When I was 25, I quit my job at Goldman Sachs. I left Wall Street, and I used what I had scraped together to buy a controlling stake in a struggling technology company. When I acquired the business, it was on the brink of failure. There wasn’t enough cash to make payroll in two weeks, and the company’s finances were a train wreck. But I dug in and put in long hours and tons of travel away from home. I learned everything there was to know about that company. It took a long time and a lot of hard work, but that work would prove fruitful. Over the next few years, I rebranded the company, grew into several new product lines and started applying some of that Wall Street knowledge to both acquire new business units and eventually sell the original core business altogether, thus pivoting into a software-as-a-service company. I kept growing the business, building the team and expanding. But, after several years at the helm, I realized I needed to make a change. It sounds amazing to be the CEO of your own company before 30 years old, but I started to see that what the company needed to grow, what I wanted to do and, most importantly, what my core skills were, did not align.
My core skill set is not running a company day to day. I put together successful deals to buy these companies. I help them make big, strategic pivots and navigate tough business decisions. My core skillset is being a nexus that connects deals, capital, people, ideas, and opportunity. It all happened one morning when I was having coffee with an old friend of mine. He was running a related technology business at the time and felt stuck as well. Almost on a whim, I threw out a wild idea: What if you took over my job? We both felt it might just be crazy enough to make sense. We spent months hashing out what it might look like, and eventually, we landed on a potential path for both of us. He would step into the company as CEO, and I would step into the role of Chairman of the Board. That was nearly three years ago, and since then, the company has taken off on a new trajectory. Its growth has skyrocketed. and we’ve landed on the 2019 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. It’s amazing what can happen once you get aligned with where your skills can really shine and get the right people on the bus.