I turned 62 only three weeks ago. That has marked 43 continuous years on my entrepreneurial journey. Of course, I'm not even slowing down....like a Great White Shark, I would drown if I ever stopped my forward motion. However, a conversation yesterday that I had with my partner in my recent Vietnamese venture gave me pause for thought.
My partner said that this enormous undertaking with his country of origin (Vietnam), was actually his "Last Hurrah." The culmination of his twenty plus years in cultivating the "powers that be" in Vietnam, the subsequently being granted a 50 year license to operate that Country's Internet, the exclusive right to process online VISAs, the task of writing Vietnam's Blockchain and Cryptocurrency protocols and the recent issuance of the only accepted Utility Coin in that Country... had set the solid foundation from which to execute what is now unfolding, as we speak.
For my part, I had brought the state-of-the-art travel platform with 1 million hotels and 180 airlines with pricing 20%-70% less than the best Internet rates...available only through accepted Closed User Groups (CUGs). I also brought multiple Strategic Alliances as well as the expansion capital ($1 million) to build out their Utility Coin's very own Exchange, so that they could monetize their unique Travel Tokens and benefit from its inevitable rise in value. I received a generous 10 year contract to participate in the revenue generated both from the travel as well as the VISAs granted to the millions of visitors to Vietnam (13 million in 2017 and growing). For the equity investment I had facilitated, I also earned a "seat at the table" as a stakeholder in the Company and options on millions of dollars of the Utility Coin. In short...this too is likely my own "Last Hurrah."
The great part is that this opportunity to actually partner with the Country of Vietnam is unprecedented in my 4 decades long history of 150 start-ups and as such, there are any number of significant verticals that I can both create and deploy. With the secure foundation of an existing enterprise, bolstered by exclusive Government contracts and endorsements, plenty of capital and extraordinary cash flow...my own interests have never been more firmly entrenched and scaleable to heights never even imagined. In short, becoming a bona fide "Billionaire" is not only within reach but as fantastic as this may seem...even likely, given the many pieces in place.
As my "Last Hurrah" comes to fruition, I must reflect both on the path coming before...and ahead. The "Twilight" of both my life and entrepreneurial journey is at its final chapter. Now, of course I hope that this chapter is a long one that will extend to a couple of decades but...like my Vietnamese partner indicated in our conversation yesterday, we are both at a time and place in our lives that "staying the course" in this current endeavor, focusing, executing and improving is the very best endeavor that we can both dedicate ourselves to. I agree.
To that end, I am meeting with my Estate and Tax Planning experts within days. I have seven infant grandchildren (the 8th on its way!) and in 15 years or so...each starts University. I am funding all of their educations with a series of investments and a Generation-Skipping Trust. Likewise, I am busy creating an organization that will both mentor and fund young entrepreneurs so that they can have the chance for the self-empowerment and self-reliance of owning their own businesses...like I did myself, as a mere teenager long ago.
I have traveled the World...and will continue to do so. I have volunteered in Ethiopia for a time and will seek opportunities to volunteer again. I taught entrepreneurship as an Adjunct and will do so again. I live in the nicest place I've ever "hung my hat" and will likely remain here...but maybe not. Life is full of choices and I am far from becoming idle...even as my Fortune far exceeds any expectations that I may have had before.
After all...I really am an Apex Predator in the entrepreneurial sense and like my Ocean dwelling counterpart...I simply must keep moving forward.