Founder Confessions is a weekly series brought to you by StartupsAnonymous.com, a place where entrepreneurs can share stories, confess and ask questions anonymously. This series features a collection of confessions from entrepreneurs in the trenches. Their submissions are anonymous, allowing them to speak freely without fear of retribution. To contribute a confession and be a part of this series, visit http://startupsanonymous.com to see the current confessional topic on the right side bar. You can also follow StartupsAnonymous on Twitter at @startupsspeak
When you're a risk-taking entrepreneur, missteps are bound to occur. Whether you took on the wrong business partner or signed too long of an office lease, bad decisions can seem to haunt you forever.
The good news is, you're not alone. Every entrepreneur has made a bad decision at one point or another.
Last week, in part one of this series, we brought you seven confessions from entrepreneurs on the worst business decisions they've ever made. This week, the series continues with eight more entrepreneurs confessing their biggest regrets:
1. "I can think of so many things I did wrong! One of my biggest mistakes was being literally paralyzed by fear. It costed me so much time. I literally would sit and contemplate every bad thing that could possibly happen. What if I lose my house? What if my husband divorces me? What if I lose the respect of my kids?
Now, I know better. Action crushes fear. Yes sometimes I am still a little afraid but I just get moving! I stay focused on my plan and move toward the goal!"
2. "I have started three successful companies and purchased one. Back in 1995 we borrowed $3 million to buy an existing brokerage firm--a terrible mistake. Never made any money after discovering, post-sale, all of the buried skeletons that came along with it. Buying a business is a fast but very dangerous way to grow. Wish I never did that! "
3. "My one mistake? Saying NO to radio shows wanting me on to talk about my advocacy effort. The greatest mistake I made in running my advocacy program is declining opportunities due to time constraints. Looking back, I could have juggled time or conflicting issues and simply got the interview done. Free exposure beats no exposure ANY time. To have the opportunity come to you is huge."
4. "I will never again have a business partner. I've been burned twice, losing two companies I cofounded in the process."
5. "I wish I hadn't signed a long-term lease for more office space than I needed. The business was going through tremendous growth so I thought I was planning for the enormous company we were going to soon become. Then, the business slowed down--a lot--and I had all this empty space, just waiting for the lease to run out. "
6. "I developed our pain relieving medical device for my son's shots, and when we developed our tagline and our url we were totally focused on just that--pain relief for shots. We knew the pain blocking vibration/cold mechanism worked for all kinds of pain, but were focused on one tiny sliver of a great big pain management market. I wish I had broadened our name from the beginning, as we're still fighting the perception that we're only for shots!"
7. "I founded my firm in 1990 and took on a partner in 1996. He insisted on a 50/50 split. I should have insisted on 49/51 split because it made decision making and other matters more difficult than they should have been.
Then when I sold the firm in late 2012 to a larger NYC-based firm, there was way more drama than necessary."
8. "Prior to starting my company, my wife and I coordinated our hours very well; we would plan a rendezvous each day to catch up and spend a little time together. When the business was starting, I was running out of daily hours and would only see her asleep at nights. I'd wake up early in the morning and get to work. Communication slowed down to a standstill. When I could finally get some time off of work, I'd be too exhausted to be fully engaged with my wife. I'd be too stressed out to listen to her. Those times were incredibly tough, and definitely put a huge dent in our relationship. A dent that took awhile to mend.
We're doing well now. We've sorted out our differences and arrange backup plans for the plans that we make. But I definitely regret neglecting my relationship."