Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed when they file for bankruptcy. Despite it being a tool to help you get back on track financially, society has attached a negative stigma to bankruptcy that prevents many people from taking action.
It’s a shame, too, because not only is bankruptcy useful for helping you get control of your financial life, filing also puts you in the company of some elite individuals. Many consider these people business masterminds, so the next time you’re feeling uneasy about your bankruptcy, remember it will put you in the ranks of the following:
Henry Ford – The patriarch of the Ford Motor Company wasn’t always as successful as he’s viewed today. Before he launched Ford, he started the Detroit Automobile Company. In the course of its two years of operation beginning in 1899, the company only managed to produce 20 cars and declared bankruptcy in 1901. Over the course of his career, Ford filed for bankruptcy more than once until he finally achieved the success for which he’s known today.
Abraham Lincoln- President, Civil War hero, and bankrupt? Yes. Lincoln struggled with business throughout his life and at one point fell so far behind in debt, he wasn’t even able to catch up by selling off his assets. Lincoln wasn’t alone, either. Other presidents that filed for bankruptcy include William McKinley, Ulysses S. Grant, and Thomas Jefferson, on numerous occasions.
Phineas Taylor Barnum- The circus magnate struggled financially before he hit the big time and one failed business venture led to his 1871 filing of bankruptcy. Soon after he created his famed “The Greatest Show on Earth,” which eventually merged with its most successful competitor and became the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Mark Twain- Also known as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, one of history’s most famous authors lost most of his money investing in a worthless machine called the Paige Compositor, a mechanical version of the printing press. He filed for bankruptcy in 1894, but after four years giving lectures in Europe managed to repay every penny.
Walt Disney- It’s hard to believe now that the mind behind the Disney empire ever struggled financially, but in 1922 Walt’s partnership in the short-lived Kansas City film company Laugh-O-Gram studios led to him filing for bankruptcy. Shortly after the failed endeavor, he moved to Hollywood and within a few years Mickey Mouse was born.
Milton Hershey- The chocolate entrepreneur hasn’t always led the sweet life. Hershey launched a candy company in Philadelphia in 1876, which lasted only six years and ended in bankruptcy. He then moved to New York, launching another candy business, which also failed. It was only after those failures he started the Lancaster Caramel Company, eventually selling it for $1 million, which he invested in perfecting his distinctive chocolate concoctions.
Bankruptcy might not be the financial path you imagined, but there are bumps along every road to success. The key is to regain control and move forward as these successful men did.
If you believe bankruptcy is your next step toward financial freedom, we can help. Contact the law office of Frank J. LaPerch, PC at 845.942.5500.