Up. Down. Rinse and repeat
Sitting in damp January in virus hobbled Sydney I ponder the year ahead and see the same view. Outside work for Kate and I, school and community bus respectively. Very curtailed circumspect humble returns, survival at least. How my fortunes have ebbed and flowed.
I first enjoyed success, which I define as income beyond a wage, with Graftons. Five years in we started to see tangible profit, most of which we reinvested, which built yet more. As the Australian music industry boomed through the 1980's, demand for live production grew exponentially. It meant ANY equipment we invested in produced a return. Some more than others - but you needed a complete inventory, so low return items like theatre spotlights sat alongside money making Par cans. More speakers and amplifiers made way more money that ultra expensive mixing consoles. ($5,000 to $20,000 in 1985 money!)
The wheel kept turning through inflation (10 - 12%) and rising interest rates - mortgages cost 17% at the end of the 80's!
We were really raking it in, even though our assets were wholly equipment. I started Australian Monitor, building amplifiers that we sold to the world. That ultimately lost me $1 million by 1989, and yet we cashed out of the business with enough to build a country house, travel the world, and for flying lessons for me. We bought a cafe for $100,000, which we sold for $60,000 two years later.
Starting in media, we sold in the bush and bought in Epping so while the first couple of years of media were modest we were relatively well off. Then it really did take off, and for 25 years our wages came directly off the printed page. ENTECH started with a bang and made serious money from 1994 until I sold it in 2004 - for a lot of money.
Keeping media I invested in Julius Events College which burned cash until I closed it at the end of 2010. A $1.5 million loss. Down and out, media kept the family going with lean years until the roadshow kicked in and started to make solid returns in 2013. And I've lived well off the two roadshows since, as media declined.
In 2017 we started on ENTECH USA and got to the end of 2018 having spent about a quarter of million on what was a moon-shot. In hindsight it would have almost killed us to do 5 tours in 2020, and they would not have happened anyway due to pandemic. So we counted the experience as an awesome journey because we really did see a lot of the USA and its peoples, and made a lifelong friend with our business partners Brian and Dee.
2019 we started our music promotion business, which took us no where because of 2020. We had four shows developed or in build, and they were all awesome! One Earth Wind and Fire show (rehearsed, staged), a Nile Rogers show (rehearsed, staged), rights to Hindley Street Country Club (very hot property) and a potential and planned Olivia Newton John show. With a fair dinkum singer who sounds JUST LIKE ONJ. That's all gone now.
2020 threw an immediate stoppage, luckily we had little infrastructure to support and no business debt. And here we are, with 2021 looking unlikely for roadshows. We have one more project in the pipeline, but it is in the events space so we need an events industry.