How I Lost $2700 in 15 minutes and Launched a Company in the Process

The past two years have been spent in and out of San Francisco traveling around the world on this accelerated learning journey. While it’s fair to say that the business venture I was a part of never truly hit its stride, it was such a unique opportunity to further explore what it means to be me and what I’m here to bring to this planet. I also lived in a bubble mostly disconnected from reality, which is partly why it was so easy for me to be influenced into giving money to my new friends on Craigslist.

My bubble in San Francisco was brought on by my own doing, and I’m not going to lie, I really enjoyed it. When I agreed to move out to SF, part of my contract included covering my housing costs and meant living in the largest residential mansion within the city of San Francisco. From the mansion, I moved into a hybrid innovation space with a few other CEOs and badass humans. And then finally landed in the master bedroom of a $10 million home that used to be the primary residence of the former mayor of San Francisco and current California Senator Dianne Feinstein. To say it was a wild ride is a massive understatement.

Eventually, I had to come back to reality. John meet Craigslist.

I decided NYC was the place to launch my new company although I envision spending time on both coasts. Not wanting to lock myself into a long term lease at the moment, I turned to Craigslist to find a sublet in NYC for the summer. The place I found was just a little too good to be true and raised some red flags for me. I even spoke to a friend who is in real estate in NYC to say that something felt off. Normally, my investigator would jump into action at this point and get to the bottom of the situation. And yet, in the middle of moving back across the country, winding down my involvement with the SF company and launching a new company, I forgot to make time to listen to myself.

I paid $2700 for the "sublease" and then found out there was no actual apartment. At this moment of realization, it took 15 minutes of research to discover 3 major holes in the situation which could have prevented all of this. Such obvious and glaring errors. Two phone calls and then whole thing fell apart. It only takes one person not fully paying attention for a nice payoff, and I was that person.

At first, I felt like such a fool. How could I be so stupid? What will people think when I tell them? Can I just crawl into a hole and never come out?

Once I moved past the shame, fear, guilt, embarrassment, vulnerability stage, I was able to see all of the beautiful gifts that this $2700 investment has provided me with. I quickly came up with a list of over 25 positive things that have come or will come from me gifting this money. One super important gift worth sharing was the realization that I wasn’t truly putting money and currency as one of my top values. I’m paraphrasing something I heard from Dr. John Demartini:

Money flows from those who value it least to those who value it most

In this particular case, the fake Craigslist apartment people valued money more than I did, and that's where the money flowed. Big time lesson learned. That alone may be worth the $2700.I’m super committed to getting a positive ROI and mining all of the gold from this otherwise unpleasant experience.

Oh, also, I launched my new company. Just now. As you’re reading this. Here’s a landing page to make it official.

It feels way more appropriate for where I am and what I’m building to do a low-key launch and just get to work. So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve been having conversations, strategizing and selling behind the scenes for a few weeks now. If you are excited about the intersection of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, I’d love to chat.

I am very trusting of this path that I’m on. While I’d greatly prefer to have listened to my gut, spent that 15 minutes doing research and still be holding onto that $2700, that’s not where I'm at. I now have an expensive lesson learned and a story to go along with launching my new company. And now it’s time to go back to work behind the scenes.