You're a hot shot maitre D at a swank country club. You can schmooze the ladies, please the blue hairs, cater to the demanding whims of the CEO clientele and handle a hot grill if necessary. One of the nouveau riche realtors savors your style and suggests you open your own bistro in his vacant strip mall. He's so confident in your abilities he'll be an investor. He pulls in 3 other investors. They'll gratis you 20% ownership and a 40 thou salary. You've wet-dreamed of designing, owning, running your own joint. This is your monetary moment in the sun.
The place opens gangbusters.
There's a waiting line to give you back slaps. It's the new hot spot. One investor, the local Mercedes and reefer dealer, suggests you fire your bartender and hire his puke-on-purpose Smith dropout daughter. You balk. They fire you at the next meeting and replace you with investor number 2's stepson, a recently laid-off Lehman broker with a nose candy habit and Madoff ties. You still own 20% of the joint but you'll never see a dividend long as they handle the books and get first count.
And when it folds in 4 months you're on the hook for 20% of the debt.