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Only you know!

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A couple of years ago, my partner and I had developed a new drink.

It tasted great, we used natural ingredients to make it, and the gross margin was substantial. If we could find consumers who enjoyed it, it was a business we could scale. But the brand name was wrong, the customer we were targeting was unfocused, and the reason why one should buy this drink in the first place remained unknown.

We had invested large sums of money in developing this product, so we wanted it to work. We tried to retweak the concept in all directions, to no avail. I was personally growing frustrated and desperate.

One of my acquaintances is a billionaire. He is a very successful entrepreneur. He is sharp in his statements, cunning and doesn't waste a second of his time on dull topics.

One day, we met again at a party. We were all nibbling on "petits fours" and chit-chatting. He was narrating his many adventures and how he had started his business which led to his current wealth. I was listening attentively.

Then, he asked me what I was currently doing. I explained my drink project in the best terms I could. I wanted it to sound like it was promising, but I knew it wasn't. I was in doubt, and it showed. He probably sensed it. I asked what he thought of my venture nonetheless. I wanted him to reassure me and to tell me I would be okay. But I couldn't expect reassurance from such a bold man.

He posed and looked at me straight in the eyes. His gaze fired right through my brain. I was transfixed. Then he said: "Only you know if it's going to work!"

To this day, his words still resonate with me: "Only you know if it's going to work!", "Only you know if it's going to work!", "Only you know if it's going to work!".

Then I asked myself honestly: "Eric, is this business going to work?". "No!" I thought. Could I find a way to make it happen?

I didn't have the spiel anymore, and I didn't think I had the necessary energy to go forward with this project. I ceased to hope, and I quit because I knew it was over.

© 2017 ERIC WARE