The Day I Lost $25,000 in 8 Minutes!

The day I lost $25,000.00 in 8 minutes!

Yes, you read that right, $25,000.00… well truthfully, it could have been 7 minutes… 

I recently started 2 new firms, BOTH of which are online businesses. Online businesses need to be able to take online payments. Online payments must be deposited into one’s financial institution… Yes, Yes, “ONLINE”.  In order to do this properly, and with deep integrity... meaning provide business receipts, track payments, getting proper reporting to your funnels etc, one must purchase a large amount of software as well as “plugins”.

Let me interrupt by informing you of a few things:

  1. I have been a fierce entrepreneur for 20 plus years.
  2. I have successfully run 11 startups that have been acquired or IPO’d.
  3. I have won over 30 awards for leadership as well as entrepreneurship.
  4. At my first startup, I was offered 5 million dollars in seed money wo a VC.
  5. I have done business globally, and successfully for over 15 years.
  6. I launched my new firm, and with no advertising got 435 applications in 24 hours.
  7. The largest deal I ever closed was just shy of 50 million dollars over 3 years!

SO, WHY AM I TELLING YOU ALL OF THIS?

  1. The struggle is real — Switching from a relationship-based business to online is HARD.
  2. You can be the BIGGEST expert, guru, thought leader in your business & still blow it!
  3. IT WILL time!! DON’T BE PATIENT!
  4. They say, “DELEGATE”!! I’m good with that, but I had no idea what to delegate!
  5. INFORMATION does NOT EQUAL TRANSFORMATION!

On with the story! I was on a breakthrough call, at the end of the call I invited the gentleman into our Executive Program. He quickly accepted.  I sent him the link to our program portal. (That has been GLOBALLY tested, retested and tested again) He entered in his credit card info, and was provided a confirmation email as well as an invoice marked “PAID” for his records. We were notified that he had paid and to start sending him through his sequence of homework, assessments and scheduling of his future appointments.

Four days later, after reviewing my appointments for the week, I noticed he was not on the calendar. My assistant reached out to him… nothing. I reached out to him… nothing. We checked the system to see if his assessment and first round of homework was completed, it was not.  We tried to reach him for over a week to no avail.

After hours and hours of research we found out this gentleman had been sent an email from our online payment provider (the piece of software plugin that connects our banks) that one of the following errors had occurred:

  1. He had improperly entered in our EIN
  2. Our EIN was not matched correctly to our business
  3. Our business was not registered with the Tax Board in that country (France)
  4. Our business was fraudulent

Very simple mistake, right??  WRONG!! After finally reaching the Gentleman via phone, as well as 4 emails that myself and staff had sent to him trying to rectify the situation we received this email (Excerpt):

"Ms. Malik, with all due respect I am not sure how someone of your stature and length in the business world could make such an error in providing myself a long-time buyer of online services with a false or who knows fraudulent tax id number. I am not only shocked and appalled, but quite disheartened at the thought of this. I worked very hard in researching your firm and you. I took my time and waited to make sure I could not only afford your services but that I had the time in my life to practically implement them. Maybe it would be wise to add another assistant to your staff since this seems like a fairly easy task in doing business online."

The message went on…Anyone who knows me, KNOWS that I am 1000% service oriented. The next 2 days was spent on the phone with Infusionsoft, Zapier, PayPal, Square, Stripe, Chase, JP Morgan etc. We had to find the error. I could not have been more apologetic to our potential client…. We received 9 emails over the next few days of him essentially telling us he could not believe this had happened and how “mortified” he was….THEN IT HAPPENED…

Chase Bank, and PayPal called and said, “The only thing wrong with your payment system, and online tracker is that the client entered ChiqueSpeak EIN wrong. When he filled out the form he missed a number in the middle and added the wrong number at the end.” 

This boggled my mind, how could a highly successful individual do this not once, but twice as there is a two step-verification process… The thing that was most upsetting for me was… there were 4 options, and he automatically assumed fraud on our part. After receiving word from the bank and a kind email from the “Plugin” I forwarded it to our “New Online Friend” with an apology as well as a formal letter resending his invitation to join our Performance Coaching program….  I ONLY accept High Achievers who are ACCOUNTABLE & COACHABLE with High Integrity…. PERIOD!

Moral of the story, ONLINE is hard. It is even harder when you DON’T KNOW, what YOU DON’T KNOW… I feel like I dodged a bullet, and am thankful for the lesson… 

MENTAL MINDSET MATTERS — ChiqueSpeak