Even though it was a life-changing moment, my father delivered the news to me casually — as though it was no big deal. We were in the middle of a conversation about something entirely different.
“By the way,” he said with no warning, “there won’t be any more money.”
I didn’t know what he meant, so I asked what he was talking about. He said he wouldn’t be able to invest any more money in my small startup newspaper company. This floored me, because he had promised a lot more money. I had had no reason to doubt him, so I wasn’t prepared.
My ex-wife and I had launched a weekly newspaper for Birmingham’s affluent southern suburbs. My father had unexpectedly offered to finance the project. It was hard to pin him down about exactly how much money he would invest, but he repeatedly told me not to worry. So I spent the first year building a newspaper that local people loved to read. But now he was telling me there was no more money. No warning. Not a penny more. No explanation.