http://cpatarantino.com/the-art-of-the-tax-loss/?share=linkedin Just about 10 years ago, I had an idea for a business – a private, indoor golf club downtown in a major city. The idea was to provide a fun, casual private club for professionals that lived and worked in downtown Philadelphia to network, entertain their clients, and host private events. For years, I developed the concept and pitched the concept to investors. For nearly decade, with some breaks in between, I worked on making this dream a reality. During that time, I also took on a partner.
cytotec online purchase In late 2016, I caught a break. I was connected with a wealthy family that was interested in investing specifically in an indoor golf business. How could that possibly be? For nearly a year, we went through a rigorous due diligence and negotiation process. Finally, we came to terms on a deal where they would invest roughly half of what we needed to launch the business. However, the investment was contingent on us being able pre-sell several hundred memberships before the money was actually invested. We were so confident that we could do it, we forged ahead. This commitment gave us the momentum that we need to raise the rest of the money that we thought we needed at the time. We jumped right into selling memberships. This is what I had been waiting for 10 years.
However, once we were ready to start selling memberships, we received some bad news. The location for the club that we thought was a lock was sold suddenly and the new owner was not really interested in taking a risky start up as a tenant. Suddenly, we were scrambling to find a new location. We hit a bit of luck in that we were able to identify one of the premier locations in the city on the 51st floor with two outdoor balconies as a new potential location. We engaged in a extended negotiation for the space that lasted over six months, but eventually we made a deal. Things were looking great!
We started the pre-sale process. After selling membership for a few months, a few things became clear to us. People really liked the concept, but because it was new, most people wanted to wait until the club opened before they committed to a membership. Unfortunately, we needed people to buy the memberships so we COULD open the club. On top of that, we realized that we were going to need a lot more money to open the club than we originally thought. We had to find an investor that had extensive resources and was wiling to commit to the project without any contingency requirement, and we did not have a lot of time to find them. Incredibly, we secured a meeting with the CEO of a billion company. A meeting was set up within a week. Within a few days, we had the framework for an acquisition deal in place. Yet again, we went through an intense due diligence and negotiation period that listed over four months. Once again, we were taking on a gut-wrenching emotional roller coaster. At the end of this, the company decided not to move forward with the deal.
There is no way to sugar-coat this, I was crushed. I had worked on this project for nearly a decade, and I had defined myself for so long by this project. Candidly, I experienced a pretty intense period of depression during this period. My life felt like it was in tatters. I just had what I considered the worst failure of my life, I had taken on a fair amount of debt over the last few years as I pursued this passion project, my eating and sleeping habits were terrible, and I knew I wasn’t spending nearly enough quality time with my family, including my amazing six year old daughter.
When I looked at my experience, I realized I had learned an incredible amount. At the end of the day, I had sat across the table from the CEO of a billion company, and he had made an offer on the company that I had build. Even though the deal was never finalized, not many people could make that claim. I made the decision that I was going to turn this “punch in the stomach” I had just taken into a positive experience. I became introspective and read as much as I could. I had a daily 45 minute or more commute so I became addicted to Audible books. All these things lead me down a path where I was forced to rethink my life completely. I realized that the most important goal of all was to be happy. From there, I tried to break down all of the components that comprised what I believed happiness to be for me. I’ve created goals around these components, and more importantly, I developed a plan to achieve these goals. This blog was created to share this journey and all the tools and pieces of information that have and will prove helpful in my journey to happiness. I hope you will join me.