By Christopher Gonzalez, Managing Partner
The minimum wage for a rookie NFL player in 2015 was $435,000. For a veteran with ten years’ experience, it’s $970,000. Think those numbers are outside your earning potential? Think again.
I work with a man we’ll call David (name changed for privacy), who earns roughly a million a year, on average. Is he an NFL star? Not at all: he’s an independent businessman who runs a small panaderia, or bakery, in Southern California.
David came to me several years ago with a problem. He had gone into the bakery business with a partner - and while business was good, their relationship was not. David was the talent, as well as being a shrewd businessman. He felt he was doing all the work, and giving away the profits to a partner who didn’t hold up his end of the bargain.
David had one question: how do I end this business relationship, keep my profits, and avoid a legal battle? Not an easy problem to solve, but we went to work and helped him separate cleanly, so he could step out on his own. My goal was for David to never need to worry about legal issues, so he could focus on moving forward. The separation was quiet and amenable, with no big fanfare. And once he was free of that business partnership, David’s success took flight.
Though the dream of having your own panaderia may seem humble to some, I believe this man understood the power of doing what you love, and doing it very well. He soon became known in his neighborhood, then throughout the region, for the quality of his baked goods. He made some wise business choices, including working with us to structure his business correctly. But at the end of the day, the real star was his homemade, innovative, and unique selection of food.
Throughout our relationship, my goal for David has been for him never to need to worry about legal matters. My philosophy - with all my clients - is that strong planning and the right legal portfolio will protect you from whatever situation crops up, so you never have to worry. David was always free to focus on building his business, and it has paid off to the tune of seven figures a year.
With a well-established foundation, David is now preparing his business to one day be a legacy to his family. This is, in many ways, more than even a professional athlete can offer to his or her children: a lifetime of earning potential, and a source of stability to last for generations.
David started from scratch, and went out and built his dream. Now he is passing that dream on to his kids. I can’t imagine a better legacy to leave, not just financially, but ideologically.