March 4, 2019
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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently ran a piece on the fall of Pittsburgh icon and Heinz chief executive, Anthony J.F. O’Reilly, who is spiraling towards bankruptcy (view full article here).
One of the lessons here is that sometimes you are not as smart as you think. In many cases, you’re fortunate to have enough money just to pay the bills. And in Mr. O’Reilly’s case, you can never have enough money to be frivolous.
As a Pittsburgh bankruptcy attorney, I urge clients to not become emotionally tied to assets such as homes and businesses. You need to recognize problems early and cut your losses as soon as possible. Mr. O’Reilly kept pouring millions into his independent publishing company and crystal manufacturing firm—two industries that have been struggling. Rather than cut his losses, he continued to finance these doomed businesses due to his penchant for extravagance. Failure to be decisive limits your options.
This story teaches us we can find ourselves in financial trouble at any give time. Always be thankful for what you have, but don’t let it define you.