Growing up in Belgium from Rwanda, Patrick Aime saw his future in the United States and was convinced that if he was able to get there, he would make it in life. And to make this happen, he decided to work hard and engage in sports.
He became a collegiate athlete at the University of California Santa Cruz. While hoping to go pro, Aime picked up an injury and he could no longer play basketball. He vowed to remain in sports, but this time around, on the commercial side of it.
He moved to San Diego after college and started working in the sports industry. He was engaged in putting together travel packages that major corporations used to entertain their top accounts, he told MKM Podcast. According to him, these packages arranged logistics for major events, such as the US Open and the Masters Tournament.
Within four years, Aime became very familiar with the operations side of his industry and decided to start his own venture. He had a very shaky first six months where the firms he expected to become his clients didn’t turn up.
“When I did my business plan, I counted for a certain number of accounts that would come with me. And then nobody showed. So I had to really dig deep and find new accounts to start my company. So it was tough the first six months, I thought I was going to be a bust,” he told the Madfientist Podcast.
After those first six months, Aime weathered the storm and began doing business with big corporations like IBN and Coca Cola. Soon, other big deals came along. Eventually, he went from basically $0 to $5 million in four years.
“I had a whole event planning team on site,” he said. “I had two event planners. I had an accounting team onsite. So we had a bunch of accounts at that point and everything was rolling. And of course, with money coming in and I hadn’t seen that much money in my lifetime.”
Aime began spending lavishly. He spent on a townhouse in a wealthy area in San Diego and bought a Mercedes CLS500 in the same month. “The car alone set him back over $1,000 a month,” he told MKM Podcast. He also got involved in real estate and purchased four rental properties. He did all these without saving anything.
By 2008, it all came to a screeching halt when the recession hit, he told Madfientist Podcast. The Lehman Brothers, which happens to be one of his biggest clients, went bankrupt and it affected his revenue flow. He ended the year without making any sales. By December of that year, he closed his company, foreclosed on his rental properties and filed for bankruptcy.
“We didn’t sell anything in three months (in 2008). We actually just reimbursing people. And at that point I knew, okay, this is not going well. And in December of ’08, I made a decision to basically close shop,” he said.
Determined to regrow his success, Aime knew his pitfalls. He 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 everybody was talking about index fund investing.
“And so I started putting some money aside, investing in the stock market. And then I also knew that I had to lower my expenses… You know, you have to us to find a way to lower your expenses. So that’s what I did,” he said.
He founded a second company in the same industry he knew but at a smaller scale and committed to saving. According to MKM Podcast, he catered to a handful of accounts but gave such high-quality service that his rebooking percentage stayed above 80%. By March of 2019, he had become a millionaire.