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335: From Super Growth to Bankruptcy: Lessons Learned Experiencing Both Before Age 30

Posted by Austin Brawner on December 21, 2021

 

 

The path to massive success is often through failure. This episode’s guest went from Forbes 30 under 30 to bankruptcy in the same year and reflects on lessons learned. 

Josh Durham co-founded Weighted Comforts, one of the first weighted blanket brands, with his mom in 2015. They took off like a rocket, hitting 8-figures in 4 years. 

But – they hit some snags, the market shifted and at age 24 Josh went from almost $10 million in sales to bankruptcy in a period of less than a year. 

In this episode, he goes through what it was like to grow, how they did it, and then what it was like when it all unraveled. Josh is very transparent in his experience of where and how things went wrong in a way you’re not going to hear in many places. There’s a lot to learn here. 

Josh has gone on to have success with another brand and now his own agency, Aligned Growth, and he shares a bunch of learnings from having worked with a lot of different brands now. 

Episode Highlights

  • 3:56 How Josh got involved with eCommerce growth marketing 
  • 5:44 Josh’s first Shopify store in 2015 and how it came to be
  • 7:53 The downfall of Josh’s business 
  • 10:39 Dealing with limited cash and coping with the stress of a business in trouble 
  • 11:47 What the strategy and business looked like in the end 
  • 14:01 Closing out in an asset sale: from super growth to bankruptcy
  • 16:28 Filing for bankruptcy at 24 years old 
  • 18:10 Biggest takeaways from a failing business
  • 21:58 The dangers of scaling a single product business 
  • 26:54 Josh’s next venture & hitting 35 million
  • 28:51 Starting marketing at product development
  • 30:24 How to stand out after competitors come it 
  • 34:22 Starting an agency 
  • 36:16 The importance of creative refresh on brand growth 
  • 38:01 Managing creative at an agency 
  • 43:09 Current eCommerce requires a higher level of execution on creative

Links And Resources

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