Our company was scammed by our customer in early 2021.
We didn't get the money we were supposed to get, and the remaining contract with them was gone.
I don't want to go into details but my close friends know what happened to me.
Because of this, all of our sales plans and strategies for 2021 were ruined.
The life of the company is only 2 months, and our company has now arrived in Death Valley.
Now we have several options.
- Receive investment very quickly.
- I can also close the company.
- Eventually I decided to get a personal loan and try to keep the company.
However, putting my debt into the company bank account did not solve our company's problems.
Now we have to make money quickly. We've been making money, but we've never been able to make money quickly and easily, so I was worried.
We eventually decided to start offline AI boot camp in Korea.
I had a discussion with my team members.
I told them "We really don't have enough money, so let's start an education business."
Then one of my team left the company saying that he did not join the company to produce AI education content.
I was frustrated, but still 3 staff stayed with me.
We squeezed the remaining money to speed up developing the boot camp landing pages and we even advertised with very little money remaining.
I was desperate.
I was confident in what we were making, and I couldn't betray my teammates, who believed in me.
So I did not want to lose our company.
I distributed flyers for the AI bootcamp with my teammates at the station in front of the university where I came from.
I met my classmate at the station.
He said “What are you doing here?”
And I said "I am doing my best for my company."
In my spare time, I created educational content.
But it didn't make enough money.
I felt frustrated every night and drank cheap beer to sleep.
Every 2am before going to bed, I said to myself.
“It will be okay”
“I feel good this time”
Of course I was in pain. Every night, I felt guilty about why my company is in this state even though I am a victim of fraud.
I vowed to become a person who feeds the company with my own strength.
Even if the employees leave the company, even if the company is in crisis, I decided to build a business model where I can feed the company on my own.
I also sought advice from my alumni entrepreneurs.
They advised me to ask the people around me for help.
So I started asking everyone around me if there was anything we could do.
But we couldn't make a lot of money, and the personal loans I put into the company went away.
Around that time, we were lucky enough to be selected for a small government aid program.
Being selected for this program, we earned another two months of time.
Then I met one of my alumni entrepreneurs.
He told me that a businessman close to him was planning a large software development project, and he said he can recommend us to him because I was working hard.
Negotiating with the businessman required patience, but I finally signed a contract with his company and departed for Germany.
Our company eventually got out of Death Valley.
Now, we are bigger and we have a better team.
This experience changed me a lot.
I couldn't take a break even after the company became stable.
People around me tell me to rest, but I always think of this.
"Could the company survive if I hadn't worked hard?"
I think following reasons are why my company survives.
- I was lucky.
- I worked really hard.
- I did everything for company survival.
- I did not lose hope.
- I seek help from everyone around me.
My company may fall into crisis again in the future.
However, my hellish experience made me strong, and the lessons from Death Valley will help me when the company is in trouble.
The very bad time and the very good time are very close.
It happened in the blink of an eye for us to come out of Death Valley to a stable zone.
Let's not lose hope and keep working.
If you go in one direction when you get lost in the desert, your chances of getting out of the desert are slightly higher.
However, if you circle around in despair in the desert, you are more likely to die in the desert.
I guess I'm still in the desert with a sip of water.
Still, I'm trying to go in one direction little by little, sometimes not straight, but my scalar is always positive.
I hope that this article will give some comfort and hope to the entrepreneurs who are on a difficult voyage in the business ocean.