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Biggest Lessons From Shutting Down A $12M Business with Michael Fox

20 minutes

Matt Vitale — An underrated way to raise capital: equity crowdfunding
Sarah Davidson — From corporate job to business owner to exiting

3 key lessons learned in Shoes of Prey's business journey

Shutting a business down is no easy decision, especially 10 years in when you have over 200+ people employed, millions of dollars invested from investors, and you're seemingly 'successful' at $12M revenue. But when you're operating at a loss, the inevitable is bound to happen — and that's exactly what happened to Michael Fox and the business he co-founded, Shoes of Prey.

However, despite its closure, Michael didn't let that 'failure' stay fatal to his journey as an entrepreneur. Instead, he took those hard-earned lessons he gained from Shoes of Prey into his newest business, Fable Food Co, to make it the massive success it is today. Fable Food Co's products are in over 250 restaurants and cafes, in 1700+ supermarkets, and its first customer was even Michelin Star celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal!

Hear all about Michael's 3 key lessons learned from shutting a $12M business down in this snippet of his session with us at The MIH Summit earlier this year all in today's episode of The Make It Happen Show.


Topics covered in this episode:

  • 0:58 - Introducing Michael Fox
  • 1:29 - How Shoes of Prey took a niche into the mass market
  • 5:13 - The realities of being married to your business partner
  • 7:53 - The international expansion of Shoes of Prey
  • 8:57 - Shutting down Shoes of Prey
  • 12:57 - What can you do after you've closed your business?
  • 15:04 - Why you need to be passionate about the business you're in
  • 16:24 - Get your market research right!
  • 17:55 - The importance of setting up your business to scale quickly if needed
Michael Fox featured image

"You need to work on something that you're deeply, personally passionate about."

— Michael Fox

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The reasons why Shoes of Prey didn't work out
  • How consumers subconsciously don't know what they want
  • The key to good market research that will set you up for success
  • Why you should work with investors who you actually align with
  • And more!




Great insight for business owners and super practical takeaways!

Bruce Casanovic

Amazing guests, great insights into their journey and what has helped make their businesses successful. Great to hear how some of the guests have navigated challenge as well. Loads of good practice takeaways.

Perfect for the Monday commute


Great to listen to on the commute to work on Monday mornings. Great content, well delivered and plenty of insights from industry leaders in a variety of fields. Good to see the entourage getting out there with a podcast series

Top-shelf guests. Top-shelf conversations.


This is so awesome, so helpful, and so fresh. Right from the get-go, the team at The Entourage have brought out the big names in the Aussie entrepreneur and business space to have conversations that every business owner should listen to. I can't wait to see who they bring on next.

Amazing guests


Loved the episode with Tim Fung, Airtasker CEO! You guys are getting some awesome guests in! Thank you!

Entourage on point again!

Adz Rodger

Great content again from The Entourage! Particularly like the 1st episode and the points Tim Fung made about making sure you make time to map out the future and don't get stuck on day to day 'work', as well as the observation that you really need to be strategic about your people management and not just try to save money. Two awesome take homes I have already taken action on!

For entrepreneurs and non-trepeneurs alike


Well this was one of the best things I’ve heard in a while. I’m by no means the target demographic, having zero business or entrepreneurial experience at all. Luckily the advice given for business growth and success is remarkably applicable to personal growth and success. Loved the conversational style, by the end of the podcast I felt like I knew both Tims personally, which is a great mark of engagement. And I loved hearing about the humble beginnings of Airtasker from the founder himself. Give this a listen if you’re craving a bit of personal or professional inspiration.


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