So here we go again!!
I have 40 hours to put this together. The first thing I am worried about is, hey if all else fails, will I ever be able to pat=y back my friend who is now backing me in this crazy proposal. Because that is what it was insanity. Ask any savvy business person if he would try to finance and sign a deal , that just included the buyer taking over the stock,(complete nonsense #1), and then securing a bank that was unsecured with a personal guarantee, AND enter into a forbearance agreement,(complete nonsense #2 &3), and sign your name on the dotted line that basically exonerated the previous owner from any wrong doing, and assuming ALL the debts you know about, and DON'T know about are now yours!!!
What a great deal huh? Complete and utter LUNACY!!! A Harvard B school course on THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO TO OWN A BUSINESS!! Maybe I'll get lucky and someone over there in Cambridge will call me one day and say, "you know Joe, that was compleely crazy, could you teach a course over here on what you should absolutely not do!" I am waiting Harvard!! I will gladly do it. Too funny.
But not really, it was complete over the top insanity, and I have said many times it was completely a lack of ignorance that I was so hell bent on doing this. If I had the opportunity now, it wouldn't even be a conversation, I would run and fast away from that scenario. but sometimes, ignorance is your friend, and the bank although they got some of the security they wanted, really didn't know who they were dealing with either, but that was how eager they were to at least say to their senior prople, well see at least the loan is now secured!! They had no idea who they were dealing with though, and I knew, if I could just hang on, I 'd outsmart and horrify everyone I came in contact with down the road! Well that didn't take to long to happen. I had a tiger by the tail and I was desperately trying to hang on, the fact is, they didn't think I would fight like I did. I even surprised myself, but I knew I had one advantage. I felt comfortable making it a street fight and they didn't know the first thing about that. So I knew if I just held on long enough, I could read their motives and kill them all. They underestimated my level to adapt and I knew they couldn't handle my lack of, let's just say polish at the time. But one thing I knew was the business end if it, and they had no clue about manufacturing so I used their ignorance against them.
So, I came up with a one last ditch proposal. I would pay the owner $50,000 cash and sign a 5 year deal that paid him out over time. If I missed one payment, he could take it all back and sell it all, at his discretion! Crazy right? So he initially refused the offer outright. I walked out of the office and thirty minutes later called him from my car and informed him I was taking a month off. I had plenty of accumulated time off. I said to him, see you in 30 days and we will talk again. He abruptly hung up the phone and I headed home to rewrite my resume. Called my buddy and said, "the deal is dead".
Went out on my deck, looked up at the stars and wondered, what have I just done? A very long night to say the least. There would be many of those to come!! But I felt strangely alive. Joe