and the story faded to darkness and I was spared public embarrassment for failing. I was safe. Over time, I also realized that I was constantly drawing on my failure experience when counseling my business clients. My experience was allowing me to help identify dangerous conditions and head off disasters before they occurred. I learned more than I ever realized. The more I reflected on the story, the more I realized that the lessons were too valuable to stuff away in a desk drawer. The tale needed to be told. Others needed to benefit from my story. What happened to our company and how we dealt with our continued adversity is only part of the tale. How it affected our lives is the other part of the story. I was not alone in this tale and my actions and reactions affected everyone involved. Functioning with continued stress takes its toll on a person and everyone has a breaking point. The combination of the personal and business failures makes for interesting lessons. Although I present this as a story about one company, the lessons are deep and far reaching. Anyone that currently owns a business- is contemplating owning business- is involved with a business as a consultant, banker, or lawyer- is a business educator- or is a student of business will benefit from reading this story. I will be surprised if anyone can read this story without getting at least one shiver down their spine.

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