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My client and friend, Paul Purdue, founder of is in the midst of every entrepreneur’s nightmare – he’s going out of business, and he’s using his blog to chronicle what he calls “the demise.”
Until he threw up his hands and threw in the towel after six years of 14 hour days, he says in a post this morning, “you maintain the same faith and continue to believe that you can work out problems.”
“I just kept believing that I would find the right answer. Under capitalization and rapid growth did us in,” he told me.
Scoress of customers are venting on the blog, and Purdue is letting the laundry air in the name of transparency.
Growing too fast
The company recently doubled its warehouse space, created an incredible new infrastructure, got a slew of new clients through its new website (the creation of which, ahem, I am responsible for), was getting as high as 50% conversion on our Google Ads, and is still getting a constant stream of new business inquiries. But they ran out of money paying for it all. There were no investors. This was a one-man magic show grown into a multi-million dollar operation.
“As an entrepreneur, I have two main sides. There’s the guy that shows up for work, is always smiling, has enthusiastic plans, loves what he does – you get the picture. Then there’s the guy that lies awake at night worrying about money and infrastructure and other aspects of running a business. A big part of my job is to be the cheerleader; the guy that everyone turns to for inspiration and guidance.”
He’ll be back
“Now I’ve lost the company I built, and am starting over on a personal level.
But first, we’ve got to get everyone back together with their product!”
I doubt there’s an entrepreneur on this planet who can’t relate to this story. You can’t be an entrepreneur without being an optimist. You just keep saying, “if this doesn’t work out in three more months, I’ll give up.” People ask you how you sleep at night without knowing where your next check is coming from. You come up with a glib response and you live on air for a while. Because once your hard wiring is set for entrepreneur you keep giving it another three months and another and another. Sometimes you get the miracle. Sometimes you lose.
One thing I’m confident of: Paul Purdue will be back in some business some time soon. And the next one will really kick tushy.
UPDATE:Steve Outing at writes: “This is a great example of “transparency” — something we talk about a lot in media circles. It’s refreshing to see it in the business world. I suspect that Purdue has read “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” the popular new-business book of a few years ago that gave a prescription for new ways of doing business in a digitally networked world.”
Stephen Baker at Business Week Blogspotting writes:”One lesson here is that while you start a blog with one goal in mind, you may end up using it for something entirely different.”
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