Chapter 4: The beModel Years
Dear readers. I left you off, hanging as it were, at the end of 2009. My friend and I launched beModel.com with a considerable influx of capital. Two days and we had 15,000 users of the site. Like I said before, we had parties and celebrated hard. I knew it was only a matter of time before I turned my life back around and rose back to the top.
This does not mean my life was completely work and beModel. I do have a few stories to intersperse within the tale of my life I am going to share. Most of them are funny, some are downright hilarious, and some will make you almost crack a rib from laughing. Here is the first:
Women have always been dear to me. As a millionaire, I certainly had my fair share of virtually any I would have wanted. There was one, Kelly, who stuck out to me a good bit. We were chummy, but I could never cross home plate no matter how hard I tried. However, I am a Taurus, well-known for persistence and tenacity.
There was a tattoo convention coming up in L.A. (I was still in Colorado). I had a feeling that if I could get her there that some magic would happen.
We arrive at the hotel – all is well. We attend the convention – all is well.
I hear her on the phone with her ex – all is NOT well.
So, I did what any self-respecting gentleman with a cavalier attitude would do.
I dumped her like yesterday’s garbage and came home.
Jump forward to now. I find her on Instagram. She is doing well, lots of followers and still has the same bangin’ body I wanted to bang but got blocked. I messaged her.
She is still mad about it.
This means we have to segue into
2010 – BEMODEL FLOP
Jamie and I were really excited about the prospects coming on with beModel. I was shifting back into full on entrepreneur – the same mindset that earned me my millions two years before. I could feel it; I was going to be on top again.
I have been a business man since I was in 5th grade. Flaming Gold – I sold soft drinks and turned pens into shooter pens. I had a small skateboarding business within the local skating community. Business development and sales – these are the two things that get me up every morning; these are the things that make me work for my family; these are the things that will return me to my former glory.
Jamie and I decided, for a reason I cannot recall, to use a website company to code beModel. I still wonder daily why I made that decision. We had a hefty influx of cash from the investor and the 15,000 people who signed up to be a part.
Jamie and I paid the website company $50,000.00 to build beModel.
We were in debt $75,000.00 to our primary investor and an additional $50,000.00 to a secondary investor. I did all I could to keep their spirits high and not allow them to have second thoughts. I used all of my selling skills to keep them happy and interested. I just knew beModel was going to take off and skyrocket us back to the big league.
The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.”
– Sir John Templeton
beModel v2.0 launched. Jamie and I had incredibly high hopes based on what we knew from the website company.
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was punished for eternity to push a huge rock up a hill. Each time the rock would almost reach the hill, he would lose the rock. The rock would fall to the base of the hill. Sisyphus had to start over pushing the rock.
What I thought was going to be the best possible chance to return to glory turned out to be an exercise in futility. The site did everything it was not supposed to do. Layout was pathetic; loaded slowly if at all; it was a complete disaster.
If you can imagine trying to load one of today’s dynamic, fast websites on a 2400 baud modem, that is about what this was like. (Note: 2400 baud modems were the rage in 1993-1994. Ancient machinery.)
I did what any red-blooded American male would do. This is the 21st century! There is but one solution to this!
I took the website company to court, expecting to reap huge rewards based on their mistakes.
Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late. – William Shakespeare
The court date came.
The court met.
A judgment was rendered.
The court adjourned.
There was one teensy problem.
I missed the court date.
I. Missed. The. Court. Date.
Missing the court date is bad. Suing a web design company is bad. Losing a counter-suit to the tune of $3,000.00 is, well, beyond bad. I know there is a term out there somewhere. I just cannot think of one that really hammers home just how badly this turned out for me.
Here I am. A millionaire two years ago and now I am 100 percent broke. Nadda. Nothing. Zilch. There is no blood left in this turnip. There is no turnip.
Remember that great house I bought in Littleton, Colo.? The $420,000.00 home that I put down a lot of my money on and was going to live there? I did live there. Illegally.
The bank started the foreclosure process on the house. I was likely going to be homeless at that point.
I have always lived a pretty straight life. I did not abuse alcohol or drugs. My drug of choice was my drive to be the best.
“Desperation can make a person do surprising things.” – Veronica Roth in Divergent
I spent the remainder of 2010 doing whatever it took to do two things:
Keep beModel alive.
Sounds like a wonderful way to end 2010. This, of course, brings us to
I am struggling to stay alive at this point. The bank is working on taking my house, but I am able to keep the lights on and food in the house. I was, at the time, working.
Just working. I did what I needed to do at the time to survive.
“We each survive in our own way.” – Sarah J. Mass Throne of Glass
It was about this time I discovered the cyrptocurrency Bitcoin. I bought into the coin when they were selling for about $10.00 – $13.00 a coin.
At some point, details are sketchy (as are a few other elements of this time for that matter), Bitcoin spiked to $1,100.00/coin on average. This is around May when I catch a break.
“Rover, wanderer, vagabond, call me what you will.” – Metallica Wherever I May Roam
I decided to pack up and head back to L.A. This is June. I did some activities and secured some money for the move. You would think by now I would have better sense and do something frugal and sensible.
Yep; I moved back to downtown L.A. to a $3,500.00 apartment.
I needed a ride.
You know me by now. I cannot drive just anything.
I rented a Camaro from Enterprise to the tune of $800.00/month.
I completely tore down beModel. I completely redid the entire thing from the ground up. I also paid for it myself at this point. By August, I launched beModel Version 3.0.
It was a fantastic, spectacular, marvelous, had to be there, incredulous failure of epic proportion that Kurosawa would struggle to make a film about it.
I had to make a change, again.
“Viva Las Vegas.” – Elvis A. Presley