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Entering the Second Tri-Mester
We can rebuild it: stronger, faster and better
than before

So far so good. The fact that the fourth issue of Burning Brain Creative Studio's "Paperless Newsletter" is hitting the street means that we've made it through our first quarter. I just used tri-mester to get your attention.

Which brings up a point that most would think I'm crazy to address: business failure.

We always share stories of success when it comes to business. It's a good thing to do. Many cultures have some sort of way for counting coup. Since we don't wear feather headdresses or have swords to put marks on we have to do it by measuring our career and financial successes. One way WE visibly count coup is by driving that nice Lexus coup around. No?

But what of failure? I've had 6 ventures in my career. Four have failed, one (Digital Delaware) is exceeding any expectations plus growing and the current one (Burning Brain) is thriving. Why on earth would I mention that I've been associated with four failures. What kind of value could that possibly bring to me or anyone else?

Tons. I would argue that I've learned more in the past two years while shutting down Division 51 than I could have ever learned in an MBA program. It has made me smarter, less reckless and definitely has shown me incredible humility. Aren't those all traits we attribute to the very successful? Well I had to learn them the hard way and I'm glad I did. But what would be the point of going through the struggle if I didn't share. Sharing lets others know there is someone with perspective to shed light or advice on a situation. So that others can make better decisions when its time to face reality.

Here's what I learned from every one of the failures:a total lack of focus combined with slow (not poor) decision making was the ultimate undoing.

In each of the four failures I had a different major situation occur, but every time it was focus and malaise that did the business in. Sticky partner separations, personal struggle or even geography have played into each situation. Those problems were only exacerbated by me losing focus, due to the distraction and then holding out on deciding things. Had I worked harder to keep my eye on the ball and listened to my advisors things may have been different.

Am I upset? Heck no. Burning Brain is being run by a well seasoned business expert that has learned that you have to stay within yourself, listen to your instinct and be decisive. He's smarter about business and is fundamentally more effective. Focused, focused, focused he is and a plan is in place. That business executive is me and I know that everything I've been through has prepared me for now.

I'm not bragging. I'm just sharing. I hope that if any of you have something you're going through you now realize that others have been through it too. And I'm sharing my data: That if you can find a way to muster courage to make the tough decisions and you don't take your eye off your target, even for a second you, can pull through.

And you know what? If you don't, you haven't lost. The old adage that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger is true. Realize that your trial by fire, no matter the outcome, is just business and you can rebound stronger, faster and better than ever. Remember Steve Austin? Well now you can say that you're a bionic business person after you've crashed and burned.

Business is risky, challenging, frustrating but most of all fun. None of us would be working this hard if we didn't like the struggle and the adrenaline rush.

Keep it up guys. I'm rooting for you.

| patrick |

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