A Refreshing Meeting-The first person that hired me

Do you remember the first person who ever hired you?

For me it was 1999 when I joined a technology investment bank in San Francisco as an associate in their institutional equity sales department.

Yesterday I had coffee with the person who brought me in….it had been 14 years and it was great to see him again!

When I first met him he was already very successful, earning a handsome 7-figure salary + bonus. He has gone on to do greater things since and I was lucky enough to soak in some of his wisdom during our hour-long meeting.

He spent the first 20 minutes of our conversation asking about my personal life and my business. He inquired about who my perfect customer is and then we brainstormed together to figure out whether he could refer any of his connections.  

I was aware in the moment of how well he was able to intentionally connect with me and making it all about me…he made me feel terrific!

After he left the investment bank where we worked together in 2001 he started his own asset management company. We laughed about the ups and downs of being a startup CEO – including having to clean your office toilets when you start out.

He then said: “When you’re in the trenches day after day, if feels like you’re growing at a glacial pace. But looking back the firm has grown 20% year over year for the last 12 years…since inception. In the moment it was very frustrating but it’s clear to see now that we were always moving forward.”

It’s an area I’ve been struggling with this year. It feels as though my company has been growing at a glacial pace. I feel the frustration and desire to have everything move faster and faster. I’ve even wished I could clone myself.

I now realize that since I’m bootstrapping the growth of my company to keep 100% equity in-house, this seemingly slow pace of growth is normal…for now.

I have been subconsciously and erroneously comparing myself to the many angel and VC funded start-up companies I work with that are in a race to grow as quickly as possible.

It’s taken me 14 years to reconnect with someone who’s interested in me and has deep connections in the local finance community. I feel like the circle of my full time employment has satisfactorily closed.

What’s holding you back from contacting the person who first hired you? He or she may become a friend or valuable inner circle member.

Today, we’ve barely scratched the surface

Whatever stage you’re at in business, you need to be all over the numbers. In posts like this, we aim to offer bite-size food for thought – but in a few hundred words, we can only do so much.

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