"Wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.
This quote is very true for businesses nowadays, and I"m not just saying the successful ones, I"m talking about all businesses, because somebody had to risk everything they had to begin. Going into business they have no idea weather or not they will be successful, they actually don't even know if they"ll ever break even. So risking it all is what they had to do.
With the Columbia Company, Gert Boyle risked everything she had, once her husband died, by making the courageous decision to stay in business and try to work things out. She made many mistakes, as it was her first time ever running a business and seeing she never had the experience in the workplace. She faced scrutiny from her employees, so she fired many of them, and at one point in the companies history, it was only Gert and her son Tim running the business.
With a decrease in sales, down to $600,000, the year following the death of her husband and Columbia founder Neil Boyle, Gert and Tim lost thousands in inventory due to retailers who couldn't sell there products, many of the retailers going broke didn't help much either. Later, when Columbia received rush orders, the two hired seamstresses who were inexperienced in the field, those same workers made many pants that didn't even fit the right size. They also ordered many fabrics for their apparel in colors that nobody wanted, including the infamous Hotdogger, which was made of shiny fabric that was so slick that a skier who fell while wearing this snowsuit, would continue down the mountain being unable to stop. Can you say, where's the sled when you need it?.
In 1973, with a net worth of negative $300,000, Gert decided to try to sell the business after being pressured by their bankers. The only final offer that Tim and his mother received was a measly $1,400. Now this got Gert all fired up, she wasn't going to have that, and she responded by saying and I quote, "Why should I let you have all the fun? For $1,400, I"ll gladly run the business into the ground myself.