The Dying Cockroach Position: How To Move Forward In Business, The Mogens Way

For those of you who don’t know Mogens, giving up is not in his nature. We all have something to learn from people who never throw in the towel, even when rock bottom hits. Back in the 90’s, Mogens’ wanted to make it clear to the people around him during his SMED days, that you can accept what is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get up off the floor, and get back to work.

Check out this inspiring story submitted by Rick Shannon

In early 1990 I left the legal business in Calgary to pursue a career in private equity.

My first assignment was to help Mogens raise $10MM of working capital for Smed Furniture.

Prior to closing that financing, during Stampede week that year, cash flow was very, very tight.

Every month Mogens would take a summary of the results to his private benefactor, SD a wealthy real estate developer.

In a 1-2 hour meeting SD would criticize Mogens for every major decision, for spending too much and for failing to reach positive cash flow…………………….again.

Then he would write a cheque as a loan for sufficient funds for Smed Furniture to scrape through the next month.

This process recurred for many months and I asked Mogens how he prepared himself to deliver the bad news and suffer through the criticism month after month.

He said: “I hand SD the summary, assume the dying cockroach position, endure all of his negative comments and then pick up the cheque and return to the factory and get on with the business.”

Mogens’ description was humorous, but spoke volumes about the focus, discipline, tenacity and grit that have been the fundamental principles underlying his success in life.

All we can control is how we handle situations, and assume the dying cockroach position when there is nothing else you can do in that moment, but it is all for show, you then use the power of your own mind to show them that no one can put you there for good.

- Alex Smed, Rick Shannon + The Falk Team


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