Why does anybody make a tremendous change? Especially when you’re comfortable. Especially when you’ve been content for over a decade.
Many of you know that I worked for a bank-owned funding source for nearly eleven years. And I was lucky enough to work for someone I respect and consider a friend. When I started there, it was a start-up. It was insanely busy, ever-changing, exciting and challenging. And then it got easy. And I was very comfortable. It’s likely I could have stayed for another decade and continued to be “comfortable”.
So, I suppose the next question would be, is comfort enough? Is being comfortable a reason to keep doing what you’re doing? And is there growth in comfort? I think that many of us in this industry are cut from the same cloth and would say the answer is a resounding “No way, José!”.
To be fair, I wasn’t looking for change. But it found me. In the way of BlackRiver Business Capital. I was presented an opportunity to help build another start-up, but this time as a decision maker in the process.
I had known BlackRiver’s president, Rob Childers, for a few years through various industry conferences. A while ago he approached me and asked if I would ever consider a move. I’ve always kept my options open, but never seriously considered another offer, because let’s face it…change is scary! And comfort is easy.
So, how and why did I decide that BlackRiver was worth the risk? That’s easy. Because to quote Warren Buffet, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”. And so, there was no real risk here. Let me elaborate…
If you’ve met Rob, you know he’s bright. And he literally grew up around this industry. Around one of the most successful funding sources in our space. He has a history in wealth management, previously a partner at a firm managing more than a billion dollars. So, he knows how to make solid decisions that put our company on the road to success. In addition, he started BlackRiver with eyes wide open, fully aware of the time and sacrifice that would be (and still are) required to ensure success. He knows what he’s doing.
Faith Ralph is a Director with BlackRiver who runs back-end operations. And she’s responsible for all the aesthetically attractive marketing pieces you’ve seen from us and so many of you have complimented. She knows what she’s doing.
Our Director of Credit, Kelly Eckels, knows how to make a common-sense credit decision. She can look at a deal and find a way to make it work, if it makes sense for everyone involved. She’s reasonable and fair. She knows what she’s doing.
Cole Thornton runs our collections team. A former Marine, with experience in oil field services, Cole is a “doer” and not afraid to make the necessary decisions or take the appropriate action to produce results. He has extensive knowledge about much of the equipment we finance, successfully leads our internal collections team and works with originators to get results. He knows what he’s doing.
I put my previous company on the proverbial map. I know how to make a third-party-originated funding source work. I know what programs need to look like to make sense. I know what kind of service originators expect. I know how to make the experience easy and pleasant to keep them coming back for more. I know what I’m doing.
So, if Warren Buffet is right (and I think he knows a little bit about success), that risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing, there really was no risk for me. I’ve surrounded myself with a solid, capable team.
The only real difficulty was in taking the plunge.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart was right. The tough part was actually making the move. And she was right again…it’s been extremely rewarding already. I’ve been given the opportunity to help grow an organization that I’m proud to be a part of.
To some people, I’ve looked like someone who has risked way too much. But I think now you can see that the fact is that I calculated the risk for myself, based on factors most people couldn’t previously see or didn’t know, and I think you’ll agree…this is kind of a sure thing.