The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

the Plan


I had an opportunity to catch-up with a long-time friend, who also happens to be one of my investors.

he called me to let me know he still believed in today’s youth, but he feels the opportunities are diminishing. for a bit of background, Jack made a lot of money in polycarbonates and decided to fuel young engineers and technology entrepreneurs with seed capital up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). over the last thirty months he has invested over eighteen million dollars ($18,000,000.00) in over twenty five startup companies, often upon my say-so.

the reason he called me last night was because he’s coming to the conclusion that too many of the kids he meets see business “…like a video game”.

“if they take a hit they think they can recharge the purse like it’s World of Warcraft. if they make a promise they thinks it’s okay to break it”

Jack and I both believe in a covenant.

Jack was frustrated, and being over general. he admitted as much. but, while I was coaching him to evaluate a more stringent due diligence process I was admitting that I just may have made a similar mistake along the same vein recently myself.

I’m working with a young man that I’m watching carefully because he is dangerously close to breaking a covenant that will cost him dearly in the business community long-term.

more on that later. but, it’s a good preamble for other, vaguely related things that are weighing on my mind and shoulders.

I need to help Jack navigate his own disaffection with youthful entrepreneurs and keep him part of our business community’s solution. and, I need to be a strong baring point and example for Haley Anne, her walk, and making sure she has a plan that works.

last night Haley Anne was clearly feeling more like herself. She made it through a complete day of school, still the center of attention. she came home with loads of cards and balloons. had the circumstances that initiated the out-pouring of affection from her buddies not been so dire, the activity would be fun to observe. well, it still is, kind of. but, I’m still haunted by her laying so still in her hospital bed with morphine coursing through her veins. she had no idea that about ten days ago I was at her side, fully awake at 330am holding her hand and willing her better. I don’t think I’ve been that focused since Sarajevo. that digression aside, Haley Anne was on a full-court press with her Mom petitioning for “hoop earrings” because “everyone” was going to wear them to school, and we had to get to Target, NOW. that didn’t happen, mostly because there were too many other things going on at the house to include home work and contractors. on top of this Joanne was trying to make sense of the bills we had just received from two separate hospitals for Haley Anne’s care. the total was an astonishing one hundred and sixty four dollars ($164,000). this included five hundred dollars ($500) for a single blood test. Joanne actually showed the bills to Haley Anne to see what she thought. but, all she got was a shrug and a: “I’m worth it”.

that’s true, to be sure. but, the lack of perspective gave me pause.

while I was distractedly listening to the exchange between Haley Anne and Joanne I started thinking about another post that I had written almost three years ago about a lighter moment in time called: Haley Anne Has a Plan. read that. do it!

I had also been thinking about it while standing vigil over haley Anne at the hospital.

“please let her have plans”.

I suppose all of this was hitting me at once because God was helping me keep my balance, perspective, guard, and wits about me. that’s all part of his gift of discernment, eh.

I feel responsible for everything and every body.

and, I like it that way. it keeps me sharp. often on the verge of disappointment. yet keen to see everyone around me win.

maybe it’s similar to what I try to teach my Shockers in soccer. there is a vital difference between being pleased and being satisfied. and, if you are going to do anything, just give it your best.

so, while we are going to face set-backs, sometimes terror, we have to remain firm in our resolve to be a beacon for what we believe is great hope. I’m convinced that’s my role… to be a teacher, possibly a mensche.

that’s my plan. I’m not going to stop believing; I’ll never quit trying.

…I think I’ll call Jack today. maybe I’ll fly up to visit with him, and I’ll take Haley Anne with me.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

2 Comments to

“the Plan”

  1. Avatar March 17th, 2011 at 12:38 pm Eric Flamm Says:

    Brian – so, what happened with the young man to whom you referred, and then diverged from, and what happened with Jack? I gather Jack is not in the Atlanta area – there seems to be some life in the new venture/angel investing space here.


  2. Avatar March 17th, 2011 at 2:37 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Hello Eric.

    I like the way you’ve phrased this question. it made me think of an old live radio serial and the announcer exclaiming: “stay tuned for the new adventures…”.

    Investment capital can be found in the Atlanta market. But, it’s not where most expect to find it. And, it really does come down to who you know, and why you know them. I’ve known Jack for over twenty five years. And, he operates mostly in the West Coast. But, I can almost always count on him anywhere I need him, globally. Jack put the $7m we just raised together with two school chums and business partners of his that have mentored me for years.

    I was apparently slowing the young entrepreneur down with too many questions. Jack would approve of my process. But, we now know he would not have approved of the hapless young fellow that blew one opportunity.

    My best mentor, David Sugarman, himself, would have described the event as the fellow: “hanging himself from his own petard”. But, the good news is that he is painfully young, and will have plenty of more chances to make a difference and perhaps inspire us all. That’s what I’m pulling for.


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