The Business of Failure | Victor Benoun

Victor Benoun


There are times in life where it seems like no matter what you do, you are wrong. In spite of your best efforts, things just don’t go as planned. It can be in our relationships, with our friends or in business. Right now I am going through one of those times in business.

A transaction I have been working on for weeks is going South (not the direction I want) and there seems little I can do about it. I asked all the right questions up front in order to avoid exactly what I am going through right now. It happens. It was not deliberate or malicious, but a mistake. The problem is I am the one left to face all the individuals involved and explain why things are not working out.

I have been sick over this, lost a lot of sleep, and possibly burned a relationship, none of which makes this any easier to handle. So, all that is left is the truth. As problems arose, I called everyone involved and let them know what was happening. No, they weren’t happy, but they appreciated being informed so they could at least begin taking action and make other plans.

I don’t feel good about what happened, because I feel like I failed and let people down. That might sound like an overstatement or too dramatic, but it’s how I feel. The one thing I can say is that the parties involved appreciated the truth, no watering down or muddying the waters; it was the truth as clear as I could make it and it was delivered as soon as I knew there were problems.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is to communicate with the people you are working with. Of course, be kind and sympathetic. You can still be honest without being hurtful. However hiding the truth doesn’t help anyone.

It’s a reminder to me that life, people and situations are not perfect. Stuff happens, including failure. It’s part of life and part of business. When it does occur, based on my experience, I suggest you handle it as soon as possible. Tell the truth — don’t sugarcoat it. And, hopefully the truth, will set you free.