Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Finally...getting there...

Yesterday was a day of meetings. A couple near home and a third out in Kitchener at Communitech. Communitech is a technology accelerator and I'm a member. I've really found working with them very helpful, especially on preparing to raise seed money.

Raising money is all new to me. I can take a business from start up to exit and everything in between, but raising money is something I've never had to do in my 25 years of business. I come from the old school ways where you borrow from friends, put stuff on your credit cards and borrow from banks.

I really do like the new world reality and the concept of angel investors who help with seed financing.   It's very different than what I'm used to and it makes sense. So much as entrepreneurs are looking for money, investors are looking to invest in good businesses.

The investors I'm dealing with are super smart and see so many deals a year they can tell if they want to continue to talk within minutes after you make your presentation. In fact all the work I've done and now knowing what is required, I've had friends approach me about businesses they are thinking about and I wouldn't consider investing until I see a plan as comprehensive as I've put together.

I've come to realize that if you can't put the plan together with all the necessary detail and validation of all your numbers then it's more of a gamble to invest in that business. Based on how the plan is developed gives an insight into the mind of the entrepreneur.

I've been working near day and night for almost 3 months straight on this plan. I'm "very" proud of what I've done. I can truly say in my mind the work I've done is a major accomplishment and I'll always consider it a highlight of my life and my abilities.

I have a MBA student intern and I gave him a project. I got the work back and it was no where near what I consider acceptable. At first I was thinking, hey I thought these MBA guys are super smart and the programs teach them to be superior. I'm starting to realize that is not the case and as I got to think about it more I realized that I need to bring him under my wing and show him what I do and what my expectations are.

So today I called him and showed him how we were approaching the project that I gave him and what we were doing differently. I showed him the numbers and how we figured an ROI for our customers and what it meant to their bottom line. I then went through more of our financial projections.

At the end he said it was very helpful and "eye opening". I was pretty surprised. I was thinking if this is eye opening and helpful, what is the MBA program teaching? Hell, I didn't take my MBA, hell I didn't even go to university. I look at this as just common sense and learned it out of necessity over the years.

I was speaking to a guy who recruits for a "Student Pro Painting" company. He hires 300 - 600 per year for the summer. He said he tells them, "education means nothing anymore, no disrespect" and the only thing that matters is "learning skills and having experience". He's young himself and he said, everyone has a degree, they don't mean anything. He doesn't even care what their grades are. I totally agree with him. To me personal drive and passion to succeed is all that matters.

So yesterday was meetings and today was finishing off the sales execution plan. More than finishing it, but validating it. I had to figure out how many accounts and type of accounts are available across Canada. Then closing rates and number of people we need to hire and blah, blah, blah. Basically be able to fully justify my sales projections. It's really drilling down deep. It's not easy stuff to do, but it felt so good when I was done. It ups the level of my confidence.

Now here's the hard part. I started on this stuff at 8:30 am and finished at 5:30 pm and I was mentally done. I was oh so close to wanting to have a few beers. Then I thought about it and realized if I have one, I'll have a lot more. It will set me back on my diet. I will not be as sharp tomorrow and I have an important meeting and still want to check my plan one more time. AND I have my new motivation that kept me on track.

I don't want to underestimate how close I was to having a beer. I fought it and then the feeling went away. I had a power nap and woke up feeling a whole lot better. It's amazing how powerful a nap is to reset your energy and attitude.

Aside from being mentally exhausted today, partly because I only had 5 or 6 hours of sleep, and feeling super bloated as I had some cookies and junk food yesterday, I just felt crappy all around. I knew I'd feel better if I went for a run but as the night went on it make the run less and less likely.

Eventually I had enough. At 9:00 pm I decided I HAVE to go for a run or I'll be full of regret and I need to reverse the bloating feeling and mentally start feeling better.

This would be my first run without my hand cast. It came off on Monday. The hand is feeling pretty good, other than I look like I have arthritis with the knuckle on my right hand poking out. It will be a souvenir for life.

There is something about running at night that I like. I have the 70's tunes playing and I have so much awesome thinking time. In fact I realized I need to check something on my plan and should make a change on the plan. Something the run brought out that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

A true sign you need to sweat is when you start and you start feeling itchy. Your pores don't open up right away and it feels itchy and aggravating. The only time it happens is if I've eaten junk food and not trained to sweat it out. It only lasts until you start sweating. As it's bothering me I'm just thinking "please start sweating".

The run was awesome. Plain and simple. It was slow and awesome.

As I was running I realized that at this moment life is great. There is no past, no future, just now. I also like training daily as it gets me back to feeling like somewhat of an athlete and there is something really great about training like an athlete daily. It's hard to fully understand until you break through that exercising mode, into training mode. It's a great feeling to know at 49 years old you are experiencing the same feelings of a 29 year old who is training seriously for a sport.

When I got home I felt like a new man.

My day could have taken different turns today. I could have just been tired and did no training. I could have had beers and no training. Or I could have overcome the tiredness, pushed myself out the door, trained and reversed my mental mind set and finished the day feeling great.

In this case I chose door number three. There is no greater feeling that knowing that in the eye of easily selecting bad choices you fight through the gauntlet and come out on top.

It was a really winning day.

Run - 1:12:58 / 11.19 km
207 lbs

No comments:

Post a Comment