6 years ago, I walked into my new office at a Regus space in Cherry Hill, NJ. I can distinctly remember sitting down, opening up my laptop, and looking over at my phone saying, what was I thinking? I had been a COO of a 300-person company for almost 9 years and been in-house counsel for the 9 years before that. I hadn’t been in private practice since my first year as an attorney in the olden times — the late 90s when we still faxed letters and email wasn’t permissible for client communications. Now I was starting my own practice and knew that I wanted to do so much more but becoming a serial entrepreneur in my early 40s seemed a bit crazy.
Fast forward 6 years and there’s been a lot of learning and a lot of change and some successes and some failures, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
There is a lot of bragging on social media about how many figure businesses people run. I really don’t believe in any of that, I’ve seen businesses doing $20 million in revenue that can’t pay a bill and businesses that maybe are $500,000 in revenues making $250,000 in profits. But I am proud of where I am and even more excited for where the next few decades will take me, so I’m going to boast a bit in my own way:
- The law firm is 6 years young, and we’ve stayed true to our core mission — to deliver outside general counsel services to the small and mid-sized business market on a pure subscription model basis
- I’m exceptionally proud that the companies that started this journey and believed in me early on are still with me
- Started a consulting firm, bid for new work, and been successful
- Became an author in an international Amazon bestselling book
- Built an engaged following on social media and a library of relevant content
- Been on podcasts, quoted in Forbes and multiple other publications
- Designed and had a SaaS product developed and deployed that’s now in use by multiple paying customers (www.vendonboard.com)
- Became a board member of 2 nonprofits — Latin American Economic Development Association and Ironbound Boxing Academy
- Supported capital raises of more than $20 million across multiple sectors
- Have been more present with my family than ever before
- Brought a puppy into our lives that is pure joy and love
- Made exceptional friends and colleagues along the journey and learned new technologies
- Approaching 200 consecutive weeks of working out mind, body, and soul with Peloton
- Have not slept enough
- Angel invested in startups with time and money that haven’t succeeded financially
- Part of a failed startup to bring US products to China’s emerging middle-class market
- Didn’t have proper project management in place for a software development effort and spent much more money and time than I should have to get a product ready for market
- Had a concept, designed a new brand, and failed to launch a fun brand start-up (still in the queue though)
- Launched but did not have great traction or focus on the Virtual Cocktail Club, of course, I have a garage full of airplane-sized bottles of liquor so maybe not such a failure 😊
- Bookkeeping and administrative parts of the businesses
- Doing the same strategic planning for myself as I do for others
- Lost touch with too many old friends
Take stock of where you are and celebrate the small wins and the big wins.
Learn from the mistakes and move forward.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in the past few years is through yoga, which I never thought I would practice, be present and grounded on your feet, don’t lean back into your heels into the past, and don’t reach too far forward onto your toes into the future.
Thank you to all those who have supported me along this journey; it’s only just getting started.