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Time to Let Go of New Habits

IN 1971, TWO BROTHERS opened an 800-square-foot used bookstore in my hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Throughout the next two decades, this family-run enterprise would grow into Borders Books, the giant chain with more than 650 stores and thousands of employees. Borders created an amazing in-store experience, bringing the joy of browsing through thousands of titles to areas of the country that had never had bookstores before. Two years after its IPO in 1995, Borders stock hit an all-time high. Yet just 16 years later, the company that one publisher had called “the envy of the industry” filed for bankruptcy. What happened?

There are many reasons that businesses close their doors. We’ve all heard the dismal statistics ...

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