It was a defective product from a manufacturer -- something Jim had no control over, but something he's paid a heavy price for. Within months, he lost everything; the company, the jet, and the employees disappeared along with his job, his house, and his car. Even though he had come so far over the previous 18 years, Jim found himself at a point somewhere worse than starting over. "I couldn't even make the $1,000 a month I used to at the mattress store." he said.
Over the next four years, Jim's situation didn't improve. In many ways, it became worse. The internet was still in it's infancy, but that didn't stop the early adopters from lambasting Jim online. Job after job, opportunity after opportunity all closed their doors, locking him in an increasing spiral of depression.
"I was depressed. I was devastated. It was the lowest point in my life. When I woke up in the morning, that's when the nightmare started because I didn't want to be awake. I didn't want to face reality."
So as the ground rushed up to meet Jim, he knew he had to make a choice. That morning, in his sister's spare bedroom with nowhere else to go, Jim dropped to his knees and surrendered. He let go of who he once was -- of his past successes as well as failures -- and embraced a new life he would build again from scratch. HIs first step was to find a company he could build with.
"When I lost my business, it didn't just cost me 15 years of work down the drain. It was embarrassing. There I was in the 80's and 90's -- Mr. Everything -- and now I was starting over at the bottom -- a distributor -- just like everyone else." Jim says. "But I also had to realize I wasn't the same person anymore.
That was all gone, I had to let go of the past."
But if Jim were going to make a comeback, he wanted to do it right. That meant finding a company he could spend the rest of his career with, a global company, and a company with products he believed in. Lastly perhaps most importantly, Jim wanted to like the CEO.