“My father owned several businesses, but he owned this one business that was a store that was failing. It was losing a lot of money, and so he was going to close it. We made a deal that I’d drop out of school, not finish my last semester, and take it over.
If I turned it around I would get 50% of the business and compensate him for the losses that he incurred from the point I took it over until it was successful. The lease was running out, I had about a year by the time I got there to turn it around, and if I did turn it around I’d get 50% ownership and he’d get reimbursed for all the losses. It was no-lose for him and no-lose for me, a real win-win, and that’s what I did.
When I got there, the business, the break even was about three million. It was doing about a million and a half, so it was losing about a million and a half, and we turned it around.
It became a very well-known store in Manhattan visited by people like Madonna, it was in New York City.
It went back to three million, then four and a half million, and then six million, then seven million, seven and a half million or so, and it was continuing to grow.
We opened a music label. We put a recording studio in the store that turned into a music label, a techno music label where we had worldwide distribution on, but I recognized around that time that this was not really my lifelong pursuit, and so I gave the business back to my dad, went back to school, finished my last semester.
Then I decided to take a year off and figure out what was going to be next for me, or should I semi-retire. I kind of knew I was eventually going to do something, but not sure when I would figure out what or when, and that was kind of the end of the first phase”.