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The Light Came On But I Couldn't Find It!

I knew I wanted to buy the business, I knew this was an opportunity. Not a great one mind you, but for someone with absolutely no money, hey, it was worth a shot! By now it was May 1997, we were moving into our new beautiful house at the end of the month. By now, I was fed up with Joe the b.s. artist. I was approached by at least 5 companies through Joe that were saying, "Hey you just show us the ropes and you'll be the guy!" Yeah I'll be the guy that is asking Joe Moakley for a job during the big dig, or calling up whoever I knew to due whatever. So thank god I didn't buy into that. There was one problem though, and it was kind of a big one! Chock Full O' Nuts was semi interested, to what extent I couldn't tell you but they were. I"ll never forget getting a call from their CFO and he wanted to meet me at the Boston Harbor Hotel. I wish I remembered his name, but I don't. Anyway, this was not good for my future plan, if they were involved that's for sure.
It was a bizarre meeting, all I really remember about it is that the breakfast menu I was staring at while the CEO and CFO were talking to me was that I was astounded that the Boston Harbor Hotel charged $3.95 for a cup of coffee!! In 1997? Really? Anyway, they went on and on about how I would be a key figure in their organization and well a bunch of other bullcrap. That was it, I walked out of there hoping that my owner, wouldn't listen to them. I was lost. Really just panicked.
I don't think they thought the meeting went that well because after that, there really was no communication and that was fine with me. The bank wasn't happy when I informed them of the results and the lawyer's were still foaming at the mouth to file bankruptcy! It was tumultuous times, It was absolutely crazy. So I went to some business associates, I had been dealing with for years. The plan was going to be, the two investor's would get a third of the company, and I would get a third for running it. It made total sense to me because one guy, who had a lot of money, we didn't have his business. So I am thinking if we get this guy, put his volume on top of what we already have, we will be golden. So I meet these guys on a Saturday with the awful,ugly story and the numbers, however fouled up, to show them. They buy into the idea. I am on cloud 9!
That Monday I went to my owner with a proposal. I would buy the company for $1,000,000 over 10 years. He immediately asks, "where are you going to get that kind of money"? I say, don't worry about it, I will sign an agreement and if it doesn't pan out, you get the company back!
First thing out of his mouth is, "who are your partner's?" I said I really feel uncomfortable disclosing that information. It was the most uncomfortable conversation I have ever had with him. He said to me, if you don't disclose it, NO DEAL!!
I was pissed obviously and walked out of the office. I didn't leave I just went to my office and tried to focus on other stuff I had to get done. It was surreal. The next thing I know he is buzzing my office saying get back in here!!! So as I have always done, I walked back into his office. He grilled me about who was involved and it was to say the least, very uncomfortable. Finally after about an hour of back and forth I told him, it was strange, I still thought I owed him an answer, I was loyal until the end. So, when he found out who it was, he said, and I'll never forget this, "well they the money I want it all up front!" I was stunned. I had told these guys, I could pull off a ten year payout, now what!! My inexperience at negotiating was gong to cost me and everyone else. I screwed up. I was devastated.
Needless to say, I went back and told them the new terms. They looked at me like I had six heads!! I can't say I blame them, it was a complete error on my part.
I went home and wanted to throw myself into a bonfire!!
What was my option now? Was I dead in the water? Should I just try and find a job? How am I going to pay for this house and provide for my family?
The funny thing that kept coming back in my head was, when I first brought my mom and dad down to the house before we moved in, he stood on the front lawn after we walked through the house, and by no means was it some extravagant home. It was a new 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath colonial on a cul de sac. We paid $385,000 for it. He stood there looking at the house and then looked at me and said,"You're crazy!! You are never going to be able to pay for this house in a million years!" I thought wow, thanks for the vote of confidence.
But that night, it resonated in my head, over, and over, and over...........
What have I got myself into? I had no idea..............

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