Out of Disaster

Great Ideas Come Out of Recessions & Disasters

James Audubon, a famous early American frontiersman, started out in business where he changed locations, partnerships and eventually failed when hard times hit. He was jailed briefly for bankruptcy. Finally he set out to pursue his passion for the American frontier. He was an excellent hunter and artist so he travelled the country drawing birds and wildlife which earned him a place as one of the greatest wildlife artists.

Problems, recessions, disasters make us re-think where our passions really lie, they force us to develop creative solutions.


Self-help births a successful business

Many years ago, Australian businessman Christian Oey couldn’t find anyone or any company to help him sort out his financial mess to avoid him going bankrupt. He writes recently: “Since no-one could help me, I became my first client and our first company guinea pig out of necessity. Today we help a multitude of people as well as being a profitable organization”.

Correction is big business!

One day, a secretary working for a small company in Minneapolis began mixing flour with nail polish to white out the mistakes in her typing. Soon her colleagues and people in other offices began asking her for it too. The demand became so great that she quit her job and began working full time from home, manufacturing what she called “Liquid Paper”.  A few years later, the Gilette Corporation bought the secretary’s company out for $47 million in cash. That might as well be $1 billion in today’s money!

Start Thinking

Where there is a widespread and unsolved problem there is an opportunity to start and build a successful business. I’m sure the founders of Twitter, Facebook, Google and Apple were one day frustrated about something that triggered the thought “Wouldn’t it be great if……”

Start Where You Are

You don’t need to start big - small beginnings are more sustainable long term.

Start Planning

Without concrete steps towards your ideas, you will go no-where!

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of ‘Win In Business’ and ‘Building your Business, your People, your Life’ and keynote speaker.

'Failing Forward' is available for order at www.peterirvine.com.au

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