Business School of Hard Knocks: Real-life Cautionary Tales

Business School of Hard Knocks: Real-life Cautionary Tales

Here’s a question for you: Ever have anything go sideways on you in your business?

Ever wonder what the heck it was all about?

Why you? And, why now?

You’re not alone. We’ve all had weird stuff happen — and labeled it “bad” or “traumatic” or even “a holy mess.”

And if you haven’t experienced the roller coaster of small business ownership, then you’ve either got some awesome karma, or you haven’t been in business long enough.

This month, the carnies chose the topic of “School of Hard Knocks.” Kind of the small biz version of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

The best part? We all actually learned some good stuff. And now we’d like to pass those lessons on to you:

Sharon Hurley Hall of Get Paid to Write Online:
Down but Not Out: Surviving The Hard Knocks of the Writing Biz

Annie Sisk of Stage Presence Marketing:
Make Different Mistakes: A Cautionary Tale From the School of Hard Knocks

Nicole Fende, A.S.A. of Small Business Finance Forum:
Scooby Doo to the (Mentor) Rescue

Katrina Pfannkuch of Buzzwords Communications:
Learning the Tricky Balance of “Doing” and “Being” in Your Business

Carol Lynn Rivera of Web Search Social
Small Business, Big Lessons: How To Learn The Hard Way And Live To Earn Another Day

Nick Armstrong, The Business Storyteller:And the Horse You Rode in On

Clare Price of 5 Easy Pages
When Opportunity Doesn’t Knock — Reinvent!

Tea Silvestre, aka the Word Chef:
Small Business Pickles: a True Tale of Trust and Betrayal

And this month we have a special treat…honorary carnies!

Ellie Di, the Headologist
SOS — Save Our Self: How Cutting My Own Hair Brought Me Back to Life

Miss Donna, the Unemployed Entrepreneur
The Dark Side of Online Friendships

Michele Pariza Waceck of Get Results Blog
When Bad Things Happen to Good Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

If you’ve found a fabulous blog post that you think fits this month’s theme, please share a link in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Stephen Brace

*Honorary carnies have written a great post that fits our theme. All honorary carnies are invited to join us on a regular basis. As a reader, please use your peer-pressure-powers-of-persuasion to convince them they’re needed back!


  1. Honoured to be part of the Carnival, my dear! Thank you so much for inviting me. Off to dive into these other amazing stories! 🙂

  2. Ellie I admire your courage to share your journey from the heart. Thank you!

  3. when i saw new faces in the form of comments on my blog, i immediately knew they came from Word Carnival! thanks so much, Tea, for including me…looking forward to reading what the others had to share.

  4. Did you know you can get an internationally accredited Ph.D. from the Invisible University School of Hard Knocks? In many states, your degree allows you to legally use the title “Doctor” or post-nominal letters Ph.D. (be sure to check local statutes). If your life experenice has earned you a Ph.D., you can now get one to hang on your wall at


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