Friday, March 23, 2012


There is a street near my house that over the years has been populated by a variety of family-owned stores and shops. Hardware, car repair, boating equipment, restaurants, crafts, tanning and hair salons. Just a few years ago, a for-sale sign was a rarity that represented an opportunity, a host of possibilities and promise. Now nearly half of the properties sit vacant. Shuttered ghosts. Each for-sale sign silently marks the death of somebody's dream, their can't-miss idea, their daring pursuit of a passion, their golden future.

Did they fail because they didn't fully plan out their strategies? Listened to the wrong people? Not enough capital to last until the receipts could grow? A poor economy? A rush to embrace an ill-advised product or plan? It matters not. Each empty storefront represents a failure. A roll of the dice that lost. Bank accounts emptied, homes mortgaged, borrowed funds defaulted on. Bankruptcy is likely the lesser of the two pains compared to the death of a dream.