I’ve started penniless as cofounder of a successful business (at some point we had subsidiaries in 4 countries and considered #1 in our niche) needing high capital investment in fluctuating margin environments. Business was successful as long as I held control on the management and technical side, I am not a good salesperson but a great strategist, analyst and internal business leader.
Point came where due to growth, financial control was lost to others, who then decided they knew better.
I had a great team of which little by little the competent were kicked out and replaced by cheap labor ass-lickers, beyond my control.
I was asked to lie and cheat to the outside world, and resisted as much as possible not breaking the lines of law and loyalty to the business.
Yet I stayed, not leaving my baby kind of thing, and feeling responsible for the people I had originally motivated to take the risk with me. Until they were all gone, and …
Majority owners committed various fraud on a number of occasions, and tried to pin some of it to me. It didn’t work, but trust was completely gone. In the end, I had to “threaten” myself out of the business, they would not let me go – too much dangerous knowledge. I could have sued them which would have taken years, but for my own comfort, I decided to leave with virtually nothing.
While a few years back I was happy taking risks, and I still would like to, now there is a wife and kids. I’m full of great business ideas with financial plans worked out, but I can no longer (financially) afford to fail, or rather risk jeopardizing kids future. One needs to provide food on the table, a roof over the head, and education…
I tried to move on by mentoring for free and doing (too) little paid consulting. I’m not a person able to sell myself for some reason, one can not be good at everything and that’s why I partnered in the first place. I also know what happened is still haunting me as I was asked to go to various places, but cocooned by justifying to myself how much it would cost me and not earn anything from it while having to provide.
The family financial responsibility really twists my mind, and I know I can only be successful if I manage to partner with people who have complementary competences.
How does one get past being afraid of the financial risk of failure for a young family?
How does one get past being afraid of partnering with others?