Posted on April 7, 2010

LAST UPDATE from a (former) Bankrupt


When I landed in Paris 3 weeks after my bankruptcy I got a facebook message from a stranger – “your friend (my student in entrepreneurship since he was 18) has died in a plane crash pls call me”. Today is a BIG DAY – but I only got through all of this to show @Martin that I meant it when I said persistence is everything in entrepreneurship. Therefore TODAY IS DEDICATED TO the launch of MARTIN SCHAEDEL INTERNSHIP SCHOLARSHIP

UPDATE from a Bankrupt To My Dear: Fam. & Backers & Valuable Readers

(This will be my last post about bankruptcy and how it feels).

Its been a silly tough time since I realized that I had to close my newspaper 19months ago. Being insolvent and bankrupt is no real fun. Personally is has meant that I have been out of cash (as in NO credit card no nothing) – everything i controlled was taken by the government appointed lawyers.

Ive been loaded since i was 26

– when I sold Neo Ideo – with Lars, Jimmy and Thomas. But – let me tell you something. It has been a huge relief and friend$perience*. I had accumulated way to much crap (why the fuck did I have more art than I could have on my walls: wanna be artsy hip’ass) – out of desire to show the world (my mum and my high-school friends?) how smart and fast and brilliant I was. Well now you think – he has to say so. But this is true to everything I have ever done – and true I have been (mostly) :) – putting my money where my mouth was – and ALL OF IT.

REALITY ALERT: Dont even think about feeling sorry for me. I could have had a badly paid job at a restaurant and been fired – with nowhere to go!!!

After the shellshock – and some crap from a couple of people here end there (something that was a dot in the story but was filling 99% of the picture) – I can say now: I’m so happy to have seen whats supposed to be the button. The self pity vanished fast – and I just started charging for what I do (instead of being Santa Claus handing out money to every kind guy with half a good idea. I now had to get involved and charge for my time/network/ideas – (I know it sounds absolutely wacked) – but it was actually much less lonely and now I knew that no one was hanging out just because I had the biggest bag of candy. I had no candy tied to my leg – and a few guys (and girls) stopped calling :)

Note: My Mum was as ever cool: “Morten, dont worry – you got yourself into this stiff – and ofcourse you can get yourself out…” – and yes Im lucky to be born with good genes and such fine psychology.


1) Use your MUM – family and friends
2) Get (stay) in shape
3) Change yourself (u where probably on a wrong track)
4) Blame only yourself*
5) Reject (politely) all the people who want to share problems
6) Remember you started with nothing – so its like coming home

*Morten Nissen Nielsen and Svenn Dam (Chairman and CEO) – whom I trusted in my newspaper venture should take this medicine. I owe them everything – I love them for having me declared bankrupt – otherwise I would have been under management from banks and THEM (I offered them a seat in my board to manage this ship trough the crisis – so they could get the money that I really would have loved to give them). Now they have been blaming ME and EVERYONE around them for all kinds of crap – instead of creating value. But unfortunately I had a call with the Media Mogul number one in Denmark (Jørgen Eibøl) too late. He told me that these guys are driven by revenge and hate – and never kept one single budget in their lives. They dont even care about building value Svenn is on his second 200mioEUR burn with Dansk Bredbånd (a hopeless case) – just crash and burn and blaming everyone around him. Today they get 1mioDKR for the sad job they did at the paper – and the keep blaming EVERYONE – according the them even the official receiver is now a fool… But from my heart – I love them (“Its all about luck” – and maybe some Mental Tai Chi and a good psychologist)- and they where fucking amassing at keeping the agressivness and spirit high. And they found the most amasing journalists (and sales team and logistics team) all people I still admire (and talk to a lot) for producing a FANTASTIC PRODUCT. And if it would have been legal I would have paid them every single € i promised them – EVERY SINGLE ONE. And still today they collected 1mioDKR – whats consideren a LOTTERY WIN in Denmark.

Morten Nissen Nielsen got the special watch I give to super-talents – and I still think he can become a superstar – . I will never talk about this again – its out of my system and I love them.

Its a Rollercoaster – “faster faster”

If you have had the insane luck that I’ve been surrounded by – and consider yourself a human aggressive curious Joe from the countryside – not overly impressed with how things work. And you dare to take a shot at even the biggest structures – then I have ONE VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE. Be sure that the roller-coaster has a lot of speed when you go down – that might take you up faster :). I’m bullshitting – but

*friend$pirience – its UN FUCKING REAL

This is NOT AN Oscars thank you list – I just want to show how many people it takes to try to make a survival. You need quite an army of helpers and people – and since every rule and legal opinion has to be from experts – its not cheap.  And trying to raise funds to buy myself free has also been a WONDERFULL EXPERIENCE. Here is an anonymous list of favours that came in from a circle of close friends and people I nearly dont know (you all know who you are):

C: My lawyer has been unreal
D: My other lawyer – offered free advise
X: An expert lawyer I did not know came by and told me to just use him

S: has given me accounting and financial advise (despite his partners resitance)

S: got me 6months free at the gym

m: for hiring me instantly as a consultant
m: who I used in boards – helped with pocket money loan
j: old friend – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
r: showed up with pocket money at my door and a kondi vand
m: sendt me pocket money from Miami
g: whom i met 4 times – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
k: whom I met 2 times – made a bailout account in 7h when an oppertunity came
m: who’m a met 4 times – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
t: my close friend – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
m: austrian drinking buddy – just made a cash commitment if I would get a chance to buy myself out
p: who’m I never met – got me a place to work and live from

l: who bailed out the accountants to do the books for the holdings to stay alive
p: who I owe a lot of money… after today
m: who I owe a lot of money… after today
j: who I owe a lot of money… after today
visby: who I owe a lot of money… after today
m: for giving me 1000DKR without mentioning that day when my card was taken.

m: who sent me 6 bottles of wine

BMW: for transferring the car to another company and not taking everything down so that my xwife has had a car.
Henrik E. – Forstadernes Bank: who trust in me coming back one day. Thanx Henrik!

Alexander the COO of my life: (former BullGuard): Who stepped in (12 months ago) and has been my wingman and survival manager when it comes to paperwork, contracts and my new job – I cant say thank you enough.

Speaking gigs: Lots of companies and organisations have been hiring me to tell my story – and its been a good way to keep up the spirit. And who could say no to go to: Milan, Zurich, Paris, NYC, Tokyo… and talk about they ego and get everything paid for + having lots of inspirering people sending hundreds of emails… (I do have to say that the speech/show is getting GOOD and FUNNY).

As you can read out of this – all these people gave me the the chance to buy myself free via loans – but I will not be out of dept for the next 10years – mentally nor personally. I still kick my self over the small business owners who lost money from the paper and the employees who lost their jobs – the big ones (Companies and top2 management) collected together 150mio+EUR in revenue. And the VAT we paid was an insane number…

Do I regret personally

NOPE – I have more experience than ANYONE I KNOW in my age  – and I have learned a lot about friendships and see the world even more positive than before. And now my kids now the price of taking the train – and THEY LOVE IT. You could also call it the worlds most expensive MBA :)

Will I go all in again – hmm – hope not. But as one of my backers said yesterday: “Im also here next time my friend..” Im out…!