In every endeavor some people take more risks than others. You who are doing an amazing job will be remembered whenever people speak of this learning experience (there's a Shakespearean allusion in that statement-- let me know if you get it). I was thinking about this last night when I fell asleep. Then Ron Wayne came to me in a dream and told me to tell you his story. No, not John Wayne. RON Wayne. I hadn't heard of him either. But he directed me to p.65 of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and this is what I found:
[After agreeing to partner with Jobs and Wozniak in exchange for a 10% ownership stake in Apple...]
Wayne then got cold feet. As Jobs started planning to borrow and
spend more money, he recalled the failure of his own company. He didn't
want to go through that again. Jobs and Wozniak had no personal
assets, but Wayne (who worried about a global financial Armageddon) kept
gold coins hidden in his mattress. Because they had structured Apple
as a simple partnership rather than a corporation, the partners would be
personally liable for the debts, and Wayne was afraid potential
creditors would go after him. So he returned to the Santa Clara County
office just eleven days later with a "statement of withdrawal" and an
amendment to the partnership agreement. "By virtue of a re-assessment
of understandings by and between all parties," it began, "Wayne shall
hereinafter cease to function in the status of partner." It noted that
in payment for his 10% of the company, he received $800, and shortly
afterward $1,500 more.
Had he stayed on and kept his 10% stake, at the end of 2010 it
would have been worth approximately $2.6 billion. Instead he was then
living alone in a small home in Pahrump, Nevada, where he played the
penny slot machines and lived off his social security check.
Do your homework. Know the risks and rewards. Take action. As
Bukowski wrote (and 100 seniors recited last month): "The gods will
offer you chances. Know them. Take them."