Sometimes, the Devil Really is in the Details

I know a gentleman who recently sold his business for $20 million.  Are you impressed?  You shouldn’t be, because he and his partners invested $35 million to get the business to the point that it was worth $20 million.  Overall, they lost $15 million in that business, even though part of the “story” includes a sale of the business at a $20 million value.  But I didn’t tell you that part of the story, so you just assumed the $20 million number was impressive. 

You can’t determine if a business is successful just because it is called profitable, has a certain level of sales or was sold for a certain amount of money. You need more details.

In business (and in life) make sure you are getting the full story.  Sometimes, it is the details that reveal the truth.