Scary Halloween Business Stories: Surviving Business Challenges in Manufacturing

October 31, 2010 at 1:08 pm 3 comments

blocks_imageHalloween is here! The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation shares a series of “scary” business stories.  The entrepreneurs in this series generously and honestly share their business challenges, and how they recovered. The below briefs provide a realistic picture of business – a critical learning – as well as how to recover – and even MORE critical learning for young entrepreneurs….who knew rubber ducks could be so scary?

Down Under Disaster

By:  Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks

“Scary” Business Experience

“I was the president of a company that was the largest publisher of animation artwork from television commercials having created the first ever animation art lines for Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Bush, M&M/Mars, Pillsbury, etc., etc. I think you’ll get a kick out of that fact that I sold it off to start a whole new company that does a whole line of celebrity rubber ducks that were voted one of the top 100 gifts by Entertainment Weekly. …Here’s a scary story for you!! A lady came to us from Australia wanting us to create ducks for the Australian Rugby Union. To make a long story short, we ended up taking too small a deposit. Big mistake. We were put in an additional bad position when she told us she wouldn’t pay at all if we didn’t release the goods, which we didn’t have enough money to pay for the production of in the first place! It was very dramatic  story.”

How I Recovered

“In the end I learned a lot of good lessons….I always tell every budding entrepreneur I meet that they should always know that you are never without options… It’s easy to feel trapped when things aren’t working out the way you hoped. Believe in that and that’s pretty much the way things will unfold….In the end, we left that factory and began to work with better people than we ever could have hoped for. It was quite amazing and I learned a lot of valuable lessons in terms of trusting people and in not letting myself feel trapped as I described above so that we could move on and become even that much more successful.”

Learn More

CelebriDucks is the original creator of the first ever celebrity rubber ducks of the greatest icons of film, music, athletics, and history. They have produced CelebriDucks for the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NHL, NASCAR, NCAA collegiate mascots and also famous people such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Barack Obama, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, James Dean, KISS, James Brown, The Blues Brothers, Mr. T, Shakespeare, and the world’s first ever 100% recycled “Green” duck. To date they have created over 200 different CelebriDucks and have pioneered a whole new collectible.

Discussion Questions:

Complete Exercise 2-6 in on assessing risk in Module 2 of the Entrepreneur in the Classroom free curriculum. What types of risk make can you tolerate? Lead a discussion on the answers.

More information

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at  The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.

Related links:

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

Follow NFIB on Twitter

Follow blog author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter


Entry filed under: Business exercises, Challenges, Entrepreneur. Tags: , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

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