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Founders - Something very personal.

Jun 10, 2024

Founders - Something very personal

→ What I learned 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗜 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴.
→ First, the setback was a setup
→ Not to get too cute
→ But, what I learned was a setup for my present success

𝗜 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗰𝗾𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵. 𝗜𝘁 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗲. 

→ I was in my 22nd year as an entrepreneur
→ Several of my startups had already made the INC 500 🚀
→ I made the 40 under 40 🚀
→ And the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 🚀
→ I was already successful 🚀
→ Yet, not insulated from trouble
→ No one is

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 — 𝗶𝘁'𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲. 👀 
→ It started with an acquisition of a coding bootcamp school. 
→ That's when the UNUSUAL adversity started
→ I already had a 49% equity stake
→ I bought out the remaining 51% — all cash
→ Revenue was $10M annually


Personal Things

→ My 10 year son Alec died unexpectedly
→ My wife got cancer
→ My other son was diagnosed with a condition with a 33% mortality rate
→ I landed in the hospital with diabetes

𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲. 𝗕𝗨𝗧 𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗡 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 followed.

→ The recession started, all of our student loan programs were put on hold.
→ Sales went to zero.
→ I had two campuses full of students and a monthly overhead of $600k
→ I used my personal funds to make overhead
→ A year later I was out of business and money
→ I was humiliated
→ I was exhausted

𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝗸𝗲, 𝗕𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗴𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱!

→ We lost our home
→ We lost our cars
→ We lost our dignity
→ At one point I had $9 in my bank account

𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝗜 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘁 ...

→ My faith
→ My WILL to succeed
→ The courage to START OVER

𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 15 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗴𝗼, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝘁'𝘀 𝗮𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗵 𝗮𝘀 𝘆𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗱𝗮𝘆. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗜 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻?

→ The mountain tops have great views
→ But the fruit grows in the valley
→ My will to help fellow founders win was forged in the fire
→ When you get knocked down, get back up

𝗙𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀, 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘄 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗹, 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗶𝗽𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗞𝗘𝗘𝗣 𝗚𝗢𝗜𝗡𝗚! 🚀

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