Andrew Englund

Truth is, I made mistakes. No doubt about that. I own my part in it, and sincerely apologize to everyone who was affected. At the same time, I can honestly say that I gave everything I had, and what ended up happening was so far outside of our predictions (and we always made our plans assuming that the harshest possible outcome would occur,) that it was literally worse than I, and all the seasoned C-levels, could’ve imagined. I worked one 100+ hour week after another, right alongside some of the best people I’ve ever known who were doing the same. If somehow I was the only one who’d lost out, I’d do it all again just to have the privilege of working alongside them, seeing first-hand the kind of talent, and hustle, and selflessness, and true fucking friendship, and love, that I haven’t experienced since my time in the Marines. I’ll cherish that forever. It wasn’t enough though. It nearly destroyed my family, and I owe endless thanks to the dude on the veteran crisis line who kept me on the phone until the sun came up. But tonight, I realized that I’m alright with having made mistakes, and to be fair, the venture was doomed from the start. What haunts me though, was seeing myself deflect blame onto the industry, twice. That was gross. I really wish I hadn’t done that. The truth is, we bit off more than we could chew in an attempt to corner an emerging market, failed to perform adequate risk analysis, and found ourselves unable to make payroll when the bottom fell out. I had over 200 employees. Some of them lost everything. And so did I. I filed bankruptcy in February, and was homeless for a majority of the past few months. I spent much of that living in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel, where they’ve made it a policy not to tow overnighters. God bless ‘em! It’s been one of the most stressful, embarrassing, and soul-crushing chapters of my life. So, how am I? Well, to answer that properly would necessitate another long story, but suffice it to say, thanks to an incredibly fortuitous series of events that happened over the last month or so, far surpassing anything I could’ve devised myself, I’m somehow sitting on a couch in a very nice apartment, with my partner and our daughter sleeping in the next room on a mattress. I’ve got a job that’s allowed me to work from home during this Covid situation, and I’ve been accepted to a well-respected MFA program that will begin almost immediately after the contract with my current employer ends. And to top it off, not only did some of the old crew salvage enough from the rubble to reset themselves successfully in Colorado, but a few of our old contacts have reached out and asked us to broker some pretty massive sales. So, it looks like we’re going to be able to pay our people what they’re owed! All things considered, I’m fucking fantastic!

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