This is a long post, but I`m going thru a lot right now and the only thing I can think to do is lay it all out there and see what comes back. So here goes.
I have always had good organizational skills, creativity, ambition and the desire to run my own business. I thought it would be something involving entertainment early on, because of my interest there. However later, I made what I thought was a smart decision to try my hand at the building industry since I had a friend with skills in various trades, that also needed my help financially. I figured I would get back into the entertainment industry once I was successful at this. At the time it seemed more stable, and provided more to fall back on in the event things didn`t work out. In retrospect all of that may have been just a way to not go at it alone.
During the last 15 years or so, I have worked a job to support both of us while we tried various businesses such as woodworking/custom cabinet making, remodeling, and new home construction. My primary role in these businessess was been the organizational side and finance, but I did hands on work as well. My friend is the primary person in charge of the actual building or construction of our products. We have tried to the official and unofficial versions of business, meaning with business cards, insurance etc, and without. Off and on, we have had some good opportunities along the way, but like many small business start ups, we lacked enough funds to make a real go of it on some occasions, other times we just couldn`t complete the jobs in enough time to make any money with such a small crew and low rates. Being in a small town, you can`t charge a lot of money for some things and there is always someone around to do it cheap. Some of our problems came from a lack of knowledge about what it would actually take to complete a task. The ability was there but...anyway, you live, you try, you learn. I can estimate a lot better now that`s for sure.
Fast forward to the last few years. We decided to skip the small stuff and go for the whole product a few years back and get into new home construction. Mainly spec building, but looking for opportunities to build for others as well. The market in our area seemed as though it would support it especially since we were just going to build a couple of houses or so per year. I made enough at work to finance the first venture out of pocket even though I was taking additional risk by delaying my tax payments and using some credit accounts for some financing but here was my plan.
My friend had some family land. Phase 1 of the plan was to build a house on his property out of pocket. He would do the majority of the construction and we would hire a few guys to help when needed for cheap labor rates. Once completed, we could borrow money against the house to: A-payback money I owe in taxes and credit cards, B- help to finance the next project. Now, speaking of the next project. I purchased 2 lots across town from a guy I know for a good price. Phase 2 of the plan was to build homes on each of the 2 lots purchased and sell them. I obtained construction loans for each of the 2 houses to help finance the costs, combined with the money from the equity loan, we should have enough money to cover costs. What about the cost of the equity loan you ask? Well my partner was to pay that note since he and his family would live in the house, and with the construction loan and the combined equity money, we finally have enough money to pay him a decent salary. I would make my money on the back end. I had insurance, licenses, and even a couple of prospective buyers lined up.
Now comes the problems. The first problem is that it was time to start construction on the 2 new homes but we began having problems finishing his house. We are about 80% complete now. Of course no money can be borrowed against it until it is done. The second problem is that the deadline to complete the 2 homes across town is October of this year and it is now July. The third problem is that without the money from the equity loan, I don`t have enough to finish either house based on the amount the banks would loan me. The fourth problem is that I have run out of time and the money I owe in taxes and other bills is due. And the 5th problem is that my job situation has changed I can`t afford to pay the money that is due or pay for the rest of the construction costs to complete the first house.
So here I am, phone ringing with bill collectors on the other end, hoping I can find a job soon and that maybe the government will let me make payments on the money I owe and not throw me in jail. Construction insurance policies cancelled because I couldn`t make payments. Somewhat debating whether to take the last $5000 I have and ration it out on my familys mortgage and another bill or two, or combine it with some of my own sweat to try and finish the house even though it still would leave me short by $4000 according to my calculations. Sometimes I`m mad at my friend for not doing everything he could to help out and keep me from going under. Then I realize that is just pointing the finger at someone instead of taking responsibility for my own decisions which is what a leader has to do.
I`m losing everything. All the time I went with bad credit after the early endeavors, to finally get back in good shape, to see it go down again. I`m trying to hold it together but, I just don`t know...I took all these risks, and not even for a big payday, this was just to get off the ground. I was more than willing to wait for my time to get paid. Breaking even and paying my debts would have greatly satisfied me. But instead it looks like all I will get to walk away with is debt. I sacrificed everything, money, time with my family, worked 80hrs a week for who knows how long at a job I`m sick of. Supported my family, his family, guys who helped out. I thought when I finally came home from working on the road I would be able to justify being gone so long to my family, and even though they`re just happy for me to be home, I`m just trying not to lose it, because I feel like such a failure. To top it off, I haven`t been able to find a job (a job that I`m sick of) and I need two of them to try and make ends meet. The only good thing is that whenever the house gets finished, I`ll be able to get some money to go towards this mountain I created. Even though by then it`ll be too late.
Well thanks in advance for reading/listening/commenting/advising.