Interesting as always to read the differences in opinion that media articles about me draw. Today's Sunday Times piece is no exception.
First, a negative email received this morning (what is it about being on TV that de-humanises you to the point people think they have the right to send you whatever nasty messages they feel like writing?)
Have just read your piece in the ST...
Glad to hear you are getting back on your feet instead of your bike so to speak.
I was an avid viewer of the Dragons Den...I say in the past tense for a very good reason.
The main protagonists in this series...always appeared to be the most arrogant , conceited bunch of individuals.( including your good self)
My question to you is the following;
Was I being duped by a TV drama or was in fact the behavior of the so called judges on the program true to life ?
If the behavior pattern was true to life...( As I suspect it was) then you have learnt a lesson that should stand, somebody of your intelligence in good stead for a long time to come.
The second, a really nice supportive message received later today:
"I just read Rachel Bridge’s article in today’s Sunday Times. Thanks for sharing with us again the emotion you felt during your battle to save Red Letter Days. I don’t doubt that anyone one of us would have done anything else in the circumstances.
I hope that your experience will eventually reverse the view that people have about business ‘failure’ (whatever that means). I hope in some way that as we develop as a nation of enterprise, we will all learn that the path is not as straight as some would have us believe and when we take the wrong turn because of our errors of judgment that it’s all part of our walk down that path. I hope that we will all learn that real failure only happens when we refuse to bounce back and try again because we have been so scarred by our experience fear has taken over.
I’ve struggled with the word failure particularly in the context of Rachel Elnaugh and Red Letter Days. To me the success has been the rise and development of your company, the fact that you pioneered a whole sector and the fact that you run the company successfully for 16 years. You didn’t fail Rachel – you took a wrong turn, you made the wrong decision (and even that is debatable). The real failures are the people who refuse to see the success of your achievement and the legacy that will remain with us for a long long time. I don’t think we need to wait for your obituary before we appreciate that.
As for things happening for a reason – you are absolutely right and as you say you are seeing a lot of value in what you are doing now. Somewhere in your epitaph the words ‘successful entrepreneur’ ‘legacy’ and ‘altruistic’ should appear. You name will always be engraved in business history Rachel and I’m sure you’ll be remembered for turning the tide not simply the so called failure of Red Letter Days."
One of the things I have learned post RLD (apart from those business lessons mentioned in the article) is that people's reaction is usually a mirror of the person who has written it. Nasty people feel the need to say nasty things; positive people always look for it in everything they say and do.
Thank God for the positive people!
Enjoy your Sunday.