Knowing When to Pull Back

Sometimes the hardest thing for me, and I’m sure for many others, is to pull back cold turkey on a business which I have become emotionally or financially invested in. Thankfully that is exactly what I managed to do just a few days ago.

I was planning on purchasing a music portal. Music is a logical business extension for me and the portal was an easy start. One of my long time business partners, Aron, would also be involved. Sure we were going to spend around double the asking price to renovate the site, bring it back up to our standards, add some features and encourage the current user base (with less than 7% of it being active) to return. Still, we liked the company, the script and connections, and we figured that bringing back just 20% of the users would make the investment worthwhile.

Sadly, the asking price then doubled. A new buyer had joined the bidding process, leaving us an 8 hour window to re-bid. After the heat of the moment we decided to not rebid. A small increase in price was acceptable for our plans but doubling meant that the entire nature of our strategy had changed. It was hard – we were both very emotionally invested in the company and knew we could do well with it. But with the upfront cost doubling, and us still needing to pitch in another 50% to change the site fundamentally, the company no longer held a value for us. Yes, there are still sore spots but ultimately we made the right call, buying a business while on an emotional high is never a solid idea.

Just remember, every time something changes don’t immediately adapt. Sit back and think ‘is this now something I want to be involved in?’.