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When Good Decisions Go Bad

We've all been there: You thought you were making a wise choice; it turned into a disaster. Now you've got some moving on to do.

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This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

No matter how young you are, you're never too young to learn how to put your foot in your mouth, speak out of turn, act before you think, and just generally embarrass the hell out of yourself to the point where your face matches the color of your shockingly red Christmas stocking. Although I am generally the type to keep my mouth shut until I know exactly what I want to say and remain still until I know exactly what I want to do, I nonetheless learned these lessons when I was barely old enough to zip up my own jacket.

It seemed innocent enough; my class (I don't recall what grade I was in, but think "Ew, boys have cooties" time) was in an assembly hall, watching some sort of educational flick. The subject matter of the movie, oddly enough, escapes me at this time. However, the haunting memory of me placing gum in someone's hair does not. And not just "someone," but a friend. At least, she was my friend up until that point. I don't know what came over me-it truly wasn't a malicious act; I must have thought that it would be interesting to see if gum actually does stick to hair and, if so, how long it would stick for. I always was somewhat of a mad scientist; if I hadn't gone into publishing, I'd be out collecting plankton and putting them under a microscope.

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