I am an accidental entrepreneur. Upon graduation from McCombs with a BBA in Finance, I had no grand vision of starting a business. My career track followed the typical path; five years in commercial banking, hired away from banking to work initially in treasury then ultimately in sales and trading and finally running a large division for a public company responsible for several billion in sales and over 500 employees. Then, all of a sudden the music stopped, the large, safe Fortune 100 company shuts down your division and the industry you had spent the last 20 years pursuing no longer exists. I became an entrepreneur out of desperation instead of planning!
The initial company was founded with former co-workers where we all spent the first year studying various business strategies and meeting with potential private equity partners. After 13 months we raised our first round of $50 million in equity support. We stayed in businesses we knew, leveraging contacts we had developed over many years. It was 25 months before we drew our first paycheck from the new company. We are now in the third round of private equity, focused on building our current company.
It has been over thirteen years since that first foray into entrepreneurship. The journey has been more difficult than I ever imagined and more rewarding that I ever dreamed possible. If I had to do it all over again, I would have planned on it much sooner in my career.