This past May I hit the Big 60 milestone, and during that time, wrote a post that I decided to put on ‘ice’ for awhile. Came across it today, and have now decided to post. Nothing earth-shattering, but it does better frame the new chapter that I’m trying to start for myself.
In the About section of this blog, there are several life pursuits mentioned. Two of them — birding and seeking fun experiences with family and friends — have officially gone to the top of the list, if you haven’t already noticed! One pursuit, which has often defined my life over the past few decades — the quest of ‘doing’ things, of pushing myself, of self-initiating and developing new projects and assignments and then getting them ‘done’ — has been diminished in importance in recent years. It’s not on the list of my pursuits. But it’s still there. I feel it.
Well, one aspect associated with 'doing’ that I’m officially retiring from involves the coming up with ‘new’ business ideas, the tinkering with an emerging hot consumer product or service, whatever. That love of building something from nothing now transfers exclusively to my angel investing. Oh how I still enjoy getting on board and supporting a new startup run by a smart, energetic team with a great work ethic that won’t stop until they succeed. As I’ve written about before, from a business perspective, the BUYSEASONS experience was about as good as it can get.
I’m always around to advise, counsel, and give you my two cents, but…
NEW RULE #1: If you see me getting excited about some new product or service that I want to start on my own, I want to you smack me upside the head! Get me to stop! And take us someplace sometime where we can experience something fun!
The second New Rule, related to the aforementioned New Rule, involves realizing that the vision I’ve long had of pulling together a group of guys, from my Rolodex, who had the financial flexibility and who wanted to piggyback on my angel investments over the course of several years, is not going to happen. The thought was that by investing in most of the deals I get into, certain friends and colleagues would enjoy the nice exits that I occasionally enjoy, and that when that happened every three years or so, we’d all go out and celebrate.
Sure, some friends have piggybacked, with blended IRR’s that have been pretty darn good. But honestly, it’s created some unintended consequences, involving responsibilities that I realize that I’d rather not have. This concept was always my idea en lieu of being the lead guy in a fund, which has been proposed to me a few times over the past decade, but never much interested me. As it has turned out, even with the few times someone has piggybacked, I still feel 'responsible’.
Again, I’m always around to offer advice and will gladly introduce you to the CEO’s of the startups I invest in, but…
NEW RULE #2: If when I’m talking about a new startup I’m about to invest in, and start to offer the possibility of piggybacking on my investment, I want you to smack me upside the head! And take me birding!