For me, June 2013 to January 2014 was a time of reflection. As you probably know, June 19, 2013 was the day that I sold my principal enterprise, Yuxi Pacific, to a private equity group.
The next six months were a journey of discovery. Perhaps that is a bit melodramatic, but it was at the very least six months of personal discovery and reflection.
I was born into a humble, working class family in the Philadelphia suburbs - a family that did not own passports and did not have university degrees. We drank cheap beer, barbecued in the backyard and, when things were good, drove 90 minutes to the Jersey Shore to walk the boardwalk and lay on the beach.
From October 2005 to June 2013, my company was the focus of my life. That's not necessarily a bad thing - it obviously came with great financial success. Most important, I had fun and I learned a great deal. This child of a working class family traveled. I learned to speak Chinese and Spanish fluently. I lived and worked in foreign countries and learned their cultures. I led the development of products that had a major impact on the industry - hopefully some of my work even changed the industry.
Suddenly in June 2013, with the signing of a contract, that vehicle - the work, projects, employees, relationships, and my passion from 6am until 12 midnight every day, was passed on to another group.
Going from 12 to 16-hour work days, constant travel and ever-present deadlines to complete tranquility is not an easy transition.
My first instinct, as documented well on this blog, was to find "the next thing". Inside my drive has not changed - I wake up every day with a desire to change the world, to challenge paradigms, to make a positive difference on humanity.
I started with humanitarian projects. I did some charity work (with mixed success). I embarked on writing a book (with less success). I made a list of 15 great things to achieve in the next 5 years (not very well thought out, rushed, and incomplete).
During that time, the one venture that I still had continued to have success. GITP S.A., the company I founded to foster young startups, was doing extremely well. At GITP, I made six seed investments, and three of those investments had successful exits. That's a 50% track record. Perhaps more amazing, all three exited within two years of investment.
As 2013 came to a close and my period of reflection came to an end, things did become more clear. What I did at Yuxi - building a company that challenges industry norms with cutting edge technology or novel ideas, I wanted to do that again. However with the success that I have had, and now with more financial backing, I have the unique ability to do that on a larger scale.
So what is in store for 2014? I will continue my charity work, hopefully with more success. I will continue to travel - I enjoy it. I will not be writing the Real Medellin book, unfortunately.
However my focus will be squarely upon GITP. The goal is to create 10 more "Yuxi's" - successful enterprises that will challenge the conventional thinking of their respective industries by embracing and deploying adaptive, innovative technologies. It's more than just making successful "investments" - though obviously a successful financial exit is important. I hope that we can create companies that make an enormous impact ... as melodramatic as it sounds, companies, people and ideas that will change the world.