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350 Business Gone Bad
Kevin talks about a business experience that did not go so well and what he learned from it.
Todd: So Kevin, you were saying that you've been poor, broke, a couple of times. You talked about being in New York, and being broke. When else have you been broke?

Kevin: Wow. Well, after New York, the following year, when I came down from New York, I was determined to be my own boss. I had not been in control of my life while I was in New York. It was all depending on other people to let me have a job. And when I lost the job, that really, that really hurt.

And so when I went home I decided that I was going to own my own business, and I opened my first business which was a Karate school, and I put a lot of money into it that I had worked for almost a year saving up and then, well I also had a small inheritance from my grandmother.

Todd: Oh okay.

Kevin: Yeah. But I ended up losing all of the money in the Karate school.

Todd: Now did you actually know Karate?

Kevin: Yes.

Todd: Oh you do?

Kevin: I do.

Todd: I did not know that about you.

Kevin: That would have been a strange business to start if I didn't know it. But yeah, yeah, I'd done it, I started when I was a kid. And, at the time, I was 20, I think 20, just about to turn 21 when I opened it. And I was ni-dan at the time, second degree black belt, and I had been teaching at my instructor's school for a while and he had encouraged me, you know, to go ahead and do it. But it was the wrong location, and the wrong town, the town was really poor. And I lost about $20,000 in 6 months.

Todd: That's a lot of money.

Kevin: That is a lot of money. Especially to a 21 year old who, you know...

Todd: Yeah, $20,000 when you're 21, you can live for like 3 years.

Kevin: Right, and not a year and half earlier I was flat busted broke in New York, and then, you know, things picked up and I thought that I could really try and make something of it. But you know, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and that was the attitude that I had, and, you know, found myself broke again.

Todd: So that fact that you've been poor, but you were poor both times when you were very young, do you look back and are you glad that you had those experiences?

Kevin: Sure. Sure, I learned a lot. Those experiences were valuable. You can't buy that kind of experience, you know, I carry it around with me now. I listen to other people who have business ideas and, you know, one thing that I gained from it is I can tell if they are going into a business, if they're gonna try and start up a business and, you know, they haven't considered all the things that they really need to consider, I can see the pitfalls that I fell in. And, you can try and suggest people to, you know, make other arrangements or to be more careful about this or that, but it doesn't always work out. Sometimes they just have to go out and learn the hard way like I did.