Sunday, March 16, 2008

More learning from mistakes

From the New York Times, Sunday March 16, an interview with CEO James McCann:

In 1986 I bought the assets of a failed floral company in Texas called 800-Flowers and took that name. I thought I was smarter than everyone else and neglected to hire lawyers and bankers to do due diligence. I unknowingly signed for all liabilities, which I later learned was a debt of $7 million.

People advised me to file for bankruptcy. Then my grandmother took me aside and said: “This bankruptcy thing? We don’t do that. Find another way.” I worked like an animal to get out of that hole....

If you look at highly successful people, they make the same number of mistakes as others, but they recover quickly. They don’t sit around moaning about what they’ve done wrong.

A more complete retelling of this same mistake can be found in this article in Inc Magazine.

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