A recent Entrepreneur.com article about Max Brenner, founder and owner of Blue Stripes: Urban Cacao shop, is chock full of solid advice for any entrepreneur. The story details how Brenner started an amazingly creative chocolate company in Israel and then sold a majority stake to a corporation as he sought to grow internationally. He even started a second chocolate shop, only to lose both his companies in a legal battle and then be banned from making chocolate for five years. He felt he had descended into hell. But he is now back in business as a chocolatier once again, doing what he loves and being happy he learned so much from the depth of personal, financial, and professional hell.
As I read the story, three lessons in particular popped out at me:
The article made me wonder if Brenner had hired the right CFO or controller early on, could that person have acted as a strategic partner, helping Brenner to achieve organic growth without giving up control or seeking outside capital?
Too many entrepreneurs take on partners or seek funding with poor terms. But a strategic, forward-thinking CFO can really make a difference. I’ve seen it myself with many of my client companies.
I would love to know what you think about Brenner’s story and my take on it. Email me at email@example.com.