Pete Brand
Grand Rapids, MI

I am married to an incredible woman named Amanda and have five amazing children. I would consider myself an entrepreneur and absolutely love the challenge of building businesses. I also love the journey of personal development. I don't believe in drifting through life on auto-pilot. I believe we are presented each day with opportunities to improve and become better. I choose to embrace these opportunities and use the lessons I learn to become a better "me" and continuously strive to embrace each moment!

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Why Do So Many Businesses Fail?

By on August 20, 2009

Since beginning this experiment I’ve had a lot of time to think about things during my seven mile walks each day.

It seems all we hear about in the news lately is how all the mega-corporations are failing.  Whether it’s a company that is completely destroyed and forced out of business due to corrupt managment, or the government needing to jump in an bail out the automotive companies.

The fact that I even know what’s going on in the world is amazing, since I boycotted the news back in January and haven’t began watching it since that time.  Unfortunately I spend a good amount of time with Twitter and see all the doom and gloom headlines each day.  THANKS ALOT TWITTER!!!

My heart goes out to those of you who make the evening news a part of your evening schedule.  I am surprised there aren’t more people who climb in the bath tub and open a vein with all that depressing news.

Well, I promise I’m not here to give you some solution on how the big mega-corporations can fix themselves for a couple of reasons…

The first reason is I believe they’ve been doing things the wrong way for too long to improve overnight.

Secondly I don’t have a clue of how to run a mega-corporation, nor would I have the ability to articulately lay out a solution.  If I could, I’d be swimming in a room full of cash.  🙂

I do know something about small businesses though.

I can remember the day I started my first business.  I was so excited and absolutely knew I was going to set the world on fire.

I looked at all the companies I’d be competing with and could give you a list of things they were doing wrong.  I spent some time putting together a plan which addressed all these deficiencies, chose a name, got business cards, and eliminated all the other excuses I could think of as to why I wasn’t ready to get started.

Then it was time to begin and I sat there scared to death questioning whether my plan was going to work.  This fear left me completely paralyzed.  What if it didn’t work?  What if nobody wanted to buy from me?

Does this sound familiar?  I bet it does.

If you’ve ever been a first time business owner it is impossible to know what to expect and more importantly how to deal with the challenges you are going to face.

What happens when the excitement of making your first sales wears off, and you have your first rough week where you get no sales?  Well if you are anything like me you begin to panic!

That’s very normal and unfortunately, more often than naught, it paralyzes you.  Paralysis typically leads to inactivity, and inactivity leads to the death of your business!


I recently had a conversation with a first time business owner about this exact situation.  I mentioned to him that we have absolutely no control over whether our prospective customers want our services now, whether they want to spend their money at this time, or whether they make the decision to pick up the phone to even discuss your services.

The only thing we have control of is the actions we complete on a day to day basis.

Although it is difficult to train yourself to celebrate the victory of accomplishing your planned daily activities … it isn’t impossible!

I believe companies fail for a variety of reasons.  Some companies are under capitalized, some companies lack the technical knowledge, but I believe most companies fail because the leadership doesn’t have the mental toughness to weather the storms that will DEFINITELY come.  The first time they don’t have the funds available for payroll, or their star employee decides to join the competition … they immediately fold up their tent and go home.

I believe that if  business owners had a strong belief in themselves and their ideas, stuck to their plan, kept a positive attitude during difficult times, and focused continuously on the only thing they can control … THEIR ACTIONS … everything would be just fine and far fewer businesses would be folding.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve ever found yourself in these same situations and how you dealt with it.  Also, if you know of anyone who has recently started a business I’d encourage you to give them a call and support them.  Entrepreneurs are going to make or break our economy in the future and they need as many people encouraging them as possible.  Don’t let all those negative people be their main source of advice.  If that ends up being the case … you haven’t even seen a bad economy yet.