don't walk away

"Just leave the keys in the door and walk away"

Imagine your accountant telling you to do this?  After September 11th, my company went from three great years of growth and profit to half a million dollars in debt.  In the week following September 11th-  my phones stopped ringing, my purchase orders were cancelled and my store closed.  No one was shopping and inventory was piled in boxes to the ceiling for twenty square feet.

How can a small business come back from such a blow?  Day by day, I believed that if I could start my business once and succeed, then I could restart my company again.  Some days were excruciatingly painful; especially the days when I had to keep asking those to whom I owed money to be patient.  We sold inventory to a discounter at a loss and took the hit.  We cut staff until there were two.  We refused to think we would not succeed.

Here is what I learned:

  • People will work with you and be patient if you are honest.  Every bill was eventually paid even though, in some cases, it took a year.  Everyone worked with me, as long as I was sincere in trying to send some money each month.  Lesson: be humble, ask sincerely and pay your bills.
  • Listen only to yourself and trust your own instincts.  Disciplining my thoughts daily, I did not allow doubt or fear to creep in.  I banished any idea that I would not succeed.  Some days it was very difficult and tears welled up in my eyes, but I refused to believe in fearful thoughts.  It worked.  I found ways to keep going and built my business to an even greater size within two years.
  • Hard work will not kill you.  An old saying and so true.  Do whatever it takes to keep going.  Push past the bad days and as Winston Churchill said, "when you are going through hell, keep going."
  • Most importantly, I learned that what we think will happen does happen.  Your thoughts create your future.  Think success, refuse to be afraid and keep trying to find solutions- and, you will.