Anyway, it was January 2008. In the first 10 days of that year, I closed two deals to purchase an Office Coffee Service company and a boutique roaster who was really struggling but had great product! So I was into all kinds of different things. The OCS business I bought got me into the k-cup business, which I am not a fan of but hey, it is huge, and the boutique guy came to work for me. I wanted him on the team. He was a hopeless romantic about coffee but really couldn't grasp the marketing and scaling up mindset, that you needed to have to be really successful. Now don't get me wrong, there are a lot of little boutique roasters that do quite well for themselves for sure. They just don't think in the same terms as someone coming from a volume is everything background! But it was a good move on my part, because he brought some interesting prospectives into the business, and hell, I liked him!
So, I was on to my next target which was a much bigger fish. I was going to need a heavy line and some real showmanship to pull this off. It was a 110 year old business, with the 3rd generation of family members still running it, actively. I needed one hell of a pitch to get them to even listen! I sat on that for a few days.....
Then the phone rang. I'll never forget it. I had a personal line in my office that probably 35 people in the whole world had the number to, when it rang it was never a good thing! This time it was more than that, it was my wife calling me to tell me, my best friend didn't wake up this morning. He was dead!!
I dropped the phone and cried like a baby. I started to think about my grandson Brady who had just passed in July of 2007, everything started to crumble in my big oak lined office, with my beautiful serene views. Was this really how 2008 was going to be? I was surrounded and engulfed by death!
My friend was a real man's, man, he was proud and had fell on some really difficult times over the last 2 or 3 years. He lost his dad, his sister and his job in a matter of 6 months. He was a throwback, that's why I loved him. He would give you the shirt off of his back, that is just who he was. I remember on a few occasions when he was really in need, he would ask me for some help and I gladly helped him. But now thinking back on it, I should have done more. I could have done more. It was right back to ground zero, another one of life's curveballs that I couldn't hit. Could always hit the fast ball, but all I was seeing was junk!
How is this happening? I couldn't believe it, he had a family, a wife who was my wife's best friend, it was devastating. Life is cruel sometimes. So much for new beginnings! "MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS!