Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur magazine’s editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below.
What happens when your best-laid plans turn out to be wrong? You did all your homework, you lined up the right investors, you hired the right talent, you built a compelling product… and then you launch, and realize you severely miscalculated?
What do you do then?
Well, here’s the first thing you can do: You can think to yourself, “I’m in good company.” Because even the best and brightest and most experienced entrepreneurs will discover that once their product actually gets out into the marketplace, everything they planned could turn out to be wrong. That’s certainly what happened to Scott Ruddman when, in 2012, he launched a new kickboxing league called GLORY Sports International, with ambitious plans to make it the biggest stand-up combat league in the world.
“Six months into the process, we learned that our initial plans — and indeed, fundamental tenets, fundamental pillars of the strategy that we were executing — were completely wrong,” he says. “And not only did we need to make adjustments; we needed to completely rethink, and rethink it fast.”
GLORY is no fly-by-night operation. Ruddman has over 20 years of experience in investing, financing, and operations, founded the private equity firm Nectar Capital. He has an MBA from Harvard. He knows how to run businesses. And yet, even he got everything wrong to start.
But he fixed the problems. GLORY holds live events around the world, which are televised in 175 countries and watched by 10 to 12 million people each. And Yao Capital, which is headed up by former NBA star Yao Ming, recently invested $25 million for a minority stake in the company, and Glory is about to make a big impact in China.
So, how did Ruddman turn things around when his original plans failed? That’s the story we’re telling on this week’s Problem Solvers.
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