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JB Brown
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What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Failure: Insights from Billion-Dollar Business Consultant JB Brown

JB Brown is a seasoned business professional who believes that his earliest business failure likely saved him. 

Brown’s first job after college was in the mortgage industry, where he quickly found himself running the company. Despite that early success, he experienced discontent and moved on to other opportunities, including a foray into entrepreneurship that he soon thought would be his downfall. In this interview, he shares his insights on what entrepreneurs can learn from failure.

Brown was just 25 when he was earning $100,000 a year. Despite that milestone which – growing up in a family of limited means – had always been his financial benchmark for happiness, he felt unfulfilled and tried to reconcile his discontent with his earning power. 

Then there was the situation with the mortgage industry during that time; this was around 2008, which he describes as the “Wild West” era with subprime loans, stated income loans, and interest-only loans. 

Those practices were disquieting to Brown. “I felt like it was a house of cards and I didn’t see a long-term future in it,” he reflected. 

Despite his financial success, Brown gave up his lucrative mortgage career. While he didn’t know it at the time, it was a fortuitous move, given the industry’s notable collapse just a few years later. 

Brown moved to Atlanta, where he “literally just started knocking on doors” before finding a job in biotechnology sales. It was there where he realized he was really an entrepreneur operating within a large corporation. He ran his accounts like his own business, making decisions based on judgment rather than following sales or business development methodologies. Although he did well, Brown eventually realized that the entrepreneurship mindset and large corporate mindset could not exist in concert, even with best intentions from both sides.

If entrepreneurship was going to keep calling him, Brown decided to answer the call. He moved from the biotechnology company to become a franchise owner in the cell phone accessory and equipment space. It didn’t take long for Brown to realize that buying a franchise was more like buying a job than an investment. The business came with unrealistic overhead and a disproportionate profit and loss perspective. It also used a business model he considered to be unethical if he’d have stuck to it, so he changed it, losing even more money in the process. 

Despite trying to optimize staff and letting go of non-performing employees, Brown experienced heavy losses, getting to a point of bleeding out about $16,000 a month in cash. He went through his entire life savings, feeling like a failure and thinking he had blown everything for his family. 

Pulling himself up from his despair, Brown decided to just let go: He sold the business for whatever he could get for it, paid every bill that was due, and got each of his former employees a bonus. 

“I didn’t know it then but that failure was my real-life MBA,” Brown said. “If I had succeeded in that first endeavor I believe it would have ruined me.” 

But at the time, that disappointing failure marked the point at which Brown decided to turn his back on entrepreneurship. He was determined to get another job working for someone else to cover the incurred debt, and vowed to never go into business again.

That lasted three months.

At that three-month mark, Brown got into e-commerce and started selling products on Amazon. He then created his own brands and moved into owning a shipping and logistics company. Brown helped others negotiate their terms directly with suppliers and sold the sourced products in the United States. 

These experiences taught Brown the importance of due diligence when buying a business and the need to pivot and adapt to new opportunities, versus focusing on the failures.

Now, JB Brown can point to 15 different businesses across various industries he has bought and sold, representing medical devices, roofing, artificial intelligence, and digital and e-commerce companies. He considers himself a deep generalist and strategist who can quickly identify what a business needs to achieve its vision and how to deliver the necessary resources to make that vision happen.

He also offers valuable advice for other entrepreneurs who want to succeed in business. He highlights the importance of seeking advice from people with experience in the areas where you want to succeed, cautioning that it is challenging to take advice from someone who has not achieved the same level of success that you aspire to. 

Brown also notes that it is essential to have honest relationships with people who will tell you the truth about both their successes and their failures, including what they learned from them. 

“That learning from any failure is key,” said Brown. “I call it ‘failing forward’ – move from it, learn, and move on.”

One of the many reasons Brown helps other entrepreneurs succeed is because he knows what a lonely place it can be, particularly when faced with or trying to recover from a failure.

“The mental health aspect of entrepreneurship and business is often overlooked,” said Brown. “I’m in it for the leaders. It’s such a hard and lonely thing to do.” 

So JB Brown shows up. He does the work, helps entrepreneurs eliminate the noise and focus on the real, solvable challenges to address for success – something he learned from his lessons in failure. 

JB Brown
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JB Brown is recognized as a Professional Problem Solver who focuses on the “who” rather than the “what” in businesses. He understands the importance of putting the right people in place and identifying the target customers and business owners’ goals, whether it’s an exit strategy, partner, or reclaiming their life. Unlike other business consultants, who can take businesses up to $5-$15 million in revenue, JB has the expertise and experience to take them to the $100-200 million level. 

He has a proven track record of selling over a billion dollars in products and services and brokering over $200 million in businesses, working with well-known companies such as Boston Scientific, Intuitive Surgical, and Agora Financial. His extensive knowledge and experience have earned him a reputation as a billion-dollar business powerhouse and an industry thought leader. JB is a highly sought-after keynote speaker who frequently appears on news programs, television shows, and podcasts. He shares his insights on business growth strategies, buying and selling businesses, financial trends, and conflict resolution. He is also a motivational speaker and offers leadership development advice for businesses, families, and marriages.

He helps his clients by identifying the obstacles that limit and restrict business growth and adapting proven success concepts to their specific needs. He helps them create a powerful, predictable, and repeatable advantage over the competition while also helping business owners achieve the life they want.

Acadia Ventures offers solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of business owners, budding entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors. From identifying the traps that limit and restrict business growth to adapting proven success concepts, Acadia Ventures helps clients create a powerful, predictable, and repeatable advantage over the competition.

JB Brown’s Facebook page,, regularly updates his followers on his professional and personal life. On his website, you can find information about his consulting services, speaking engagements, and a blog. For a more detailed account of his professional background and experience, you can also visit his LinkedIn profile at The website and social media profiles are useful resources for business owners, budding entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors who are interested in learning more about JB Brown’s expertise and insights.


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