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Growth Strategies / Decision Making

This Entrepreneur Said Yes Too Many Times. Then He Learned to Say No

The founder of Crown & Caliber needed help, and discovered that 'no' is the secret to success.
This Entrepreneur Said Yes Too Many Times. Then He Learned to Say No
Image credit: Crown & Caliber
- Entrepreneur Staff
Editor-in-Chief
3 min read

Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur's editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes.

Entrepreneurs love to say yes. We’re vision people. We’re enthusiastic. We see opportunity everywhere, and we want to seize it. Yes, yes, yes!

But sometimes, yes isn’t actually such a good thing. Just take it from Hamilton Powell, who founded a online ecommerce site for secondhand watches called Crown & Caliber.

“As an inexperienced CEO, I was chasing a lot of different opportunities,” he says. “Anything that was shiny, I was kind of going after.”

Related: Why This Entrepreneur Broke Up With His Biggest Client

Soon his employees were calling him the "Good Idea Fairy." He was working 100-hour weeks, barely had time to see his family, was feeling lonely and stressing out his employees.

Powell knew he needed to make a change. He needed to fix how he was running the company. And above all, that meant one thing: “Essentially killing the Good Idea Fairy,” he says.

That’s why Powell hired a former military man as his COO, who came in with a challenging and firm philosophy: To grow the company, he’d first need to break it.

Two years later, Crown & Caliber is a very different company. It recently completed its 15,000th transaction, expects to double business in 2018 and end up with about $45 million in revenue. And how did it happen? How was the company broken for the better? In this episode of Problem Solvers, we explore how everything started with one fatal blow: They killed the Good Idea Fairy.

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