Lessons learned from the death of a dream

Today I received a call from a friend, telling me that he and his partner had sold off their retail space. They hadn’t made it a year in their new venture. They were out of money. 

David’s girlfriend Tracy had quit her well-paying though unloved job to follow this passion. David himself had invested the remainder of his savings in it. 

Yet, it wasn’t making it. The location was a good one, just not right for their business. It was in an area people came to play, not to get healthy.

Lesson One: Calling it quits doesn’t have to bankrupt you

Here’s what they did. They saw how things were trending and decided to change it. David and Tracy saw the uptrend in their health drink business was anemic. Even if growth continued it wasn’t going to be enough to make a living for them. Not in the time frame they needed. 

So they made a decision to kill the dream while they could, rather than losing even more down the road  the retail space itself and their home.

They put the retail space up for sale and within a week it was sold. 

The platinum lining was this: They made $40,000 above the costs they’d laid out buying the unit and building it out. An approximate 40% return. Now they had their money back and then some. And they could breathe easily as they moved into a new phase in their lives.

Lesson Two: It took this to get to that (even better thing)

David mentioned four people off the top of his head he met through the retail space that became critical in the much larger venture he became a part of. Had he and Tracy not invested in that space it’s doubtful he’d be involved with a startup that can potentially change the world.

It’s common these days for the young to speak of changing the world  as they launch their design business, or t-shirt business, or whatever service. 

In David’s case, the startup he’s hooked up with truly has the potential to alter how the poor of the world are fed. 

(Organic hydroponics and farm-raised fish that are not toxic. All powered by renewables: wind and solar. As long as there is wind and sun and rain in a given area, the hydroponics and fish farm unit can be plopped anywhere. You’ll be reading about it in the years to come.)

Lesson Three: Relief is good

So yes, it was the death of a dream. But it’s also the birth of a new reality that looks like it will suit them even better. Not bad for a year’s hard work that didn’t pan out as intended.

With the threat of default out of the way, David is lightened up to pour even more of his prodigious creative energy into the startup that’s bewitching him. They have the funds to sustain them until the new venture catches fire.

How beautiful that they didn’t try to hang on and force an outcome that couldn’t be forced in that location.

Lesson Four: Being able to adjust quickly is the best way to soul surf your way to the best outcome

For you —

Evan Griffith
What creators do

Click here for the occasional thing from The World Is Freaky Beautiful.

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