MEET BEATE LIVE IN LONG BEACH

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Nothing’s ever easy. But you just keep going. That was one lesson I learned from my experiences just after I thought that my troubles were over, after the Small Business Administration decided to help me in my photo syndication business, as I had run into credit and financial problems.

Things were going well. The SBA had one of their specialists work on fine-tuning my plan, and then whether to recommend whether I qualified for the $250,000 I had asked for. I was put in touch with the Valley Economic Development Center, a nonprofit organization that would assist me in packaging and shopping the loan with banks.

Things were happening, but they were also going slowly. I was out of money and needed a fast turnaround. And I fell into old traps. A credit card company sent me an envelope with a check asking if I needed extra cash, and I accepted.

You can imagine where that led me. This time, I needed that money to pay interest on the other payments I had to make! By now I had accumulated some $130,000 in debt. I learned to worry about bills only twice a month, when you have to figure out how to pay them. This was not a way to live. And this was not a way for a smart (at least I thought I was smart) businessperson to get her new company off the ground.

Eventually, I was recommended for a loan. But the loan amount was about half of what I wanted and only to be used to restructure my debt. Still, I was desperate, so it sounded fair enough to me, as it would free up my lines of credit so I could once again go further into debt until I could hit my breakeven point. I could see into the future: a vicious cycle of mounting debt and interest. We were so close to a terrible way of doing business that I could feel it.

Then something else was thrown my way. Real-estate problems. Not the kind you were thinking of.

We’ve all been there – we think things are going all right. We’ve overcome one difficulty, and then another roadblock pops up. What do you do? I’ll share with you what I did in the next few posts, but tell me your thoughts. How did you face the next big crisis in your life, after you thought you’d already solved a big one?

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