Q: An entrepreneur created a start up and after struggling for 3 years had to close it and to look for a job. Would you see his adventure as advantage because he tried or as failure since it didn’t succeed and therefore wouldn’t hire him?

Let me answer your question from my experience. There are two scenarios with these types of candidates:

1. Worked Your Arse Off For 3 Years, Built Something Real with some Real Traction, Hired a Strong Team … It Just Didn’t Quite Make It. This person? If you really want to work at my company, really … the job is yours. Period. Done. You’re Hired. All you have to do is convince me you really want it.

These guys are great. They know so much, and they know what worked, and what didn’t, and they’re driven. They just need a better platform. You give them that platform … and magic happens. Pure magic.

2. Didn’t Really Build a Real Company In Those 3 Years. Maybe you were really a consultant, or you screwed around and never got any traction, never built a great team, etc. You actually didn’t even fail, because you never were really in the game.

Here? No thanks. I’ll pass. No need to learn your skills or how sharp you are. Because all you were, is out of the game for 3 years — which is too long.

That’s just me. But I’ve had huge success with #1, and seen none with #2.

Is this an oversimplification?  Yes.  But I’ve generally seen it play out this way.

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