COMMERCIAL FUNDING THROUGH PRIVATE SOURCES
Another day at the office....
I'm an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word. Although I grew up in a totally "corporate" environment in New Canaan, Connecticut, I have always loved the thought and reality of owning my own businesses...and I have...over 150 times since the age of 19.
Financing your business is never easy and I had to invent many different ways to fund my own enterprises over the past 42 years. As a result, I got pretty good at it and made some top notch private funding resources connections.
I started or co-founded a couple of well known entrepreneurial organizations along the way, YEO and Club Entrepreneur. In the Club E chapter in Phoenix with 10,000 members, I sent out an email to my membership and suggested a one-on-one meeting with anyone interested. One thousand members took me up and I met them all over an 8 month marathon period.
In my hour long meetings with each, nearly all need start-up or expansion capital and I found myself becoming a "financing machine," raising millions of dollars for my members right out of those meetings. After I sold out a portion of Club Entrepreneur a year later, I decided to start my own capital raising businesses on a "for profit" basis, rather than giving away my hard earned skill sets and connection was born and soon I was taking in millions of dollars of funding deals. Quickly, I expanded from our first Santa Monica location to another office in Scottsdale. I had a "machine" going with applications flying in and I kept having to bring on and educate more and more in staff just to keep up. Things looked grand...until I woke up.
I was becoming nothing more than a "suit," the type of corporate guy that I had always avoided being. This just wasn't my bag so I decided to shut the doors, close the business and I went on a humanitarian mission with an international NGO to Ethiopia for six months. I still have a home there and actually have 42 of my own projects in various stages in process.
Anyway, I'm back, at least part-time and I "office" on the outside patio of my favorite coffee house in Southern California. As soon as I returned to the States, I was bombarded with fellow entrepreneurs seeking funding help for their ventures. At first I demurred but then decided, why not? I could pick and choose those funding deals that interested me and in some cases would offer me an equity stake in their companies for a successful funding and with the "value added" of someone with my experience and connections being part of their growing company.
In the past two months I have now secured a $600k equity investment in a neuroscience start-up, an $800k loan for a medical practices roll up and a $625k credit facility for a Co-working space acquisition. I am even working on a $10mm loan against a $600mm precious metals deposit. I own equity in each and I get the fees I posted for each deal too. Now, that's the kind of business I want to do from now on.
No more office. No more employees. Just my lap top, cell phone, some eager beaver virtual interns... and that's my story and that's my new business model.