I’m now 5months past closing my newspaper, and it has been ugly – ugly – ugly. I have been using a LOT of mental power to get around this situation and through it. Family, Partners, Banks, Banks, Creditors have been VERY understanding and I have been working like a dog to get through, especially mentally – getting my mind off the huge defeat it was to lose:
a big bet and
a big team
a big dream
quite a lot of money
my head (for some time)
– and then refocusing and coming back to what I’m (supposedly) good at: Starting companies – catapulting people and ideas into reality – and identifying where (big) money meets stellar executors/executable visions.
But I need to confess (I was insecure + afraid + a self-centered dickhead towards 2 of my own soldiers) – but I can only see that now.
I have had a fallout with 2 guys from top management Svenn and Morten, and quite a lot of mud has thrown around. And I have been furious and felt that I was a victim – and I felt these guys where wrong/washing hands/burning me to look good/not sharing responsibility. But Monday this week at a pre-courtroom meeting I realized that it’s all about me being stupid and selfish and NOT LIVING UP TO THE ETHICS I WANT TO – put simply, I realized that my behavior was completely wrong (and yes it took me 5months). But I never had a lawsuit filed against me, never had to appear in court before and I intend to keep it like that. It took quite some time – but Im not too proud to change my mind and give a GIANT APOLOGY !
1) Jan/Feb 2008 I did a deal with my TOP management – I personally underwrote a 1 year salary compensation and some super-warrants (In case the venture should fail) – because I believed in them. I gave them my word.
2) Until the last day Morten (and Svenn) worked like hell – were present 24/7- hyper energetic – always very very very loyal – and hard as steel towards anyone who dared to say anything wrong about the project. Even the final “standing up in front of all employees” – they offered to take care of.
THE FALL OUT WITH TOP MANAGEMENT (Svenn and Morten)
3) During closing I was – scared like hell – didn’t dare to think through all consequences – Chose to listen to the advise of lawyers who didnt know what they were doing – and where our documents where.
3a) Monday morning 8.00 – I told Svenn and Morten that I would keep my word – but would have trouble honoring the money on time – and they would have to wait and help out – I would pay whatever urgent bills and do everything I could. I kept my word! They told me directly: We want our deal – not talk (hey, that’s my motto). NOTE: I was stupid – and I was not negotiating, just demanding – and felt they should suffer with me (also financially) and I did not think about Svenn and Morten’s security and real life economy. They where looking at a guy who just burned 150mio(DKR) – traveled the world – WAS very rich – talked about billions – and had no chance of knowing that I was at the time 99% bankrupt despite my huge portfolio – used private jets – had an art collection – was a clean tech (wannabe three-hugger) investor….
4) Tuesday one week later – During that upcoming week I did not dare to call Svenn and Morten – since I was not myself in the storm! And my x-lawfirm told me that the contract with TOP MANAGEMENT had never been signed – I made one of the worst mistakes of my life (confused, afraid and full of self pity) – I told Morten and Svenn that the contract was not signed and that I would not honour it. I broke my own rule number one I RAN FROM MY WORD – and of course they got insanely mad. I would have gone ballistic as well. Eepecially as the signed contract was at my x-lawfirms other office (Svenn used them). The rest is well know – I was accused of everything possible – and had to defend myself – (of course I had done nothing even remotely illegal – but I was blamed and hurt like very few Danish entrepreneurs my age – actually I felt as if I had lost my arms and legs) – as a guy who runs from his word deserves.
5) Until Monday this week – I had to deal with very strong self pity and emotions against Svenn and Morten – and I felt betrayed (called them the silliest names in the media) – but also – probably because my situation is not solved*. But with the Gaza conflict in mind I had an epiphany and realised that I needed to keep things in perspective. I realized that my situation was more than 90% my own fault – and in the bigger picture my troubles are so small and such wast of good energy, time and money – If I can’t solve my own shit how can there be any hope. Secondly, I have to state that I have been way too close to seeing how you can bend rules and how weak contracts really are (and how much I could have used it – and could be forced to use it) – I’m simply scared that once you end up being on the other side using the rules and the system to postpone simple things, you can’t go back. And therefore this:
Dear Morten and Svenn – I have been acting in a selfish, demanding, foolish way and I did not keep my word. Im sorry – I will of course do so (when possible). And I fully understand that you guys wanted to set me under fire – I would have done worse things if a idiot had not kept his word to me. My deepest and biggest apologies!
*but Im close banks and everyone else has been all cool – and if I will go bankrupt it’s due to the financial crisis on top of this unwise paper investment. My portfolio is GOOD and STRONG – but all creditlines to companies are being called in and some are dying). I have had some legal meetings around this – and felt so bad about it.
I have to finish off with the song from Nike’s Olympics commercial: I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier – and next time I will honour my word to my soldiers.
ps. this is what it looks like: A way to get peace in my soul – and focus on the important stuff. I could easily take 24months in court and get at huge discount on the amount – my new legal guys are fantastic (and hate me for writing this). It’s just not me and its not gonna happen – time spent in court is time wasted!