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Even Giants Fall – Geoff Bainbridge Talks Energy, Passion, and Commitment



Too big to fail. The four-word phrase theoretically explains why the giants of industry such as Wal-Mart and Amazon will never sweat a bad year; they could sustain a bad decade, but never will. Geoff Bainbridge knows business. The successful entrepreneur, co-founder of Grill’d and one of the youngest ever to merge business and fine arts when opening Studio Ongarato at only 21 knows branding, business, and people.

Samantha Wills knows Geoff Bainbridge. Their relationship remains cordial, one of value and respect. The pair parted ways prior to Samantha Wills, the social media sensation and founder and creative genius of then-prominent Samantha Wills Jewelry, wrote her memoir. In it, she recounts the moment when she told Bainbridge her visionary creative boutique was done – she was moving on – and he would have to accept this as a termination of their business dealings.

“This brand requires energy, passion and commitment, and without that from the top then it has no future, it just becomes a fallen giant”

– Geoff Bainbridge, in response to Samantha Wills

Bainbridge presented Wills with an informative, not persuasive statement. He did not demand she change her mind or hand the business over. Bainbridge would have been more-than-capable of operating a jewelry empire. Yet, he told Samantha Wills to listen to her heart, to harness her energy, to evaluate her passion and to commit to something that she would love.

“I am not going to try to get you to stay when clearly you don’t want to stay, I am not going to try to get you to commit out of some framework of guilt, but what I am going to do is say listen to your heart and stay true to my mantra of respecting and fulfilling a founder’s vision even if this is ultimately the closure of the Samantha Wills jewelry brand” – Geoff Bainbridge

Firms are too big too fail until they lose sight of their vision. People are never too big to fail. It is inherent to become relaxed after a hint of success. For Bainbridge, or for those who oblige his mentality to business, this becomes the starting point to a trap. Lost passion is lost value, and can be the end of business even for the giants of industry.

The response by Bainbridge in hearing about Wills’ decision to close reads like a speech in an Oscar-winning film. The coach-mentor is subtly and strategically providing a compelling argument as to why the talented player should not give up on his dreams, and should not quit the team. Bainbridge, however, has difficulty in overtness and strategically-placed words to convince and argue and persuade. Rather, he brings truth to the business environment, where the core component of his leadership is driven by passion.

Wills was large, but never large enough to fail. She was well on her way to becoming a giant, but would easily collapse without motivated passion and a commitment. Bainbridge says this, encouraging her to shift pattern and follow her dreams. The selfless attitude of Geoff Bainbridge defines him as a man, captivates him as a mentor, and ensures that there is still humility and humanity in a cutthroat industry.

Jay Feldman is an Osteopathic medical doctor and founder of Otter Public Relations, a PR agency with more than 40 employees internationally. Jay has more than 300K followers on social media and is the host of top business podcast, Mentors Collective. He is a contributor at Entrepreneur.com and has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider and other top networks!

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