Here is a story I read recently that inspired this topic:
"In 2009 I started a business that led mean down a path to a new one. One that would allow me to be creative and design a product I could stand behind and be proud of. I designed protective dog vests. Think bullet proof type vest. I sold t-shirts with our brand on it and tbh I made more on the shirts then with the vest, but the vest are what brought on a loyal base of customers. So loyal in fact that at a handful of expo shows my customers would get into altercations with my competitors and visa versa. The niche was small and extremely loyal to their choice of vest due to the vest being the only thing between their best friend and life threatening danger.
Unfortunately the vest could not maintain sales strong enough to continue with manufacturing. Before I realized this I thought I just needed more money to market my vest and so I brought on a partner. After coming to my realization that the vests were an investment I need to stop to save my business and transition to a clothing company in my niche instead. That’s exactly what we did and we began seeing the money roll in. My partner behind my back ordered over $40K worth of vest to be manufactured along with new products what were abandoned during the transition. What happened next destroyed me for years. I lost over $150K due to this order. Trying to save the business once again which I failed at miserably the second time around. The manufacture stole all my designs which were not protected since the designs were scratched and sold them on eBay for a fraction of the cost and marketed them as my companies vest with a lower quality. This in return caused great confusion with my customers who would cal and complain and demand money back for vest falling apart in the field which I had no idea they even had since I stopped selling vest months prior. My reputation was ruined since I refused refunds for products I did not sell. My wife found a job and I went into a depression for a few years being a stay at home dad. I’m now working alongside my wife at her job and we are a few months away from starting our 3rd start up. We are more pumped and inspired than ever because we know a lot more now than before and we are ready to face those challenges all over again, but this time we have a secret weapon of experience to guide us through it."