SEMI RETIREMENT ROUND #2
40+ years of being in this business really takes a toll-especially when you care about things. There are many things I do not like today that are happening, but I can’t expose all of the ills. Its become so political. I assure you, when ever I fully retire, I’ll openly mention things I feel need to be discussed, not hushed up.
I’ve had many highs (buying a $36 million dollar pattern deal) and lows (don’t ask). My biggest thrills have been dealing with some wonderful customers who have allowed me to handle the coins of my dreams. Little Legend (its just me, Jose, and George), became a giant company selling many millions a year. The beginning of this year was very sobering and was by far our WORST EVER. Starting at FUN, my stress level was so bad I ended up in the hospital right after I landed back in NJ. Regardless, we are currently enjoying a multi-million dollar spurt in sales. It takes a huge effort to do all the work involved to get there. I’m sure I’ll feel the effects of my long hours when things slow.
Having just turned 60 and with shaky health, I know its time to slow down. My problem, I have unexpectedly built a growing auction company that requires 40 hours a week, while all of the sudden, Legend Numismatics requires just as much time. I’ve had serious offers to sell the auction company, but I will assure everyone, it is NOT nor will ever be for sale as long as I am alive.
In small ways we are cutting back (again). Legend will offer NO NEWPS until June 15th. And in the future our offerings will be smaller and we may take some breaks. Do note, finding coins we like is really hard anyway, so why kill ourselves? We’re also desperately trying to cut down on our travels. For the past few years, I have racked up well over 150,000 flight miles per year-and I am a total white knuckle flyer. Every trip now takes a toll on me. On the auction side, unless the coins come from Legend customers I am allowing Greg to handle all the cataloging. That was killing me-especially at deadline time. I am extremely happy I have a top notch executive (Matt Bell) who can run the day to day admin for the company and who really understands what I want to build-so I need not be involved. Still, I do travel to pick up consignments and I do a lot of other things for the auction side. Its really hard to fall off the speeding train that it is.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF ALL
After this Long Beach Show, I am finally taking a vacation! Yippie! I am taking a week and am going to my beloved Hawaii. If you have never been there, at least put it on your bucket list. This trip will be very different then all the others. I am going to mediate (yes, I do that) and think really hard about my future. Something has to give with 80 hour work weeks. Hopefully staring into the gorgeous blue pacific will allow me to think clearly.
When I tried to semi retire two years ago, GH had his heart attack. So I had to nix that. Then last year we had a powerful spurt of biz, and in the coin biz, when the money is there you have to work. Now that GH is healed to a degree (he still has health issues) and I am finally diagnosed (I spent most of 2018 very ill and none of the doctors got it until my last attempts for help) and am slowly on the mend, my body says stop! This is being written on a Sunday. My day today started with running into NYC to see a customer, going straight to the office to do some important paperwork, coming home and totally passing out for 4 hours then now, I’m up writing this and doing some descriptions for coins that will go live on Legends web site the 14th or 15th. Don’t think my old body isn’t hurting!
This was just an update as to where I am and what I am thinking. Sadly, I love coins so much I’ll probably be yet another person to die at my desk. Until then, I plan on slowing my work load down and being in a mode I consider semi-retired. This vacation (sounds so nice to say) I am going to think hard about my future. My gut says I will remain fully active until I am 65. My body is saying, 61, semi retire. We shall see.
I want to thank everyone for sticking with all these years (we have customers who have been with us since 1986)! GH and I will even if we semi retire, will always be there for our loyal long time customers. Thanks for listening to my heart speaking, its very tough to decide what to do. I’m sure the London bookies will have a pool already I’ll do nothing……