Every once in a while things fall into place, our wishes come true and the seeds we plant bear fruit. But inevitably, we’re bound to get stung by a territorial hornet. The strategic plan and common sense precautions fail to produce the expected results. Adversity strikes and the garden falls apart.
Maybe you lose your biggest client to a wily or better-connected competitor. Maybe demand for your services suddenly diminishes. You’re devastated and depressed, insulted even, and feeling like a truck ran over you. You’re frightened and wonder how the bills will be paid.
Nadine Thompson, founder and CEO of Soul Purpose, a New Hampshire based direct sales company that produces organic beauty products, knows this crushing experience intimately. In 1999, Thompson founded the herbal beauty care company Warm Spirit. The company gained national recognition, was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, counted actress Diane Keaton among its celebrity endorsers and had over $16 million in annual sales.
But in 2007, Thompson lost Warm Spirit in a hostile takeover that was precipitated by a power struggle over business strategy with a partner who was providing significant financing. To her horror, she realized that not only was she not an equal partner in the business with this financial investor and his partner, but she didn’t own even a single share of the company that she created and nurtured.
Shattered, yet determined to re-group, Thompson pulled herself together enough to realize her own complicity in the demise. Obviously, she neglected to perform basic due diligence and have her attorney and accountant parse the documents and explain to her the full impact of what she was doing when bringing on the investors. As a result, she unwittingly signed away her company in exchange for additional financing.
Fortunately, Thompson possessed enough clout to quickly secure financing for a new venture and she was able to launch Soul Purpose in 2008, less than two years after the takeover of Warm Spirit. Of her experiences, Thompson says “I believe more than ever that entrepreneurship is a journey…..Successful entrepreneurs are those who are able to learn from challenges and use resilience to bounce back from perceived failures.” Thompson reveals lessons she learned:
1. Entrepreneurship by definition involves risk. Accept that.
2. Opportunities for growth are often disguised as failures.
3. Intuition is a gift. Do not ignore it.
4. Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.
5. When criticized, hear it with a “grain of salt”, but always ask yourself what truth or opportunity for growth is embedded within.
6. Work not just hard, but smart.
7. Allow yourself time to rest and recharge your batteries.
8. Have faith in yourself and your vision.
Thanks for reading,