One huge mistake every entrepreneur usually deals with is the inability to maximize the tools and skills they already have. Fighting procrastination calls for a lot of patience and courage, and the rewards of doing so are pretty sweet. Solomon Ali talks about his own experience of surviving the negative results of procrastination as one of the keynote speakers at Magnify Your Wealth Summit in Denver, Colorado last October 2020, hosted by Laughlin Associates. In his speech, he looks back on the time when he fell into a huge debt just for taking everything for granted. He explains how he overcomes his suicidal thoughts, the importance of having well-sorted out business paperwork, and the investment strategies he has learned throughout the years.
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Fighting Procrastination: How To Ensure You Are Maximizing Your Skillset
It is a pleasure and an honor to be here and sharing everything with you. One of the things that we’re going to share is the experience that I had speaking with everyone at Laughlin in the celebration of their 50th year anniversary. It was an exciting time for me. It was much more exciting for them. It was a hoot to be there, feel the energy, and to see all these beautiful and wonderful successful people who are entrepreneurs and own businesses. I had an opportunity as one of the four speakers to share my journey, my story.
That’s what I’m going to tell you about. I’m going to try to sum it up this way. We’re going to talk about the ABCs. This is what I shared with them. A) What we do is arrange capital. We went over what we do as far as arranging capital, how we do that and the important things that are involved such as paperwork being in order. Keeping up with your minutes, your resolutions, the things that sometimes you don’t think about as an entrepreneur. Maybe you don’t even know to think about it as an entrepreneur because you don’t realize that the legal entity that you’ve formed or you’re thinking about forming is important that it’s an artificial human being. It needs board minutes and resolutions to make decisions that have to be executed on behalf of the company.
Next, we’re going to talk about building wealth. It’s exciting when you understand how to build wealth. If you’re an investor, you want to try to invest in a company whether it’s directly into their stocks or into the company itself. You want to try to invest in the early stages. We went over what happened when we had an opportunity to invest in a company like Facebook. That made it good so that we were able to see the returns. We invested something like $8 or $9. I don’t recall what the number was. The thing was, it went to $38, $39 before we exit out.
It gave everyone the opportunity to understand how important investing in the early stages is. It gave everyone the importance to understand the industry that you’re investing in because that’s critical. It’s understanding also the company. When you’re looking to build wealth, if you’re an investor, very important, there are some key things that you must always keep in mind. What is it that you’re investing in? What is the industry that you’re investing in? Does it have growth potential? What is the business that you’re investing in? What is management doing?
We’re talking about Laughlin here at this time. You know their management, their management team and the people that are around them have to be solid to last for many years. Most companies fail within the first 5 to 7 years because of a lack of funding. Be very careful and I hope to teach people who are looking to invest in the right companies one thing or two that we learned over the years. The last thing is consulting.
You’ve got to understand this simple principle whether you are an entrepreneur, a business owner for the last years, some of you know this already. You’ve got to bring people around you who are smarter than you especially in the things that they do. I shared a very personal story that you are here for yourself. When I started my first business in the maintenance company out of the military, I had no clue what something as simple as accounts receivables were.
I had a big payroll to meet and I had no way of knowing how I was going to meet this payroll. I had all these people going out, doing all this work and then I didn’t have enough money to pay them. I had pretty much no money to pay them but I had something called accounts receivables. Because I was on a journey, someone helped me and told me what accounts receivables were. They bought my accounts receivable. I’m not going to go all the way into it. These are the things that we’re going to go over.
I know a lot of you think that you can’t afford a consultant now and that you might not be able to afford one tomorrow. Listen to my journey, to the mistakes that I made and the things that I failed to do because of procrastination. Don’t let that happen to you. If you think you can’t afford a consultant and hire people who are very good at their craft and knowing what they know, knowing how to do what they do, then you’re wrong. It’s going to cost you more money if you do it stumble bumble. You’re trying to figure it out as you go.
It may seem like it’s going to be cheaper on the front end because you can call your friend or a cousin or something like that and work through it. It’s not. It’s going to cost you more money. Most of the time you’re going to end up going out of business rather than being able to maintain your business and stay in business. You’re not going to have access to capital. Running a business is more than a notion. It is. You need to be aware of that. All that being said, we’re going to get to the video, let’s see what I shared at Laughlin and how that journey will help you as well.
One of the things that we’re going to go over that’s going to be important is your corporate resolutions. Why is that important? What does that mean? Laughlin has a program that goes over to the corporate veil. That’s freaking cool. What’s cool about it is this. You’re not going to do the work. Back in my day, I had to pay an extra secretary or an attorney that would put my corporate resolutions together every time I made a corporate decision.
If you don’t know, incorporation is illegal. For me, I’m a human being. The corporation makes decisions but it makes decisions through the board of directors. Enough of that, I want to get into my journey and you’re going to get an idea of where I’ve been and where I’d go. I labeled the company as Solomon RC Ali Corporation. I’ve been doing this for many years. What does that mean? I started my first business when I came out of the military. My mother trained me into going home. I was in the military. Everyone thought I was a career soldier including me.
I came back from a conflict. I didn’t like what I saw. I was like, “It’s time for me to get out. This is not working for me.” My mother was like, “There are plenty of jobs. Come on home.” I go home. It wasn’t finding jobs. There were no jobs. I was like, “What am I going to do?” I couldn’t find a job, so I had to create a job. The first lesson was to become an entrepreneur. What does a guy that comes out of the military do, who was in Special Forces? I didn’t want to hurt anybody. I didn’t want to be in private security teams. What do you do? You go back to something that you learned early on.
I go back to my parents who owned a lot of rental properties. After football and track practice, I have to clean this stuff up every time a tenant or someone moved. I would have to do the toilet, repaint, do the walls, whatever it is and help my dad do all that stuff. I’m going to tell you, I hated that with a passion. All the other kids, they got to hang out, chill, do whatever. I have to clean up after someone because they moved out of this property. In my mind, I could not understand why they didn’t hire someone to do it. They never gave me an answer to that equation. I figured it out later, because it was too expensive.
That was the first company I’ve created was a maintenance company. I went into apartment homes. I talked to all the different apartment owners. I joined their apartment association within a 50–mile radius and the management company. Within six months, I grew a company from 0 to $6 million with 71 employees. Here’s how I did that because it was unique. I started painting apartments, shampooing the carpets, cleaning out the toilets and cleaning out the tubs. I did that. When I walked out, people can come in and move into that apartment. I made $500 and some change per apartment.
One day I came in and I was painting the baseboard. I said, “I still don’t like this.” It was a moment for me. What I did was I said, “I’ll hire a whole bunch of people.” Being a numbers guy, I calculated and I calculated fast especially with numbers. I said, “How many people do I need to hire? I want to do X number of apartments.” We went from doing a few a day to doing over fifteen apartments a day. I did that and then the rest was history.
Here’s an interesting story. How much do you think I know about this at that time? Nothing at all. All I knew was how to clean the apartments and fix them up. I had this company. I didn’t know what accounts receivables were. What I would tell all the apartment complex owners, “If I should work, I had to do at least three apartments. I’ll bill you in 30 days and you pay in 30 days.” That was called accounts receivable. After doing that, I spent all my money on materials and equipment. I had all these people working in a couple of trucks. It was time to pay all these people. I’m about 21 years of age, $148,000. I have about $15 still in the bank account. All the work that I had done, I was owed $500,000. I was panicking. Being a man of faith, I got on my knees. I prayed and I talked to my God, “I need some help here. Where am I going to get this?” I didn’t want to let all these people down who worked for me and who believed in me. The first lesson in business, I had no idea that companies were bringing you along and not paying you.
Do the work, you’ll get paid on Thursdays, 30 days just like you agreed to. They may not pay you. On Monday morning, the guy that I left a message for, he calls me back and I tell him what I need. Keep in mind, I only have $15 in my bank account, I’ve got a $148,000 payroll company. All my paperwork was in order. This is how important your corporate resolutions are. If you don’t have all your paperwork in order, it is impossible to get anything done. I have all my resolutions. It gave me permission to open bank accounts. It gave me permission to go ahead and sign contracts with all of these different department management companies and associations. That was exciting.
Always try to be at your best in whatever you do.
When the guy calls me, and I don’t recall his name, he says, “I listened to your message. How can I help you?” “I need $148,000. I had a payroll coming up in a few days. That’s what I need.” He said, “Why don’t you start by telling me a little bit about who you are?” I’m saying to my mind, “I don’t have time for that. I need $148,000.” I tell him who I am. The name of the company was Singular Maintenance. I give him all the information. He says, “I think I can help you.” I said, “I only have a few dollars. I don’t have enough money to go from San Bernardino, California to Orange County to pay for the gas and be stuck there.”
Some of you never experienced that because your money may have never been that funding but mine was. My money was that funding. He said, “If you get in here, we’ll be able to help.” I get off the phone and I called a friend of mine. I say, “I need to go to Orange County.” He comes over. He takes me to Orange County. He was one of my supervisors on the job. We were driving on this side of California back in the day. We’re driving on the side of the freeway thing and we’re cutting across because I had to apply and I don’t like being late for anything.
We get there. I gave the guy my three-ring binders with everything in there all tabbed off nice and neatly. He goes through everything. He looks at the contracts. He sees all the invoices and all of the work that has been done called accounts receivables. I didn’t know that. I had no business experience. I didn’t have a clue of what I was doing. I learned what accounts receivables were. He said, “You have $500,000 of accounts receivables here. I’m going to give you a check for $348,000.” I’m 21 years old. I’ve never seen that money or anything like that. I was like, “I did the work.”
We shook hands and I get ready to go to the door. He said, “By the way, what are you going to do?” I said, “I’ll deposit it in the account.” He said, “I probably wouldn’t want to do that.” I don’t know why but you guys ever heard of if you deposit a large sum of money in California, they’re going to hold it. It’s going to take 10 to 15 days to clear. That wouldn’t have helped me. All I was excited about was getting that piece of paper that was a check more than enough to pay your people at $148,000.
I was building well. He said, “You said you didn’t have any money. Why don’t you go to the bank? Have my banker call me and when he calls, I will go ahead and have him hand that money to you. You take out $200 so you can get something to eat or whatever you think is appropriate.” For me, I was blessed because I would’ve made a mistake if someone hadn’t helped me. The first thing was I didn’t know what accounts receivables were. All I knew was that I needed $148,000 but because I had good paperwork, everything was in order and I practice that and I learned that.
We’re going to go back because Laughlin is celebrating their anniversary. That’s amazing because I became a client somewhere in the neighborhood of 1987, between ‘87 and 1990 somewhere in there. That’s a long time. I became a client because I was practicing a strategy called Workbooks. I kept hearing that name. It stuck with me. I’d go to sleep and that name would be in my head. My paperwork was tight. That’s why I got the money. It wasn’t what I knew. It wasn’t what I was able to do. It was because my paperwork and everything was in the proper form the way it was supposed to be.
That’s how important it is to have a company like Laughlin. If your paperwork is not in order, if you’re not sure, then you need to get them to do it. Last year, we have a lot of competencies. We hired so that they can do 3 or 4 of our other companies because they go back three years and get everything corrected. Most banking places when they asked you to go back historically three years but if you come and talk to me and want to borrow money from me, my people are going to ask you to go back five and we’re going to dig through everything.
We don’t even care about what the story is because we know how to put it together and package where it makes sense for our audience and our audience is normally me. The very first business that I ever started was when I was eight years old. I went to the store with my mother. This was in East LA. That’s South Central. We went to the local store. You have to pick up some little odds and ends. As she was picking up the odds and ends, I saw a slingshot. If you can imagine a little boy looking at this slingshot wanting something. That was me. Most black families do this. When you go into the store, “Here’s what you’re going to do here. Don’t touch.” I couldn’t touch it. I didn’t want to get in trouble with my mom. I’m looking at this, I have no idea what I’m doing. I go home. That slingshot cost $1.25.
Take advantage of every single day to bring you closer to your goals and objectives.
I don’t recall if I asked my mother if she would buy it or not but it costs $1.25. When I went home, I didn’t go home with that slingshot but the desire for that slingshot is still there. Here’s what I did. This was at eight years old. I went to my mother’s closet and I pulled out all the little wire coat hangers. I got those wire coat hangers and I got my uncle’s needle-nose pliers. I got some rubber bands. I got a pair of jeans. I cut those jeans up and I made a slingshot. I wrapped it with some electrical duct tape. The amazing thing, I made $325 selling slingshots. You have to think about what I said. I didn’t sell it for $1.25. I am selling it for about $0.50, so that means that was a lot of slingshots. If you’re rolling up 8 or 5 families, they have large families. They got the cousins. It didn’t take long to sell about 300, 400 of these things. I told you a little bit about Singular Maintenance so we’re going to skip that.
You had a guy, I could have sat back and blamed it on the color of my skin or no one’s giving me a break. I didn’t look at that or I could have been naive. I don’t know which one it was but all I know is that I was always taught to do the work. My parents taught me to do the work and to be the best at what it was that you were going to be doing. That always stayed in my head, the stories of my biological father. He died when I was young. All the stories of how hard he worked were in my head. I never knew how to do anything other than do all the work and do it to perfection.
When I did the maintenance company, 0 to $6 million, there’s no thinking about business. I like to tell that my brother doesn’t know anything about business to this day, but a long way from even making $6 million. We’re different now. We look at things differently but we’re going to go back. I didn’t know what accounts receivables were but here was someone who gave me a check for $300,000 and something because all my corporate paperwork was in order. That’s how important that piece is.
I didn’t have a lot of attorneys and accountants. I did it myself and I had Laughlin doing it. That’s how important paperwork is. What do I know about? I’d say so you care. Here’s how I want to say it. I love Workbooks because that’s what I was introduced to. I was introduced to one of the most powerful strategies in business on the face of the Earth. The foundation, with this strategy, I’ve been able to build $100 million companies and above, and create under $1 billion in assets. That’s a lot.
Understanding and using this strategy, using this tool. You don’t have Warren Buffett, which is now no longer called Warren Buffett. I like Warren Buffett but it’s called Rockefeller. If you have Rockefeller, don’t have Rockefeller. I don’t know why you’re still sitting here because you should have been out of here and went and got that all ready and then came back because that has been the foundation of what I have done. The foundation, the first company, the real main company that I started, created $180 million in assets. We had 500–plus employees working for us. That company was a nursing facility. We had thirteen nursing facilities. We had about eight assisted–living facilities. We were excited.
Here’s the important thing because here’s Warren Buffett’s time. I had a parent company. I had an operating company. I turned around and I had a staffing company. I also had a management company. If you set these things up incorrectly, you’re going to find yourself in a world of hurt but because I studied Workbooks and I understood, I was like, “I was making millions of dollars in a month.” Our net was roughly around $12 million a year.
Our net was right about 11%, 12%. Most of them are thinking this way, you’re thinking EBITDA. I said net. I’m a simple guy. After Uncle Sam got his, what was left was my mine. That was my net. I got a little smarter and realized, “That’s not a good thing because how much did Uncle Sam helped me?” They didn’t loan me any money. They didn’t give me anything. It was like, “We don’t want to do that.” Being in a hurry and looking at the money, looking at what I’m bringing in, I’ve already got this nice Warren Buffett strategy.
Warren Buffett is sitting there and I’ve set up the first pieces but I never followed through. I didn’t follow through. This is very important. I want you to pay attention to me. You’re looking at a guy that in 2008 contemplated taking his own life because he lost everything. He had no one to blame but himself. It wasn’t that I did anything wrong because I did. Here’s the thing that I did do that was wrong, procrastinating, procrastination. I kept saying, “I’ll get to it. I’ll finish this later.” I kept saying that I’ll assign my ownership over to the trust. I kept saying it but I’m looking at my bank accounts. I see it moving away from what I’m supposed to be doing.
You don’t have to cheat or lie just to be the best at your work.
I’m going this way. I’m focused on that. I focused on the next deal. I focus on the problems that 500 people have as they roll up to. I never got to protect myself and my family. I cared about my family and I love them dearly. I love them so much that when I lost everything, I was almost prepared to take my own life. I’m sure a lot of you are the same way. You love your families. Youve got some things in your life that you’re saying, “I’ll get to,” especially when it comes to business. You’re saying, “I’ll get to, I’ll do that.” You think you have more time than you do and life happens.
It happens to all of us, challenges in life especially in business. In business, you’re not always here. It’s like this. It’s up there. No matter how long you tried to stabilize it or it’s going to be a straight shot to the other end. People will say, “I want to be like you.” I’m like, “You don’t know what that looks like. You don’t know what the journey was because the journey was hard.” If I knew what the journey would look like before I had to do it, I’d be like, “God did get me out.”
That’s hard. A little bit was revealed at a time. I took that next step. The next thing I know I’ve made it through all this but not having finished something, procrastinating. I was making great money. I was doing well but I didn’t finish something that I started because I was procrastinating. I didn’t finish my Warren Buffett strategy. Here’s how important that was. Imagine yourself making about $10 million in gross per month. You have all of these people you have to take care of.
I told you I had an operating company. The one thing and anything I could have done with the operating company. The regulatory came in and took in whatever. There’s nothing I can do with that. I also have a real estate company. If that trust had owned the real estate company, and this is why it was my fault. The operating company would have to pay the real estate company because it wasn’t owned by me. It shouldn’t have been owned by me. It should have been owned by trust. This is not bringing that pain home. This is setting things up correctly and doing the work that needs to be done.
This is why we need a Laughlin because they bring all of this together, make it affordable for you to take advantage of. If you’re not taking advantage of it then shame on you and you will feel the pain and your family will feel the pain. My trust didn’t get the company from the facilities. I had staff. Who should own the staffing company? The trust should have owned the staffing company but the trust didn’t because I procrastinated. I never got around to what I should have been doing.
When everything came to an end, it was like my trust wasn’t giving me the money. I had a management company. Here we go. Trust should own that as well, not me. This is how important those little things that we take for granted. That is super important. We take it for granted. We think we have tomorrow or tomorrow we’ll be okay. When you look at something like this, it’s important that you have your family. If something was to happen to you, everything’s already situated. All your family will have to do is bring in the management. Your interest in everything is already taken care of and family, everything’s done. That’s how important and how critical this stuff is.
When I lose everything, the regulatory said they’d come in and they do their thing. I’m about to take my own life and about to take my own life because I knew better. I couldn’t blame the regulatory. I couldn’t blame my people who made the mistakes because it was me who owned it. I could blame myself for one single thing, the procrastination of knowing to do something. I failed to do what I knew to do. All I had to do was go ahead and get the ownership of all of that over to my trust. If anything happened, the trust would continue to collect in common things of that nature.
I couldn’t smoke one of my big cigars and still would have revenue. The nice beautiful thing about it is I wouldn’t even have to go to work but like, “You want my operating company? It’s yours. Take it.” Make sure my rent payments are on time. That’s how important it was. I didn’t do that. I was contemplating in 2008 taking my own life because it was everything. If I have a mortgage or I had any mortgage, you know that mortgage payment comes every month. You have to pay.
Knowledge is only knowledge if you know how to apply it.
You’ve got a mortgage payment. You’ve got about eighteen mortgage payments. I do your business. You’ve got about another 120 personal mortgages from houses and the apartment complex that you bought. That’s a lot of money going out to service some debt. It was no problem when I had my money coming in from all the nursing homes. When all that money got redirected and it was over here and I wasn’t getting it, all of a sudden, you couldn’t service. I had all this debt and I want to put this in proportion for you.
We’ll use $180 million. If you owe $30 million, how much equity do you have? How much equity would be the other way around? You have a lot of equity in your properties. To lose your property, you’ve got more than 70% of it. That’s equity to lose it because you lost your business or something happened business-wise because you didn’t sit up and do one simple thing and put everything over like it was opposed to, that ownership and that trust. This is why Rockefeller is important.
If you don’t have one, you need to get one. Let me say this. When is the best time to get one? Right now. The best time to get it is right now when you start that business. Follow through. The corporate structure is what I was talking about. I have a parent company and I also have a holding company. I have a lot of companies but you have to make sure your structure is correct. Who does that? Does anybody know someone who does that? It’s Laughlin. The cost of the service is freaking amazing. I don’t know how to do it but that’s okay.
They can do it for me all day long because I don’t have to hire other people to try to do that. You should be taking the same approach because it makes sense. If you’re looking at time management, you can’t get any better than having them do what they’re good at. That’s a lot of experience that you and I don’t have. They know all the ways to get it done, how to get it done, capitalize on their experience. It will help your lifestyle. Don’t be this guy here crying because I did some of it. I didn’t do all of them. Don’t be that guy.
Be the guy who follows through, take advantage of the tools that you have, they’re important to take advantage of. I’m successful not because I’m smart. I will never be the smartest person in the world, but I do know this. I will take advantage of every single way that makes sense that helps me to accomplish my goal and objective. I live by a simple philosophy in business. One, you don’t have to lie. Two, you don’t have to cheat. You do have to do the work. You don’t have to lie, cheat or steal. I live by that, under-promise and over-deliver. My experience somewhere between ‘87 and ‘91 with Laughlin has been this. Does anybody have an idea of what it has been? Excellent. They have always over-delivered. That’s been my experience.
Do your part if you want to be extremely successful. You don’t want that pain to come home or anything of that nature. Make sure you take advantage of some of those things. The stinky thinking was right after I had lost everything. I lost $118 million. That’s a lot of money. I could have kept millions and millions if I would’ve done one simple thing, paperwork and transferring ownership of my stuff over to the trust under the Rockefeller. Doing those things is extremely important. If you do those things, you won’t have stinky thinking. My stinky thinking meant that I didn’t want to do any more business. I didn’t want to do anything. People would come to me and say, “You know this, do you want it?” I say, “I don’t want to help you. I didn’t want to have anything to do with business.”
I felt like I was a failure. I felt like the worst person in the world. Nowadays, a lot of people know or heard of the Rainbow bill. Anybody had a text from their bank? We have an IP farm and everything like that. We go out, we expand technology. We buy into stuff and then we develop it out. We invest primarily in a lot of companies that are private that we take public. We call it a sweet spot. The reason we do this is to create for a company access to capital. If you own a private company and your private company is worth $3 million. To own 100% of $3 million is $3 million. You have to be able to sell it. You have to find someone else who would be willing to pay what you think it’s worth or what a valuation said it is.
Let’s say you found someone who said it’s worth $3 million. They’re willing to pay $3 million. That’s not bad. They’re pretty good. You’ve still got to find that person. When you go public or we arrange for you to go public, here’s what we’d do. We’d take a $3 million company and we make it work. It’s only usually I don’t know because I don’t want to scare you because when I came up here, I was about ready to run out of the room. If we take a $3 million company, we make it worth about $15 million right off the bat. I’m using a very low and conservative number. If you own 60% of a $15 million company, is that company more valuable than you own 100% of a $3 million company? No, it’s more than double. That’s extremely important.
The other thing is you don’t have to find someone to sell the company because you have free trading shares that you could turn around and sell them to the marketplace. In life, it’s not that things are hard. It’s about making the right decisions. How you make the right decisions is that you have to get the right information and the right knowledge from the right people so that they can help guide you. I’m using Laughlin’s name a lot because they have a lot of experience. That means they know all the minefields, where those minefields are and how to get your paperwork done. They know and can tell you why they call it Rockefeller, and how to get that struck on correctly so that you never feel like having an experience as I have.
At Solomon RC Ali Corporation, this is what we do. We take companies and we scale and we help them to grow. We don’t have many years of experience but I’ve been doing this for years. It works because I’ve experienced every way to do it wrong. I have done every single way that could have been done wrong. I’ve been to every investment in the bank. I’ve seen more noes than all of you collectively put together. I figured it out by being honest with people and letting them know what I didn’t know. I go back to when I was 21 years of age and I didn’t know what accounts receivables were and that man told me. It wasn’t a man that looked like me. He was a white guy.
I‘m talking about something that’s fairly sensitive. When they say, “White people don’t help people, this and that.” I don’t know. My experience has been this, if you’re honest with people, you’re open with people and you’re genuine with people, people tend to want to help you. They don’t look at what color you are. They see a person in need and want help and they tend to want to help. First, you’ve got to be truthful and honest about where you are and what’s going on. I tried to only deal with companies and people who are that way. That’s what I got at the front.
When I go into a situation, I’m honest and I let them know. They can see the bad, the ugly, whatever because I learned from it. I need to know what I need to do to fix it. I can’t hide it. It’s going to go back. I don’t know why I said go back. Never go back. We call them half a bit, SEC. Here’s a time where the Rockefeller worked for me. Anybody knows what fraud was. Fraud is taking something that don’t belong to you. You deceive somebody and taking something. SEC accused me of that and said, “You defrauded everybody.” Good luck with that.
Most of you don’t know what I mean by that. Here’s what I meant. Guess whose money it was? I never borrowed a penny from anybody. It was all 100% my money. You can’t defraud yourself. I don’t even lose my money. When I invest in companies, my trustees, my private equity companies are mine. We don’t borrow money. That’s what makes us unique. When the SEC got through and still fighting everything, they said, “Solomon, we want you to step up.” I said, “No, because I made my mistake before where I didn’t do all the paperwork.”
It didn’t matter what the SEC wanted to do. I want to put this in perspective for you. That’s one of the most powerful regulatory agencies in the United States. Not to be cocky or arrogant or anything like that, doing the right thing. You can sit back and they can do all that they want and say everything that they want to say. At the end of the day, you are not going to lie. You are not going to cheat and you are not going to steal. You do have to do the work. That’s how important having a Rockefeller, having a strategy, having a company like a Laughlin to turn around and cut their arms around you and to help you get through and get all that work done. I hope I was able to share.
Financing For Companies
The last thing I want to go ahead and talk about is what we do. We arrange financing for companies. We don’t have to go out looking for money. What we do have to do is make sure that you’ve been transparent and honest. If you’re not, we move on to the next deal. Our time is extremely valuable. Aaron and I started a company together. It’s called Twin Notes Private Equity company so that we can help companies to have access to capital and to be able to get money. Everybody knows that we’re in what’s called COVID-19. For some businesses, that’s bad. For some businesses, it’s good.
For me and my business, buying depreciating or undervalued assets is good. If you’re a restaurant or a bar and you’re struggling, going out of business and I come in and grab you a package 100 or 200 of you together, and we have the wherewithal to ride out the storm especially in the public market, having access to more and more capital to ride that storm out. What do you think happens when the storm is over? We are the largest people in the marketplace or one of the largest in the marketplace at that particular time. The stock could be way high, so that is what happens especially with our company.
I’m speeding this up. First one, I would start with Amazon in 1997, $18. Tesla $17 stock price, $2,000 investment now is $42. Facebook, this is an actual deal. Did anybody get to invest in Facebook? Three people in the room got to invest in Facebook. We got to buy Facebook at $11. That means we bought Facebook before it came to the market. It also means we didn’t spend $25,000. We spent a whole lot more in our investment to get there but this was for illustration purposes for you. That’s what we did. Facebook came out at $38. Do you think we made money? We made a crapload of money because we bought it at $11 before it even came to the market. When you work with Solomon RC Ali Corporation and all of these companies that we’re working with, when we’re taking them to the marketplace, this is what’s happening.
If you’re the owner of those companies and you own the shares, this is what’s happening. If your family and friends, the owners will let you in under the family and friends discount, you normally get to come in and buy the asset, not at the $11 but even a 15% discount to that for family and friends. Our $25,000 got us 2,200 something shares. Facebook didn’t go public that long ago. It was 2012. That’s at $613,000 now of $25,000. That’s the importance of dealing with people and being a part of groups where they know what they’re doing.
If you had bought it off the open market, $25,000 at $38 a share, you’re looking now at $177,000. I don’t know about you but I always don’t mind with the other money where people know what they’re doing and they’re making money especially when they’ve got money in the game. If you’re buying the stock now, it’s $270 and some change, whatever it is, that would be $25,000. That’s what we do. We don’t deal with companies or anything of that nature who don’t know what they’re working on, who don’t have everything properly structured, who can’t show us the stall coding, who can’t show us the transparency on their history because it’s a waste of time.
We know the challenges. We can’t do that. We need complete transparency. Part of the culture is to make sure that we teach people that when we’re taking them public and arranging the capital and the finance right up front especially when you’re dealing with my money because I want it back. If you want information, please go to SolomonRCAli.info. We don’t sell anything but we take companies public. We arrange with capital so that they can access the capital markets. I hope what I’ve shared with you did some help. If you don’t have your records and you need to get everything in order, please make sure you get them. Thank you so much.
It’s amazing to look at your life’s journey of how it has taken place. I’ve shared this with you and most of you are going to learn it for the first time but you’re going to get to see the entrepreneur’s journey and know about his journey and his life story. I didn’t know everything. You don’t know everything. One of the biggest pain thresholds for me was not knowing what the accounts receivables that I had. I had something of value already there to make and cover payroll but I was stressed out and freaking out because I didn’t know. I was looking at the money in the bank. All I knew is that I only had about $15 in my bank account. I owed out $100,000 and something for payroll. That’s not even counting the taxes that go along with it.
Here’s what I’m trying to share with you. Don’t you freak out. If you have gotten started in your business career, there are going to be some ups and downs. Bring people around you like a Solomon RCI Ali Corporation, Laughlin or a good law firm that can help you and advise you in the areas that you need help in. That’s what you want to do. I talked about my procrastination. If I didn’t procrastinate, I would not have lost everything. I had the tools but I never put them to work. Just because you know something, knowledge is only knowledge if you know how to apply the knowledge. I had the knowledge. I had the tools. I never put them to work because I procrastinated. It brought me to a very low point in my life. One of the reasons that we do Minority Business Access is for people like who I was on my journey starting out that didn’t know much about business so you don’t have to stumble bumble and figure it out along the way.
It’s taken me many years to get to the destination where I’m at. You all have to take that long to get there. It is a journey. You will have some ups and downs. Trust me on that. If you look at some of the podcasts and some of the different information, find the one that suits your situation at the thing that you’re going through right now and it will help you. The last thing was something that’s very simple, use consultants. They can help you build your wealth. I gave this story about I started a private equity company with $250. We were lending out millions of dollars by the end of a year or so. Later, it invested in a company called Facebook, which some of you I’m sure have heard of. We invested somewhere around $7 to $9.
I do remember that number we got out at was somewhere around $38, $39 a share. That’s what we can also help you look for the right company to invest in its early stages. If you’re not investing in companies in its early stages, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t be a retail investor. There’s nothing wrong with retail investing. The greatest returns are going to go to the people who have invested in the early stages. They will see the greatest returns. They also will see some of the greater risks but that’s why we do due diligence. That’s why we understand the industry. That’s why we understand management, the company. You don’t just throw your money or throw caution to the wind. You do your homework. You do your investigation. On that note, thank you all so very much for tuning in. I hope that what I’ve shared with you and my personal journey with you helps you and uplifts you and your life and keeps you going in your journey. God bless you all and good luck. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to my team or myself at SolomonRCAli.info.