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A surprise…

09 Jan

Someone who was very important in my life that I haven’t seen in 3 years contacted me this week.

I am now having a surprise dinner guest this week.

We were quite adventurous together. We were each building our own businesses back then and then joined forces to flip a bunch of real estate in a high stakes game, a couple of yachts and in our spare time – flew the airplane. Together we had a taste for adventure and a taste for design.

The first time I ever drove the blue water line in Palm Beach was driving one of those yachts.

Then I decided one business wasn’t enough, I needed a second one in Florida, a designer line of accessories and a kiosk business. And I had my heart set on Palm Beach, which was absolutely the right decision.

Then came a hurricane that kicked both of our asses for the businesses we owned in South Carolina.

Yes, we’ve been through some experiences together – including the two right engine failures on that airplane. I can tell you this – he’s a hell of a pilot and I was there to witness it. And I think I saved his life once, when I wouldn’t let the plane takeoff from the annual inspection because I noticed some things that were wrong. It turned out they could have been deadly and I was glad I insisted on the plane staying on the ground. I did the visual walkthrough after the inspection. So I think the “saving” went both ways…

He was never satisfied with ordinary. When he got his private pilots license, then he build his own plane, then he got a commercial pilots license, his scuba license, his captain’s license, his real estate broker’s license, then his own companies. When we flipped properties we went from condos to million dollar homes. And he wasn’t just working on that project. A deed search would show you he owned hundreds of properties. You have to admire someone who can do anything. Just like when I started with graphics, moved to web sites, moved to computer science, built my own kiosks, my own theme park, my own $750 million dollar deals if I want them. We were similar in our taste for bigger and better. I was the Kickass Web Mistress of Hard Rock with some nice guitars. When I was first invited to his extraordinary house with beach on both sides of the house, he had like six guitars laying on his dining room table with signatures from the Rollings Stones, Pink Floyd and other famous groups.  I was quickly told by one of my friends – he’s a major player on this island. I think there’s only five homes on the East Coast that have beach on both sides. Yes, he understood real estate…

I remember saying, “Now I see why you asked me here…”

He was always larger than life in every way. To have dinner, I had to haul out the highest heels because he’s over 12 inches taller than me. I’m five feet four.

Figuratively and literally, he was always someone to look up to….I respect his opinion.

He’s owned all kinds of businesses – real estate, a gun range, a Victoria’s Secret (briefly he bought it at an auction), a pawn shop – I mean all kinds of stuff. So his lessons in life are very interesting.

We spent four years together.

I think it’s also safe to say that we were each other’s most trusted business advisors.

And maybe I am that “larger than life” person for him. I don’t know any other women who have achieved what I’ve achieved in my lifetime if you look at the whole record. I try to make friends with successful women – like Jules and M. because we can relate to each other but they’ve each dominated one industry. I’ve managed to span multiple industries – just like my dinner guest.

Did he ever loan me money for my businesses – never. He’s all about earn it yourself. And that’s the way I was brought up. I have never taken a dime from family or friends to build what I have. I have some strategic partnerships that have benefited my businesses.

M. always says, “You’ve got balls woman!” I’ve had a number of people that have worked with me over the years to say that. Yes I do and a good man respects that in business. He wants an equal.

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