How to Sink a Business in Two Years or Less

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This post has stuff about religion. My perspective has changed

I can think of a few times in my life where “playing it safe” would have benefited me. This is one of those times.

Back in 2006 I received a couple leads for website design work. The synapses in my brain began firing at an abnormal rate. At that point I should have noticed that I had, more than likely blown a mental fuse that, more than likely was preventing me from full on entrepreneurial hysteria.

That frenzied dreamland thinking landed on the idea that I could, in fact, quit my well paying job at a large international company with benefits, vacation, and a 401k. The simple prospect of going it on my own sent me over the edge.

I was delusional with entrepreneurial delight. I was just delusional.

I eschewed solid—safe—advice from the veterans of business building (Entrepreneur). I did not wait until my little company was working me hard after hours. Nor did I wait until I had saved up for start-up and living expenses.

I went balls out. Quit my job. A week and a half later I was the proud owner of a shiny new S-Corp. The S-corp, I reasoned, is what the “Big Dogs” wanted to do business with. I chose the stupidest name ever. I spent a month building my website. Then I started looking for business.

Oh but it doesn’t stop there. I was having a hard time drumming up clients—despite being a member of the Chamber of Commerce—so I decided to sink a few hundred bucks a month into a business advisor.He was awesome. I would use him again under the right circumstances—but still, business was meager at best.

And so I became broke. I had pulled in a few clients here and there but not enough to keep me afloat. And there in my broke, delusional stupor, I made a wonderfully poor decision: Get a LOAN ! Someone should have beat me right then and there. I would not have listened—I was drunk and high off the idea that I could be a successful consultant. A freelanceer with no ties to “The Man.” The powerful and independent American entrepreneur.

You can guess how it ended. I burned through the money faster than an Arizona forest fire. The business failed and I was 24 thousand in debt. It was a long, slow death that was doomed from the start. Had I played safe, taken my time, I probably would not be in the financial mess I am today.

That said, it was a hell of a ride—both illuminating and invigorating. But I would turn it down for the stable, corporate career path I was on in a heartbeat.