- Would you like to ruin a business?
- Have you been looking for tips that will guarantee you to fail?
- Want to screw up your next big deal?
I didn’t think so. That’s why you should read my friend, MJ Gottlieb’s new book How to Ruin a Business Without Really Trying: What Every Entrepreneur Should Not Do When Running a Business.
Because it will save you a lot of time, money, pain and aggravation to learn from someone else’s mistakes rather than your own.
Don’t own a business? His advice isn’t just for entrepreneurs. The same advice for an entrepreneur applies in the corporate world.
I recently had the opportunity to ask MJ to share his perspective with you. He writes with an honesty and humility about his trials and mistakes that will draw you right in.
Learn What NOT to Do
MJ, why a book on ruining a business?
When an entrepreneur starts a business, a tremendous amount of time, effort and (often) money is spent and great sacrifices are made at the expense of friends and family. That is a fact. It is also a fact that losing (ruining) a business after all that sacrifice can be an extraordinarily painful experience. What most people don’t realize is that they can significantly mitigate the risk of failure by learning from the mistakes of others before the clock starts and the stakes are for real. If you truly study brands, you will see a pattern of common-thread mistakes that most businesses both past and present seem to share in common. The ones who are willing to recognize a mistake and quickly adapt, adjust and modify will survive, the rest disappear.
It’s not that aspiring entrepreneurs don’t want to learn from failure, I think society is simply focused too much on the end result (the success) and is viewing things through rose-colored glasses. Most of the information that I come across focuses on the small percent who are succeeding, as opposed to studying and learning from the vast majority who are not.
Statistics show 90% of start-ups fail and 70-80% of all businesses fail within 10 years. Despite these facts, the market is flooded with how-to books and courses on how to succeed. Here’s my concern with this. Every business is different with its own unique blueprint to success, so there is absolutely no way you can tell someone how to run their business. You can, however, find the key mistakes that most businesses seem to share in common to start to swing the percentages in the other direction and give more hope to the entrepreneur.
Learn From Adversity
How has adversity helped make you who you are?
I think it’s all about one’s perspective on the word. Corny as it may sound, I have come to crave adversity and look at it as yet another great opportunity to grow. The only reason I can see that perspective is because I operated from the other side for a very long time. When I was young, I ran away from everything and accomplished nothing. It wasn’t until I was able to turn around and look adversity in the face that I was able to take the power away from it and use it to my advantage.
I think adversity not only makes you a stronger person but also is the only way to see what you are truly capable of. I think there should always be adversity to some extent, as it will always challenge us to grow. Without adversity there is complacency, which I think is a four-letter word. I always want some goal ahead of me that I have not yet achieved or some stumbling block I have not quite yet moved aside.
For example, basketball was my salvation, and I played every day until I couldn’t play anymore and had to get my hip replaced. I still do two hours of physical therapy every night because I not only want to get back on the basketball court but also want to dunk again. The doctor says that is most likely not going to happen. I say it most likely will. While he is showing me the adversity, I choose to take it as a challenge and an opportunity.
Take me to the dark days after your first business failed. What were you thinking?