Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's been about 3 months...

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged in three months, it seems longer.

Lots has happened since then, maybe that's why I think it's been longer than 3-months.

First off, I feel completely at ease not wanting to do another Ironman, my retirement choice was perfectly timed.

All that has happened is I've displaced all my Ironman behaviours and focused them on starting a business.

It's been really weird for me, for the first time in my life I'm not getting a paycheque. In over 30 years I've never not been paid. It's both motivating and concerning. It's motivating that you want to get back to making some money so time is of the essence and it's concerning in that you eat into your savings.

Weirdest sensation for me is I'm working as hard as I ever had and I feel like I have a job. Which I do. I'm in the process of trying to launch my next venture, a mobile geolocation coupon app. You know you are onto something when you are working extremely hard and it's not fatiguing. If I was getting paid this would be the dream job.

I'm also learning a lot. From starting a business to growing a business to selling a business I'm pretty skillful and there is nothing I haven't handled or can't handle. The new learning is about what is required to raise money from outside investors. I've definitely have been a quick study and much of the business plan requirements are great things to do up front even if you aren't looking for investors.

I've also started to do some business coaching and I'm surprising myself in that I know more than I thought I knew. Much of what I know is just ingrained in me and I do it without thinking. I have a couple of guys I'm coaching right now and it's been really interesting and I'm actually enjoying it a lot.

Over all the years the one lesson I've learned is to validate and idea. So many people get a good idea and then without doing a lot of research and when I say research I mean talking to customers and they build their business model with the hope that the customers will come.

The reality is that being an entrepreneur does not mean your a risk taker, the good ones are actually risk adverse. The good ones spend as much time as possible identifying all the potential problem areas and only once they have exhausted those areas do they then invest. Basically when the probability is high that the idea will work.

I wish I knew this concept when I was a younger person in business. Actually looking back I did do this originally when I started my lawn care business. I just bought some business cards and walked door to door asking if they needed someone to cut their lawns. Then I borrowed my dad's lawnmower and then we used Alice's dads car as a truck and we were in business. I had the customers before I even spent money.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm smarter, or the world has changed or I value time but my favorite word lately is validation. And if you don't think you can validate an idea before spending much if any money on a concept you are wrong, dead wrong.

The one thing I've come to realize is that validation of a business idea takes about 40 - 60 days if you are working at it pretty full time. Basically if you do it right your entire business model and action plan is complete with full financial targets and KPI's.

As I've gotten older I have a real value of time. I realize I'm no longer 24 years old and its a commodity. It's no longer a commodity to me. If I live to 80 years old I'd still only have 30 years left. I know how fast 20 years flies by. There's not a lot of time left and God forbid you don't live to 80 years old.

This past year on so many levels has been an amazing and insightful learning experience for me. There is so many lessons I've learned and levels of self-discovery. In many ways I'm seeing things more for what they truly are and not what I hoped them or wanted them to be.

A big lesson for me is on human nature and understanding others motivations and how they think. I have experienced some crazy stuff and got some great insight into the human condition.

In many respects I feel old and wise and in other respects I feel I'm young and starting out in a new life. The only difference is this new life has a countdown timer and you have to make the best of it as fast as you can. No time for wasting time.

Training wise I'm in that "I don't care" what I look like. I turned 49 years old this year and figure it's kind of that age where you're not expected to be in great shape or look good.

I'm still training a little, trying to get out 3 or 4 times a week for a run. I definitely feel better after I train and my mind is getting to a point where I could see myself getting back to some serious training mileage for the fun of it.

Diet wise it's near impossible for me to lose weight. It goes on so easy and it doesn't come off easily. Even on a Ketosis diet it takes forever. Still working at it, I'm around 202 lbs and need to get to at least 195lbs so my clothes still fit.

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