So you think you're having a bad day?

By Roger Bryan

I meet people all the time that want to be entrepreneurs. They all think that by opening their own company they will have the freedom to do what ever they want when ever they want. They think they are going to make millions early in life and then retire to a beach in the Caribbean. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not that easy. For every good day you have you’re going to have one equally as bad. My mentor Pat Morsillo once told me “Anybody can manage a company when everything is going right, the true entrepreneur is someone who can manage a company when everything is going wrong”. Well Pat today is that day for me….

The day started like any other with emails, dispatch, reports from the bookstore, and a quick chat with a few of my partners about various ideas. Once I had settled into my desk and started following up on open issues I found that a vehicle I had just gotten body work done on for a Federal Agency (which was a result of one of my transporters damaging it during transport) did not go so well. I had the vehicle towed back to them from the body shop only to get a phone call telling me the vehicle looked worse now then it did before the work was done. This isn’t what I wanted to hear but it happens so I brushed it off and sent the car back to the shop to get everything corrected. On a normal day this is about as bad as it gets… an unhappy customer and an easy fix… but this day wasn’t over yet!

Just an hour earlier I had received an invoice from my international shipping broker which seemed a bit high. I figured it was because we had changed software providers and we hadn’t seen an invoice in a while. Then came another invoice and another and another. By the time it was all said and done I had about $17,000 in outstanding international postage fees. I had to ask myself how did this happen? Am I this far behind or is something else wrong? The answer is both. The person (my employee) who set the account up gave the broker the wrong email address so I haven’t received an invoice in two months and to make matters worse the way I was calculating my shipping isn’t the same what the broker was. I was using exact weights for bulk shipments while he is using rounded weights by individual pieces. If you multiply 4000 units a month by just .25 of a lbs you get an extra 1000 lbs in shipping costs. This problem has yet to be resolved.

This is one of those days where I laid on my couch with a pillow over my head for about 20 minutes thinking to myself how in the heck did I ever get myself into this situation. Well the answer is I wanted to be an entrepreneur I wanted all the freedom and riches that come with that. I must have read the brochure wrong because no one told me there were going to be days like this!

All I want is a beach and a tall drink… all I get is poor body work, missing invoices, and incorrectly priced international shipping rates… this is the true life of and entrepreneur!

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