Thursday, December 16, 2010

Only thing to do is jump over the moon

I've been keeping a secret lately. At least, from the internets. We've been working on something very big lately, and even as I'm writing this, I'm not allowed to actually publish it. I'm not really sure when he'll let me. To be honest, I have a feeling he doesn't want me to "jinx" it (not that we believe in that kind of thing).

It all started August 11. That was the day Jack had a meeting with his bosses asking whether he could purchase the taekwondo school that he manages. It was kind of an all-or-nothing kind of meeting for him. Jack had gotten to a point in his career where he just couldn't see himself working for someone else any longer. It has been his dream to own his own taekwondo school since he was 12 years old, and that just wasn't happening.

The first time he tried to buy it, the leasing company wasn't on board and it fell through the week before our wedding.

The next time he tried to buy it, about a year and a half ago, his bosses said "no." The school was making too much money and was supporting the other two schools, so they didn't want to sell it.

The doors just kept closing on us.

But like I said before, this was it. Jack couldn't work for somebody else any longer. He was unhappy, and uncertain about his future.

And unlike a year before when he asked, his bosses said "yes." Not because it was making less money, but I think probably because they knew they couldn't keep him much longer as an employee if they didn't sell it to him. Which was true - he was ready to update his resume and move on if this didn't work out.

We were so excited. But cautiously so. After all, we had gotten this far before. In fact, we had gotten a lot farther than this before. And there were a lot of obstacles.

We had to come up with a rather large down payment. But then a perfect financial partner showed up, interested in investing.

Then, we had to find a new location with more space and a better landlord. And we found one right across the street and got approved for that as well.

Then we had to get a loan with the business plan and school's financial history. And the bank approved its part of it.

We will have to get the new location built out. And the new leasing company offered to pay for most of the big stuff there.

We had to get the business appraised for both the loan and the lease for as much as the asking price in order to get a big enough loan. And it came in way over the asking price.

So far, everything has fallen into place, and we have gotten farther than we ever have in our previous purchase attempts. Currently, the purchase agreement is being looked over by our lawyer and the paperwork has been filed with the SBA. We were hoping to have the school purchase completed by the end of December, though the SBA is kind of backed up, so it may be the end of January before we get the final approval.

But today, Jack signed the lease at the new place. The five-year lease which had to be signed before the SBA will actually loan us the money.

Gulp.

I believe this is what you call a "leap of faith."

But it's happening. This fabulous school, full of amazing, kind, generous, wonderful people who have become family to us, is about to be ours, God willing. And I do mean that "God willing" part. It's very much up to Him at this point, and this entire process has been a test of our patience and faith, as I'm sure actually being small business owners [OMG] will be.

So far, for the first time, the doors have been swinging wide open for us.
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