By Jim Small, an EO Arizona member and managing director of Sante International
When faced with challenges, people often say, “When it rains, it pours.” In my time as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to carry an umbrella around because the setbacks that happen on a daily basis can oftentimes seem like a torrential downpour. Like my EO peers, I embrace hardships and see them as opportunities to learn and grow. They make me who I am. And if you meet them head on, if you embrace them, you’ll discover what you’re truly made of. A few years ago, I faced a challenge that shook me to the core. Forget the downpour— I wound up in a personal tsunami.
A Storm before the Hurricane
After running a successful startup for three years, I decided to kick into hyper-growth mode and franchise my property management business. Although it had been posting consistent profits, it was time to take it up a notch. I decided to follow the textbook formula I learned in business school. I added franchise talent to my sales team, raised capital to support our upcoming volume of business and filled out the necessary paperwork to expand the franchise nationally. But about a year into the ramp up, we had only sold four franchises and spent well more than US$2.5 million. We had hit a dead end.