It’s easy to get bogged down and discouraged when you think that you are the only one dealing with the decision to declare bankruptcy. It may be encouraging to know that some of history’s most successful names dealt with the same struggle you may be dealing with today. Bankruptcies can happen to anyone, and if you don’t believe me just take a look at some of these names.
- Abraham Lincoln: Our revered 16th president fell into overwhelming debt because of a failed general store he opened in 1823. He owed about $1,000 after the store closed and he didn’t have the money so his creditors took him to court and won the right to his last valuable assets: a horse and some surveying gear.
- H.J. Heinz: If it wasn’t for the ideas dreamed up by H.J. Heinz all of our hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries would be lacking to say the least. The condiment king was only 25 years old when his struggling business failed to sell enough of a horseradish sauce to pay the bills. The company declared bankruptcy in 1875.
- Milton Hershey: America’s favorite chocolatier knew that his candy was great, but unfortunately didn’t quite know how to run a business. In 1882 his first candy shop attempt in Philadelphia fell because he couldn’t cover the expenses any longer. He decided to declare bankruptcy and head back home to Lancaster, PA to try again.
- Henry Ford: Although Henry Ford was a mechanical innovator, even he couldn’t stay away from the financial struggles that come with a failed business. He started his first motor company in 1899 and because of his need for perfection the company had only produced 20 vehicles in a years time. The business owed much more than it made that year and went bankrupt in 1901.
- Walt Disney: Many of us owe countless family vacations and memories to Walt Disney, but at the start of his career he owed his creditors more than he had. Walt Disney opened his first film studio in Kansas City in 1922 and barely kept it alive for a year. After a failed deal with a New York company that promised to distribute his films, Walt didn’t even have enough money to cover his small overhead. The studio ended up going bankruptin 1923.
There are startling similarities between all five of these men: each one struggled financially, each one filed bankruptcy, and each one of them went on to be wildly successful. Although this isn’t a guaranteed recipe for success, it does show that going bankrupt can put you back on track financially. So find the best bankruptcy lawyer for your situation (keeping in mind that there are cheap bankruptcy lawyers available) and ask “how does bankruptcy work?” If you discover that it may be in your best interest to declare bankruptcy, remember that you aren’t the only one to struggle, and you will come out of the process with a fresh financial future.