Forbes: 7 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Cole Harmonson

Forbes this month features Cole talking about the lessons he learned after a tough speed bump on the way to scaling the Far West Capital business.

Am I loyal or lazy? I’d wonder, looking back. Loyalty is something that matters to me; I built the company with a close friend and we brought on friends we could trust. And it worked, it got us to this point — but there were problems I didn’t want to admit were bigger than they seemed, because they involved people who’d been with me since day one.”

Read it here.

Preview

According to Henry Ford, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”

This year, my company is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.We do well most of the time; we’ve gone from scrambling to scaling at last. Yet, of course, it was this year that we hit a pretty serious obstacle. A mistake was made — a big one — and the results of that mistake compounded.

Later, once we’d cleared the smoke away and figured out what happened, once we’d taken steps to correct what went wrong, I figured I’d better write down a few of the lessons I had learned. Because I know we’ll be stronger for the learning of them.

1. Are the right people doing the right things for the right reasons?

In Warren Buffett’s famous analysis, only three things matter in the folks around you: Intelligence, energy and the non-negotiable one: integrity. That’s one test. There are also your company’s core values, if you’ve gone to the work of articulating them, which you should.

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