Friday, May 27, 2005

RISKY BUSINESS IS COMING TO A CLOSE

As some of you know I opened a candy store coffee shop in Lakeside Mall called Candy Express/Seattle's Best Coffee.
We are closing it after this weekend unless a miracle happens in the next three days.
I tried my hand in the business world and it did not work. To be honest it is the biggest mistake I made in my life and it is something I must pay for for years to come.
But I sure can make a mean latte.
I got poor advice from people who were supposed to help me. But I am not writing this to blame them. I am writing this to blame myself. This is my fault and it is my responsibility to recover.
I am fighting to keep from filing bankruptcy. It is possible if I can get these debts extended over many years rather that many months. My mistake is I put my family at risk. It is something I never wanted to do.
And there is another major issue. I love my kids Celine and Little B. There has been a very close bond between me and Little B especially. He hates it when daddy leaves and grabs my leg when I leave for the store on Saturdays. I need to cut back to spend more time with him and resume having family day which used to be every Friday evening. Any hardship I face will be worth the extra time I spend with him
I spoke with a business consultant who said we could earn a small profit at Candy Express if I quit radio and ran the store full time. I declined the offer because I believe our show (The Sports Inferno heard daily from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on 1270 AM) has great potential. I want to ride this show and see how far it goes.
I got into business for two reasons. I was convinced I was going to be fired at my newspaper job and thought this could be a new beginning if that happened. I also was not doing full time radio and I was coming to grips that my radio career was coming to an end.
2. I wanted to make some cash to start a college fund for my two kids and then sell it.
Well I was the one who got the education. It has been an expensive education, but I am man enough to deal with it. I have to do it for my wife and kids. They never asked for this.
Now it is up to me to be a big man and make life right again.
Let me tell you a brief story of where I came from. I remember living in a rat infested neighborhood where boys used to stand on the garbage cans and pelt rats with bricks. One morning I woke up early for breakfast and one of the rats was invading my box of cereal. It scared the hell out of me.
As I grew older I vowed to never put myself or my family in that predicament. We are not close to that happening. But my motivation for the next few years will be that rat and that box of cereal. I don't want to return to that.
I earn a good living. I work at The Detroit News and WXYT. I do commentary on Fox Sports Net. I am still earning a nice living and will look for more freelance opportunities. I simply need to chip away at a monster that won't go away for a few years.
Or I could hit lotto (see I can still laugh).
If anyone has any advice I sure could use it now.
But do not feel sorry for me. One of the benefits of business is I got to meet a lot of people and listened to their stories. And they were sad ones. I got applications from people earning less than $5 an hour.
I talked to people who were laid off, who came in with their final paycheck to get some candy before trying to look for another job. These are the people I feel sorry for. I hired some to help them. I knew I could not pay much, but I always told people to work here and use it as a spring board to move on to something bigger and better.
I am proud to say a few were able to do that.
I helped some people and that makes me happy.
As far as this business is concerned I have shed my last tear. I am now going to fight for my family.
My two kids will never see a rat in their kitchen.
Daddy will make sure of that.

(Candy Express is located in the food court by Sears in Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights. All candy is 50 percent off. Come clean us out if you are in the neighborhood.)
(My email address is Fosternews@aol.com and my voice mail is 313-222-1494)

22 Comments:

Anonymous Matt (rsds) said...

Terry, yours and Mikes show is AWESOME! I listen to it everyday and love it. I make sure even if im not workin to set my alarm to 10am so im up to listen. Im sorry to hear about your candy express business and hope the best for you and your family.

And just so you know im helpin you in many ways to help you get your big hits for the day on this blog. i've sent the link to friends, family and anyone. Hope you make that mark and keep up the good work.

Im a huge fan, keep up the good work and keep on messing with Mike, i love the shows where you act "stupid" to get on his nerves. It's funny to listen. Keep it up and have a great holiday weekend.

12:58 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Matt,
Thank you for pushing the site. I love doing this because it is therapy for me. But I also want others to enjoy it.
I am averaging 240 hits a day and it has only been on for three weeks. The numbers keep increasing and we had more than 400 hits twice last week.
And thank you for the concerns about the candy store. I am a fighter. I will make it somehow.
Thanks again.

1:06 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Oh yes. And I do love to push Mike's buttons. He does not even realize when I am messing with him until it is too late.
That is why the show works and I hope to go a long way with it.
My goal is to have it moved to drive time some way and some how.

1:08 AM

 
Blogger h bomb said...

Terry my heart goes out to you - I worked in bankruptcy consulting for several years, so I have been there. Some advice:

1. don't get too down - this happens to a lot of people. In fact my brother just had to close a business that was profitable for many years and take a job because too much competition came along.

2. DO get good counsel NOW - the worst thing people do is wait. You probably have options to extend debts, as you said. If you haven't talked to anyone yet or want a second opinion, try the firm Allard & Fish - Deb Fish, Dan Katlein and others are very good people - 313- 961-6141. I have seen them do good things for small businesses.

Can't emphasize this enough. I hear on your show you are frugal and I think you have wisdom - you will be okay, but you need help, so asking anyone you know for leads to good counsel and then checking them out is your best effort right now.

I have listened to your show for a while - its been a delight - you and Mike have something very special that makes all the other sport shows seem tedious.

WXYT needs to keep you guys happy - what can a fan do to let them know that?

Terry - the real truth is you are blessed with talent and friends and your family will thrive with you at the helm. Keep faith!

6:59 AM

 
Blogger Josh said...

That is one of the most honest entries I've personally seen from anyone in the 'public eye'.

It's clear that you've been Blessed with incredible talent, and a transparency/honesty that I could only hope would continue to help you in your career.

I'm not big on giving outright advice to people without knowing who they are, but My only thought is this.. I've heard too many stories of people who get so focused on making sure their family is financially sound, that they forget to spend time and energy with the people they love, which is what they need the most.

I'm not saying you'd do this - it's clear you really love your family. But it's a trap that anyone can fall into.

Like HBomb said, there are some good advisors out there, who can help you take baby steps back to financial security.

Thanks for sharing, Terry. Your willingness to share your mistakes shows something about your integrity and openness. God's peace as you stuggle with all of this. I have no doubt that you and your family are going to come out of this okay.

Josh

8:40 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Josh and H Bomb,
Thank you for the support and advice.
I did try to do much in trying to help my family. But here is the other issue I did not touch on in the blog.
Little B grabs me and does not want me to leave the house. That is another major reason I want out. In fact I am going to throw that in now. It kills me to see that.

9:08 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry,

Much love and respect from this fellow CMU grad. I sympathize and empathize completely. I have a son the same age who tugs at me when I have to go to work.

It was always my dream to own my own business but I think I will wait til my kids are old enough that they don't want me around anymore (haha).

If I had the dough I'd help you out, but I don't have it. You are a good man who's making the right decision. Love those kids - life is too short.

9:35 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry,

All I can do is wish you the best of luck. I think you and Mike have the best sports show--hands down--on any station in the D (XYT, DFN, or 97.1). This blog is great--your column is missed, so this site helps!

Dave

10:38 AM

 
Blogger the sports dude said...

I am a father of three boys, and the one thing I have always said was that if anything interfered with my time with my children it would be gone in an instant. From the sounds of it, the candy store, for you, is just that. The greatest gift I have ever been given is that of the role of father, and my favorite word of all time is "daddy". No matter what the world throws me, no matter how crappy of a day I have at the office, the words "daddy's home!" simply wash it all away. I commend you for seeing the interference that was created and I think it is a damn stand up thing to do in order to be with you family more. What good is a family if you never see them?

The debt will take care of itself, I am sure a talented guy like yourself will find work thru the TV, radio and news media outlets. You still have the opportunity to do what you do and enjoy it, while also providing for your family. Some of us, me included, have a job simply because it pays the bills, nothing more, nothing less. I would love to go to school again and get a degree in journalism (yes, my writing needs work, but that is what school is for right?), but time and money just don't allow it. Plus, like you said - a night or two a week at school is a night away from my boys. This is not a sob story for you or for others, my job as a father is to provide for my boys and to help them grow into men. My happiness is hearing them say "daddy" and although daddy may dislike his job, at least they know they have their daddy. At the end of the day, that is all I need.

That is all I got for know, good for you and I am happy for you and your family. Good luck always and I hope you continue blogging. It is therapy and that is why I do it as well. Later.

10:41 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry,
First, I just wanted to let you know that you and Mike probably have the best show and balance of any radio pair that I have heard for the past 5 years in Radio. You have made a great team and you bringing Mike back to Earth is part of what makes the show work so well.
Second, trying a venture to provide for your family is something to be proud of and shows what kind of man that you are. Most of the people that I know don't try to look ahead and plan and end up blindsided and blaming others. I admire your honesty and integrity and I know that when all is said and done Little B and Celine will have the College fund that you have planned for.

"The significant problems we face in life can't be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created the problem" Einstein

11:22 AM

 
Blogger Erick said...

Terry, even though I'm only 24, i've found that things work out for the best, even in seemingly dire situations. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I know you and your family are strong and will pull through this. Thanks for the best sports talk show on radio, you and Mike are a breath of fresh air. We get sports talk, stats, and also real life issues. You guys can get serious when needed, but also joke around with the best of them (that Christmas song show just slayed me). Keep your head up man!

11:44 AM

 
Blogger remu03 said...

terry

i recently graduated with a business degree and maybe can offer some insight or hope...or maybe its past the point.
From personal experience(my family)'s old business had a very rough time staying afloat, until they began using mail order to sell their product to customers normally who would never buy it. Simple advertisement, hitting up schools, functions, fundraisers etc can sell alot of product at one time and get your name out.

just a thought.

hope all is well, and i want to say you guys have an amazing show. I am 23, only listened to bad FM radio all the time and always wondered why nobody talked sports. Now that i have 1270, i dont even listen to music in my car (which im in all the time).

keep your head up

9:07 PM

 
Blogger Steve said...

Terry,

After hearing you plug your blog over and over on the Inferno, I finally gave in. I've been a long time listener to your ball bag counterpart, Mike V (not Vick he wishes), while I went to MSU. After graduation, I moved back to the metro area, as did Mike. It was nice to hear him on the radio still, but little did I know the man that was T-Fos... You are one hell of a human being and I have no doubt that you will pull through this as strong as ever. I am as sure of this as I am that little B hates Mike. You have always been very goal oriented and gone after what you wanted. If I had your "Onion Pouch," I would be covering sports instead of getting my masters in accounting. Don't change a thing, keep on doing what you do, and I have no doubt in my mind that your family will never have to experiance what you did as a child.

P.S. Mike is having an affair with John Lansing Smith.

4:07 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Sports Dude,
I really loved your post. Thank you. I could feel the love for your family in it. I will have more time for the kids. We are going to a fair today. and I will go swimming every Saturday morning with Little B so he is not afraid of the water.
I am no longer afraid. A lot of people have contacted me over the past few days and told me it is not the end of the world.
Thanks.

5:15 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

And I also want to thank everybody for the comments about the show. I know we have a strong show. We have been attacked by some from the moment we hit the air. And I know a lot of it has to do with the strong personality of Mike. He gets on peoples' nevers but he forces you to listen.
He is extreme. I am the voice of reason. That is why we work and hopefully will continue to grow together. My goal is for us to be a drive time show. I think we deserve that.

5:20 AM

 
Blogger soldierrube said...

Terry,

I'm sure the if you want it the national market is just around the corner for you. You are already the who's who in Michigan sports. Just don't forget about the big D when you move on.

11:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry,

As a former detroiter living in another city, I am glad for your blog.

I am sorry to hear about your financial troubles. I recommend you read a book called "The Millionaire Next Door". It tells how people who you would never think of being wealthy gain their wealth.

Keep plugging away

12:08 PM

 
Blogger J said...

T,

i am stunned to read this, but i am praying for you and my family. you are a courageous man. you will be fine. don't get too down on yourself, or feel you have failed. you took a risk and it didn't work. that's OK. your motivations were pure. you wanted to provide for your family. i'm sure your family appreciates that. you are one of the best fathers i've ever seen. that is the biggest blessing you could give Lil' B and Celine.

12:11 PM

 
Anonymous R.Lacombe said...

Terry,
I haved enjoyed your show for quite some time (and your columns for even longer). I have never really felt the need to post until reading your comments regarding your business. I am thirty-five years old myself and have owned a roofing business since my early twentys, which has done quite well. At the age of 23, I bought my first home, and every 2-3 years after bought another, using the prior residence as rental property. At age 32 I owned 6 houses and was doing quite well, or so I thought. Slow work due to 9/11, (roofing/construction work has been quite slow in Michigan for about 3 years) multiple losses in rental property due to bad tenants, and a nearly 50 percent increase in non-owner-occupied property taxes and insurance have nearly driven me under. I have barely avoided bankruptcy and have been able to hold onto my home where I raise my 14 year old daughter. The bright spot of all this has been increases work-load in the last few months, allowing me to start dragging myself and my family back to sqaure one. This being said, I can understand the frustration you must be going through. It's very difficult to tell your children they will not get the things they are used to, even if for only a while. And it's very difficult when they ask the reason, and you have to explain to them how you messed up. So hang in there, keep working hard, and I'm sure things will turn around for you and your family as well!

11:34 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Thank you all for your messages about the business. I appreciate all of your kind words and advice. I am going to be fine.
I have a couple opportunities to write for some web sites. I hope it comes true because it will not only give me a chance to write but I can earn a couple of extra bucks also.
My chin remains up

4:32 PM

 
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