Two Ways to Go BankruptSubmitted by Waterstone Wealth Advisors, LLC on June 14th, 2019
In my former career there were two particular colleagues who had a significant influence on the trajectory of my life. One was the guy I worked for and the other was to eventually become our largest customer. Both of these guys had inherited modest but profitable family businesses, and, over time, both of these businesses went bankrupt. Several years after I left the industry in case you’re curious. These guys were generally business savvy, good with numbers and had good interpersonal skills (in other words they could sell). And yet both companies went bankrupt and one of these owners went to jail for financial theft.
I knew both of them for some time and I sometimes wonder “What happened?” As I am familiar with a few of the details my best answer is the quote from Hemingway in “The Sun Also Rises”:
“How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways, gradually and then suddenly.”
Absent a catastrophe in our lives most of our failures, or bankruptcies, follow this course of many “not so good” decisions slowly accumulating until “suddenly” the dam breaks. Neither of these guys intended to bankrupt the family business or go to jail but yet these things happened. Many years of bad decisions followed by more decisions to cover the bad decisions led to this.
Our lives today are in significant part the outcome of our accumulated decisions. Not making a decision is a decision. We should periodically look at the decisions we’ve made over our lifetimes and ask ourselves “Have the decisions I’ve made served me well?” and “Why?”. Sometimes we can find ourselves wondering how we arrived where we are; answering and returning periodically to these questions may help you from bankrupting your happiness and contentment.
If you have a “best and worst decisions” you would like to share with us please feel free to share it with us.