PLACE Designers | Into the Abyss

We had clients that owed us money.  Two in particular each owed us about $90,000.  I was sure that we would be receiving at least one of those soon.  Why?  Because we needed it to survive.  And we had always found a way to survive, so far.

One was a subsidized multifamily developer who was waiting on government funding.  We had been waiting on that money for nearly a year.  The architect on the project had been assuring me that it would be funded in a couple of weeks.  He had been telling me this for months.  The other was a residential subdivision developer.  He was dependent on obtaining a permit to get funding.  Both receivables had been outstanding for almost a year.

I focused on what I felt I could do.  I demanded constant updates from the architect working with the subsidized housing developer.  I pressured the civil engineer to obtain a permit for our client.  What hung in the balance?  Our quarterly payment to the IRS for employer taxes for 21 employees.  3 months of taxes.  $80,000 coming due at the end of the quarter.  I did not yet know that we had crossed the threshold for quarterly payments and should have been making them bi-weekly.

I should have told them sooner why I was so worried about obtaining those two receivables.  But I was confident that something would break in our favor and we would meet the obligation, just like we always had.

Those client payments didn’t come for another 12 months.  We reached a critical cash-flow crisis.  When others in leadership found out that we were not going to have enough to take care of the IRS and payroll they called an emergency meeting.  They decided to put me on unpaid leave and take over my responsibilities.  At the time, I felt that they were correct to do so.  After all, I had failed.  I had reached an insurmountable challenge.  And I had taken an unforgivable risk, and somewhat naively so.

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More to come soon.  If you want to get in touch please let me know!  Thanks for reading!

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