(November 2019) – When I was growing up, I always thought I wouldn’t have to worry about money if I just worked hard enough. Early in my career I heard the saying, “Do what you love, and the money will follow,” and that made sense. Money was never an immediate priority with me —which is kind of obvious, if you consider that I became a journalist. Like teachers, police officers and firefighters, we journalists seem to be motivated by passion for our work instead of by wealth.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, follow their passion but with the purpose in mind of making money. That’s not to say they don’t want to save the world. They do, but they believe they can generate wealth at the same time.
So it was interesting to hear entrepreneurs at the one-day inaugural Synapse Orlando event in October talk about their ambitions for building their businesses to be the next big thing. Synapse, originally introduced in the Tampa Bay area, brings together innovators and funders in a fun atmosphere. Seriously, the bar opened at 11 a.m.
I sat in on a session about how to build a million-dollar business in Orlando. Some of the panelists said their secret was —and this is a big one —to build only part of their businesses in Orlando. They also established part of their companies in Silicon Valley, just for credibility, so they could be seriously considered for venture capital opportunities. Another panelist said she didn’t bother to do that and was proud her company was fully based in Orlando —but that she sought venture capital in Atlanta, where the business climate is better for her industry.
So in essence, their saying would not be “Do what you love and the money will follow,” but maybe “Do what you love and follow the money.” That seems completely appropriate for this annual Finance issue of the magazine.
Our cover story is about three entrepreneurs who developed their own venture capital company so they can help fund more Florida businesses. There is a real need for this, as my story from Synapse Orlando shows. It’s important because as we grow companies here, we create jobs here, and that will keep our community thriving.
There’s an article on The Institute of Internal Auditors, a global membership association for people who protect companies and governments from risks that can take them down. A spokesman for The IIA likes to say internal auditors are like investigative reporters, following the tracks of money, risks and potential issues so they can tell the story about what’s happening and how it needs to be corrected. Except they make a lot more money than journalists.
We have an article on employee stock ownership plans, which offer incredible tax incentives for businesses while they help workers save money for retirement. There’s an article about cybersecurity, which is essential in these days of constant attacks on people’s assets. We round out the package with an article about a firm that lends money to people who are renovating distressed properties that don’t always qualify for conventional bank loans.
It’s our pleasure to tell stories about smart people in our community who are doing more to make Central Florida a great place to live, work, play and visit. I’m glad to play a part in that mission.
Luckily, I have some entrepreneurial spirit in me along with journalistic passion. That’s what makes producing magazines so fun. I get to do what I love and follow the money, too. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.
Have a great month!