David Vogin

Business

My Toughest Challenge: Royce West

West, managing partner at West & Associates LLP and Texas state senator, on getting the funding he needed to start his business.

My toughest challenge: Securing capital to start West & Associates LLP

“This had to be in 1984. I sought funds from local banks, but never secured them. Frankly, there were a lot of issues concerning redlining going on, with minorities [not] getting loans to start businesses. The excuses were that it was a start-up business, and that my pro forma didn’t lend itself to the amount of money that I was asking for to start up the practice. I was asking for $5,000. I ultimately got financing from my grandfather. I never will forget what he said: ‘Son, I want you to remember something. Family is the bank of last resort … I expect for you to pay me back based on what you told me.’ And I did that. In fact, I paid him back in advance because the practice took off. The biggest lessons I learned: Family is important, keeping your word is important, and it’s easier to get financing when you don’t need the money.”

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