To say a lot has happened in the last month would be a massive understatement. For starters, my company entered into a partnership with an investment bank that we ultimately pulled out of. It looked like a sweetheart of a deal at the start, but I went with my gut (even though a TON of money was left on the table) and withdrew. Plenty of people said I was nuts as this arrangement would have paid for my Brown tuition in full.
Around the time when I was thinking about leaving that deal I called a venture capitalist who I spent time with in San Francisco in December. He also talked about partnering with my firm, so I told him what happened with the investment bank and that I wanted to work with him.
We’re always told God moves slow and to wait on his timing, but I’ll tell you what…He can move faster than the speed of light. This is the second time in my life I’ve experienced this.
Venture capital is where my heart is. But, I didn’t think it was in the cards, which says a lot because I’m convinced I can do anything. Let’s be honest, getting into this space is no walk in the park. I’ve read that most people fall into it (oversimplification to the nth degree) and that’s certainly the case with myself.
So I pulled the trigger and moved forward with the VC firm in San Francisco. So what does this have to do with Brown? Two things. First, I’m going to be working a TON this year and won’t be able to balance school with work. As much as I love Brown and going to back to school, my first priority is providing for my family. Second, I flat out don’t have the money. Not only did I dump every penny I had into my company, I banked on the partnership with the investment bank to pay for grad school. I’m not sure if I’ve previously said this, but I’m paying tuition with cash. No loans, no debt, etc.
How do I feel about everything? Well, I’m grateful that things worked out professionally. First and foremost I’m a husband and father, so providing for my family comes before everything else. The truth is I rolled the dice by starting my company and put everything I had into it. And by “everything” … I even sold my shotguns. If you’re not from the South, this may not sound like a big deal, but trust me when I say it is. We kept the kitchen sink though (and that’s about it).
But, I’m disappointed I’m not starting school. When I say I wanted to go to Brown, I wanted it more than anyone who has ever applied to Brown. Receiving the acceptance letter was truly a great day. I love the university. I love that they gave me a shot. I’ve only been on campus once, but it felt like home. My heart is at Brown and it forever will be. I know deferring for a year will go by in the blink of an eye, but it hurts.
On the other hand, God’s timing is perfect. I know that and it gives me peace. When I start in 2017 my brothers foundation will be further along, so I’ll probably get more out of the program. But son of a gun…I was really looking forward to going back to school.
That being said, I’ll keep the blog going. My brothers foundation is growing and that’s what this is all about – helping organ transplant patients and their caregivers. Plenty to write about there. And Lord knows I have a lot to say about college football, traveling, and my newest addition of “reviewing” books I’ve read.
If anyone from Brown is reading this…thank you for believing in me. I’ll make y’all proud come 2017.
Sincerely, The Graduate (at Brown)