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Topics relating to managing people and relationships

Hijena1

Bronze Contributor
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Oct 1, 2018
91
124
Germany
My friend and I started the business renting wedding lighting equipment.
It was his idea and me being me gladly invested around 6000$.
That being said I borrowed around 4000$ from my parents.(20 at the time that was a lot of money + we don't live in the US).
Not an easy decision, but I was willing and determined to succeed. We bought equipment and the guy who was selling (my friends friend) promised us some of his customers because he was already deeply involved in the same thing, exhausted and wasn't being able to scale the business.

"Everything is perfect, we are going to make some money" I thought.
Well.. not so perfect.

The first customer was already interested and we were only one weak in the business.
Excitement started to built up.
I was also the technical guy, programming lights, operating, promoting, getting to know a lot of people plus eating and drinking every time while working. Can't complain.

Little by little we found more and more customers. Most of the time we could easily find another customer already on a wedding.
After little success we decided to take 2000$ earnings and order some LED stripes (they were very popular at the time) from China.
I was thinking "Great, more work more money we are rich$$$"
After that the ship started to sink.
One day he comes by and I saw a new car.

Me: Is that your car?
He: Yea.
Me: Awesome where did you get the money?
He: Uhm.. you know my brother and dad borrowed me.
Yea, right.
Few days after he declared that we don't have more customers and can't work anymore.
It was not a big surprise to me but F*ck it we have LED business still going on, right?
"Uhm.. you know there was a big problem at customs and they have taken all our commodity because we ordered too much".
What the hell are you kidding me?

Long story short I was left with nothing, in a debt, used by my long time "friend". I also had another so called friend that stole 3500$ savings from my house. 16 so called friends are now gone. Lesson learned.
Be aware there are some bad people in business. Cheaters, scammers, liars, sociopaths ever psychopaths who are pretty intelligent by the way. MJ mentioned in his book doing business with religious woman who was just stealing from him, took him a while to figure out. When greed for money and power starts to kick in people tend to change the face, morals and ethics.
Choose wisely who you trust.

Red flags?
My were:
Not paying attention what is my "friend" doing with money.
I was already familiar with cases of him stealing from other people - ignoring.
Someone lied to me.

Small story of me being stupid. Maybe it can help someone to distinguish real friends/partners from fake ones.

What are your bad experiences doing business?
I hope you are doing well.

PS. I am non-native English speaker.
 
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Last edited:

superb

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Sep 8, 2013
139
212
My friend and I started the business renting wedding lighting equipment.
It was his idea and me being me gladly invested around 6000$.
That being said I borrowed around 4000$ from my parents.(20 at the time that was a lot of money + we don't live in the US).
Not an easy decision, but I was willing and determined to succeed. We bought equipment and the guy who was selling (my friends friend) promised us some of his customers because he was already deeply involved in the same thing, exhausted and wasn't being able to scale the business.

"Everything is perfect, we are going to make some money" I thought.
Well.. not so perfect.

The first customer was already interested and we were only one weak in the business.
Excitement started to built up.
I was also the technical guy, programming lights, operating, promoting, getting to know a lot of people plus eating and drinking every time while working. Can't complain.

Little by little we found more and more customers. Most of the time we could easily find another customer already on a wedding.
After little success we decided to take 2000$ earnings and order some LED stripes (they were very popular at the time) from China.
I was thinking "Great, more work more money we are rich$$$"
After that the ship started to sink.
One day he comes by and I saw a new car.

Me: Is that your car?
He: Yea.
Me: Awesome where did you get the money?
He: Uhm.. you know my brother and dad borrowed me.
Yea, right.
Few days after he declared that we don't have more customers and can't work anymore.
It was not a big surprise to me but f*ck it we have LED business still going on, right?
"Uhm.. you know there was a big problem at customs and they have taken all our commodity because we ordered too much".
What the hell are you kidding me?

Long story short I was left with nothing, in a debt, used by my long time "friend". I also had another so called friend that stole 3500$ savings from my house. 16 so called friends are now gone. Lesson learned.
Be aware there are some bad people in business. Cheaters, scammers, liars, sociopaths ever psychopaths who are pretty intelligent by the way. MJ mentioned in his book doing business with religious woman who was just stealing from him, took him a while to figure out. When greed for money and power starts to kick in people tend to change the face, morals and ethics.
Choose wisely who you trust.

Red flags?
My were:
Not paying attention what is my "friend" doing with money.
I was already familiar with cases of him stealing from other people - ignoring.
Someone lied to me.

Small story of me being stupid. Maybe it can help someone to distinguish real friends/partners from fake ones.

What are your bad experiences doing business?
I hope you are doing well.

PS. I am non-native English speaker.

That sucks! You've learned a valuable lesson that I'm sure you won't quickly forget. The money you lost was not spare change. The good news is you are more likely to avoid making the same mistake down the road when even larger sums of money are involved.
 

sparechange

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 11, 2016
2,805
4,363
Canada (Vancouver)
That sucks! You've learned a valuable lesson that I'm sure you won't quickly forget. The money you lost was not spare change. The good news is you are more likely to avoid making the same mistake down the road when even larger sums of money are involved.


Hi, you called me?
 
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Xeon

All Cars Kneel Before Pagani.
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Sep 3, 2017
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Singapore
To quote from one of Peter's post (a legendary ex-member) :

"If partners are so great, why didn't God have one?"
(in this context, partner refers to business partners and not romantic ones)
 
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GoGetter24

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 8, 2017
566
1,166
Various
I don't get why stories like this rarely end with "so I sued him".
You guys must be much more "lesson learned", "chalk it up to experience" than I am. I wouldn't rest until the sheriff had finished auctioning off his stuff.
You don't have to bring lawyers in for these kinds of sums. Usually up to 10k (depends on jurisdiction) you can do it yourself in small claims court.
 

Hijena1

Bronze Contributor
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Read Unscripted!
Oct 1, 2018
91
124
Germany
I don't get why stories like this rarely end with "so I sued him".
You guys must be much more "lesson learned", "chalk it up to experience" than I am. I wouldn't rest until the sheriff had finished auctioning off his stuff.
You don't have to bring lawyers in for these kinds of sums. Usually up to 10k (depends on jurisdiction) you can do it yourself in small claims court.

You are right, but I don't live in the USA and knowing our court system that would probably be a big fail. On the other side if you mentioned me, the words "court" "sue him" when I was 20 years old that was a big NO-NO deal.

At this moment I share your mentality and if something like this happens ever again I guess "court" is my best friend.
 

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
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What happened to the business? Can't you go on by yourself? You don't quit a business when 1 problem comes up. You solve it and move on. A business is 100 problems solved, quitting after 1 is just plain foolish.

Sorry to hear about your story.

PS. I am non-native English speaker.

You did just fine, welcome to the forum.
 
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Private Witt

Gold Contributor
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Feb 20, 2018
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Oklahoma
What are your bad experiences doing business?

My first business attempt in Colombia was going so well for six months. I structured my business and partners with no problem until I met someone in a similar field and had a brief conversation and sent a business proposal.

He had a strong digital presence and seemed on the level with a ton of collaborations.

He never returned about the proposal or my last mail. Weeks later he rendered a bill for services in an email at a ridiculous cost. I was like, WTF is this and over the next three months I was systematically extorted, bullied and my work attacked. He ended up threatening to kill my family and other fun stuff. Documented and reported to police.

Nothing worse than a thief and scammer using professional skills as a front to wreak havoc.
 

Hijena1

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Oct 1, 2018
91
124
Germany
What happened to the business? Can't you go on by yourself? You don't quit a business when 1 problem comes up. You solve it and move on. A business is 100 problems solved, quitting after 1 is just plain foolish.

Sorry to hear about your story.



You did just fine, welcome to the forum.

Thank you MJ for your support.

The deal was like this: he sells me the equipment + one customer. Later on I find out that an owner(customer) of wedding hall was in some kind of collaboration with him (the owner was also a dickhead, I had to fight for payments for 5 months after the work was done) moreover he got angry because I work with other customers?!?
After that, he just pulled all of my other customers back to himself because he knows the owners.

Please keep in mind this was in the small town of 30 000 ppl.

But it is just an another excuse I can see it now.
I didn't do enough.
I will never quit again.
 

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