I gave up the “comforts” of working for somebody else’s company in 2001. I was turning forty years old, passing the half way point of my lifetime and felt it was the first and probably the last opportunity for me to try something on my own.
About a year later, even though I was able to record revenues on my financial statements, my company was running out of cash because of tax payments that I was unprepared for. My company had to borrow some cash from my personal account to keep afloat.
After 6 years in business and 6 years of trial-and-error, company revenues were finally at a level where I felt it was worth it financially to be an independent business owner, rather than working for someone else’s organization. I was beginning to prepare for the second stage of my business, by establishing an independent mutual fund company with some trusted partners. At the end of 2007, I was feeling very good about my business.
But, in 2008 things looked very different from the start, and confirmed by the middle of the year. “Subprime Problem.” “Lehman Shock.” “The Worst Financial Crisis in a 100 years.” Whatever it was called, my business that I developed with a fund-of-funds in the West Coast was dead by the end of the year.
My original scenario of levering the current fund-of-funds business to launch the new mutual fund business had also died. I would have to jump into the rough seas with my partners without the comforts of a running engine to help support the new business.
As the storm blew over and left our business that we had built over the last 5 years in ruins, my West Coast partner, in exasperation, but armed with the wisdom of over 30 years of experience investing in hedge funds muttered, “Everything happens for a reason.”