Building a business is not the life most people should choose. I don’t want to say that it’s been a calling for me for 20+ years, but that’s kind of the way I feel. I started a business at 19 in college and after building a basic product couldn’t get it funded. A couple years later saw one of the investment firms we approached fund something similar (maybe further along) and decided to learn more. So, I started cold calling brokerage firms that posted ads on Monster or Hotjobs. It was the summer of 2001.
I convinced a few to interview me or maybe it was easy because I was young. I ended up selling my friend Kaz on joining me on these interviews. We ended up in Pompano Beach, Florida at a firm called LH Ross, and eventually taking the job there. I had no intentions of making a long-term career of managing money. I just wanted to learn the business and use the knowledge in some other way. Unless you’re at a major firm, most stockbroker jobs were commission based, essentially meaning you own your own business.
Maybe things are different now, but back then it was a 1099 position and no one tells you how or helps you figure out taxes. That said, other than the guidelines set out by the self-regulatory organizations and S.E.C. it was a free for all in a way. I was free to build however I wanted. Of course, I knew nothing and since my mindset was not on the long-term, I made a lot of mistakes. That’s one of the big lessons.
Fast forward a couple of decades and I’m back in the saddle with a new venture. One that has been painstakingly long to create. I had the idea in 2009 for a company called Primaliant… a combination on prime and alliance, but my business partner at the time and I couldn’t agree on a few details and she stopped working on it so I decided to go back to what I was doing best – investment analysis. It would be 6 years later when the idea finally started to come back into my mind. This time, I put the name as Key Bridge, bought a few domains, hired a team and started to build out the first iteration. However, something didn’t feel right. 5 long years later, something still wasn’t sitting right with me and I wonder if it’s all wrong.
Should I give up?
What would I do if I did?
Would that make me happier?
Would that be enough?
Happiness is not the goal of life, sorry. I can’t give up now because I’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole and remember what I said about a calling, that’s how I feel about quitting. Maybe I do something else and recalibrate, but this is something that I have to do. I know it’s crazy to keep going, but fuck it. I’m not going to be satisfied if I stop. Right now, it’s super lonely. It’s not that I can’t choose one of the ideas and be successful with it, it’s that I can’t figure out what is in my head (the vision) and make it reality yet. I keep trying. I’ll keep trying.