Entrepreneur and business columnist Norm Brodsky says he was so shocked to abruptly lose an important client at his storage company that he changed his procedures. The company set out to renew contracts while they still had 18 months to go, time enough to learn their complaints and correct them. "In the long run, that failure proved to be one of the best things that ever happened to the company," he writes in this excerpt from "The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn To Handle Whatever Comes Up."

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