In a family full of entrepreneurs I have committed the ultimate business atrocity.
It wasn’t for a lack of mentors.
I remember hearing stories from my grandfather who, after coming to the United States from Poland, built a lumber business. He didn’t know what to do with the extra lumber so resourcefulness led him into the cabinetry business. He repeatedly learned how to make the most of his resources, and excel in the world of business
My step-dad was the same. He was in the real estate business and doing quit well; however, he started becoming concerned with a potential housing crash. So, he decided to balance his business by including a rental and property management company.
Even my cousin, Erik, who owns a scuba diving charter in Maui, started taking people on ecological tours and learned how to be an amazing underwater photographer.
Each of these men learned how to build a solid business, and then expand that business into other areas.
As a small business owner you hear it all the time.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Build the foundation and diversify your offerings, your portfolio, and your revenue streams.
Being a spiritual seeker, I have noticed how easy it can be to jump from tradition to tradition, looking externally for just the right fit.
I remember Mark, the CEO of Heart of Business, sharing with me one day that although all streams lead to the ocean, it’s impossible to ever reach the ocean if you keep jumping streams.
However, that’s just what I did a few years ago.
At the time I had a pretty successful coaching business with over 1000 subscribers to my ezine, and a constant flow of new clients who were getting measurable results.
Instead of branching off into entrepreneur parents and building from my solid foundation, I leapt into compassionate communication for parents and kids.
With no safety net, little savings, and hardly any revenue, I went flying into the air with passion and ended smacking into the sidewalk with the reality of a Bankruptcy.
Now the good news is bankruptcy was not the end of the world. It afforded the lessons necessary to become an active participant in my finances. In truth, the experience, although painful, allowed me to learn, grow, and come back with even more financial fortitude.
Monday Mindfulness to Avoiding Bankruptcy
Don’t leverage a solid foundation without a transitional plan. If you have a current successful business see if there is a way to branch off into a new area, or if you have a full time job, see if you can go down to part time.
Take an honest inventory of your money and be prepared for the unexpected. I have a past client who is a mortgage lender. He had six months salary in reserve so that when the mortgage crisis hit, he was able to wait. Now that interests rates have dropped he has more business than he can handle.
Creating a business on credit only is like playing Russian Roulette. There is a point of no return where interest rates begin to climb faster than you can pay off your debt. Know your limits before you start borrowing and create an exit strategy if your credit hole is getting to deep.