MUSIC DOWN — Cue the talent, please:

Greetings and welcome to this edition of Failing Forward. I’m Chuck Weatherby.

And I’m Patricia Myercroft. Our guest today is G. Raymond Spurley, CEO and President of FastTrackWiring Software Inc. Mr. Spurley brings an impressive record of corporate failures he has overseen before being hired as CEO and President of FastTrackWiring Software Inc. located in California’s lovely Silicon Valley. Mr. Spurley, welcome to Failing Forward.

Thank you, Patricia. I’m pleased to be with you.

CHUCK: Mr. Spurley, you’ve guided three other companies into bankruptcy?

That’s true, Chuck. It wasn’t easy and Zippercraft Industries presented a formidable challenge for me, but I persevered against loyal, hard-working workforce at Zippercraft and I finally prevailed.

As I understand it, Zemko-Purton, your first company, also filed for bankruptcy?

That’s also true, Chuck. There I had a union to contend with, and it took me over two years to bring them down, but I succeeded.

PATRICIA: Mr. Spurley, what happened at Buywyler Industries? This was the company you bought down before being hired at FastTrackWiring, am I correct?

You are, Patricia. It’s not easy to ruin a good business and I lost a lot of sleep trying to figure out how to do it.

In other words, you have managed to Fail Forward most of your executive life because your compensation plan was better — more lucrative for you — than at the positions you left?

I can’t deny it, Patricia. Let’s not forget, however, that my exit compensation packages from each industry were very lucrative and these days a smart CEO will negotiate lucrative exit compensation packages so that he is well rewarded for what he has failed to do for a company.

You mean, turn a profit?


CHUCK: So ruining companies has made you wealthy hasn’t it, Mr. Spurley?

I can’t disagree with that, Chuck.

Are you proud of your accomplishments?

I am.

What about all the people who lost jobs because you drove their business into bankruptcy?

One does what one has to do. Early in life I learned the principle of Failing Forward. Had these employees learned this technique, they wouldn’t be in the financial shape they’re in right now.

PATRICIA: You’re saying they made the mistake of believing your promises that they would be rewarded for their faithful service to the companies whose fortunes you oversaw?

I am saying that, Patricia. They believed we would always be there to take care of them, that their healthcare and pension plans would be safe, that they could trust us when we told them they didn’t have a worry in the world if they did their jobs and did them well.

What about the Law of Attraction, Mr. Spurley? Shouldn’t these people be rewarded for their hard work and commitment to the companies for which they worked and instead, they lost their jobs, and you left these businesses richer and better off?

My Law of Attraction was obviously stronger than their Law of Attraction. That’s the only way I can explain it. You see, I was single-minded in my obsession to bring down these companies. I never wavered in my purpose to do this. Most people’s thoughts are scattered. They lack the ability to focus on one dominating thought the way I do. That’s why my Law of Attraction was stronger than theirs.

CHUCK: Which explains why you have, over the years, Failed Forward into better and better jobs?

Absolutely. Do you know what my business philosophy is, Chuck?

What is your business philosophy, Mr. Spurley?

We — the corporation or business you work for — are not your Parents. It’s not our job to take care of your every need. One day it’s likely we’ll tell each of our workers you can’t live at home any more. We’re through taking care of you.

PATRICIA: Do you have any suggestions or recommendations on how a person can insure their own future in the light of what you’ve just said?

Other than learning how to Fail Forward?


Trust your own inner voice, whatever that is, when it tells you not to place all your financial eggs in one basket. Find what you’re passionate about and make some money doing it. Build it up and in time you can be your own boss without having to rely on a person like me for your security. Until a person has the courage to do that I guess you could say I am your worst fear come true, especially if I’m the person in charge of what’s going to happen to you.

CHUCK: Well, Mr. Spurley, we’re about out of time. I’d like to thank you for visiting with us on Failing Forward.

My pleasure, Chuck.

PATRICIA: A final question, Mr. Spurley.

Yes, Patricia?

You’re not negotiating with any of the stockholders who own this broadcasting network are you?

You mean to run your operation into the ground?


If I were involved in such negotiations at this time, Patricia, I would not be able to disclose that to you. You ought to know that.

I suppose I should. Just thought I’d ask.


I’m Patricia Myercroft.

And I’m Chuck Weatherby inviting you to join us next week for another edition of Failing Forward. Stay tuned for Business Upturn-Downturn Week in Review with Angela Hartamann and Boyd Dowling.

CHUCK: So long everybody. Thanks for watching.

PATRICIA: Make it a great week!


Author's Bio: 

I worked as a television broadcaster in Texas for thirteen years. I also taught TV News, public speaking, and mass culture at three universities. Check out
or write me about this article at