Posted On October 1st, 2020
Our $5 Million Unsinkable IT Business
Hit A Massive Iceberg
My business partner and I started our first IT services business in 1999. Yet, rather than focus on LANs and servers like most MSPs, our business model focused more on connectivity services, including VoIP, cloud and cyber security. From day one, we locked onto the monthly recurring revenue model and grew our profitable business to $5 million. Things were good. Until…
Everything went sideways, and quickly. Life came crashing down for my business partner and best friend of over 25 years. It started with an ugly divorce, where he was separated from his seven kids. Things spiraled from there, and while I tried everything I could to rescue him, he threw it all away. I explained the situation to his ex-wife, a long-time family friend, and asked for controlling interest in our business. I told her that without 51% ownership, I would be forced to start a new company. Unfortunately, she didn’t accept my offer and went out of business.
Always one to shed positive light on every circumstance, I gained two important lessons from this experience:
Lesson #1: None of us are above it. We are all just a few bad decisions away from ruin. Like I told his ex-wife: if this could happen to him, it could happen to the Pope.
Lesson #2: Expect the best, but prepare for the worst. Even the best partnerships can end ugly. Make sure any partnership or business agreement you have is airtight. I was fortunate I didn’t have a non-compete clause in our agreement, which allowed me to continue serving my clients.
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