Growing up in Belgium from Rwanda, Patrick Aime saw his future in the United States and was convinced that if he could get there, he would make it in life. And for this to happen, he decided to work hard and play sports.
He became a collegiate athlete at the University of California Santa Cruz. While waiting to turn professional, Aime was injured and was no longer able to play basketball. He promised to stay in sports, but this time on the business side.
He moved to San Diego after college and began working in the sports industry. He was in the business of putting together travel packages that large corporations used to entertain their top accounts, he told the MKM Podcast. According to him, these packages organized the logistics of big events, such as the US Open and the Masters Tournament.
Within four years, Aime became very familiar with the operational side of her industry and decided to start her own company. He had a very rocky first six months in which the companies he hoped would become his clients didn’t show up.
“When I made my business plan, I counted for a certain number of accounts that would come with me. And then no one showed up. So I had to dig deep and find new accounts to start my company. So it was tough the first six months, I thought it was going to be a dud,” he told the Madfientist Podcast.
After those first six months, Aime weathered the storm and began doing business with major corporations like IBN and Coca Cola. Soon, other big businesses sprung up. Eventually, it went from basically $0 to $5 million in four years.
“I had a whole event planning team in place,” he said. “I had two event planners. He had an accounting team on site. So we had a bunch of accounts at the time and it was all up and running. And, of course, with the income of money and I had not seen so much money in my life.
Aime started spending lavishly. She splurged on a row house in an affluent area of San Diego and bought a Mercedes CLS500 in the same month. “The car alone cost him over $1,000 a month,” she told the MKM Podcast. She also got into real estate and bought four rental properties. She did all this without saving anything.
In 2008, everything stopped when the recession hit, he told the Madfientist Podcast. Lehman Brothers, which happens to be one of his biggest clients, went bankrupt and affected his revenue stream. The year ended without making any sales. By December of that year, he closed his business, foreclosed on his rental properties, and filed for bankruptcy.
“We didn’t sell anything in three months (in 2008). In fact, we only reimburse people. And at that moment I knew, okay, this is not going well. And in December of 2008, I made the decision to basically close the store,” he said.
Determined to regain his success, Aime knew his pitfalls. He was committed to fiscal responsibility and also listened to FI influencers like JL Collins and JD Roth. He started his recovery by investing in the stock market again because everyone was talking about investing in index funds.
“So I started saving some money, investing in the stock market. And then I also knew that I had to reduce my expenses… You know, you have to find a way to reduce your expenses. So that’s what I did,” she said.
He founded a second company in the same industry that he knew but on a smaller scale and committed to saving. According to MKM Podcast, he serviced a handful of accounts, but provided such high-quality service that his changeover rate remained above 80%. By March 2019, he had become a millionaire.