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5 takes on failure, straight from the OEN Summit

On Wednesday I attended the annual Oregon Entrepreneurial Summit, where nine business owners shared "True Grit" stories about failure and success during the entrepreneurial journey.

Once the guacamole was gone and everyone had a tamale or two on their plate, the crowd of more than 175 was ready for a night of entertaining anecdotes from aspiring and arriving business owners who struggled, failed — and persevered.

Here are five takeaways from the event:

5.  Jenelle Isaacson, founder of Living Room Realty, compared her past as a punk rocker to business.

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"Punk rock taught me you can't wait for permission, you can't sit back down, and no one's going to invite you to the table."

4. Monica Enand founded Zapproved at perhaps the worst possible time: February 2008.

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"It feels like no matter what milestone we get to, there's constant challenges and constant barriers. So you have to get to enjoy it."

3. Kyle Ranson, founder of Showers Pass, learned this lesson the hard way.

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"Don't get into a 50-50 partnership. The reality is two individuals cannot lead a company."

2. Nutcase Helmets inventor Michael Morrow has had his share of battles.

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"There's always the idea that you just have to get to the next bridge and cross that. You're not going to win the cold war, it's just a battle at a time."

1. Mindee Hardin started Juicebox Consulting after facing down failure and teaching herself this lesson.

DSCF8398OB Photo: Jason Kaplan

"I was taking all of the risk, but not allowing myself to enjoy any of the rewards. Make a change and make a choice so you don't get to your later and realize everything you left."


Katy Sword

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