Friday, February 6, 2015

Lots has happened...

Been off the blog for about a week. Lots happened.

First off Alice and I went to Buffalo for the Fleetwood Mac concert. We had floor seats, their were Alice's Christmas present.

Aside from it being a great concert it was a great atmosphere.

It all started when we got to the hotel. The line up to get to the desk was about 100 ft long. By the time we got to the counter the line was 200 ft long and this was at 3 pm in the afternoon.

A big observation was we were the young ones. We are 49 and I'd say most of the people were 60 years old. Which makes sense, the members of the band are in their sixties and one of them is 71 years old.

Next observation was how everyone had brought their own booze and was drinking in the lobby and the hall ways and elevators.

I will not lie, we brought or own as well. In fact, we snuck some into the concert in my jacket. I wasn't the only one. All of us in the audience seemed to be like kids again.

The only person I saw young was the 19 year old seated beside me with his dad. He grew up listening to his dads music. Just like Reid, he loves 70's music.

The floor wasn't the greatest location. Sounded good to have floor seats but after too much standing we decided to move up to the cheap seats.

After the concert is was out for a few more drinks at the local pub and then back to the hotel. Then disaster. We got to the hotel and Alice checked in her purse and her wallet was gone. Didn't know if it was lost or stolen. Next thing it was walking back to the bar in the cold Buffalo weather to find the bar closed. Terrible feeling. All credit cards, Nexus card, money....gone.

Next day we checked back at the bar. Nope, they didn't have it. Then the stadium, nope, closed.

Drove back home, feeling a little worse for wear. Actually a lot worse for wear. Had to stop for a "take the hair off the dog" snack break.

Then came Monday, our Toronto snow day. Just a little bit of snow and the city shuts down. In Winnipeg it would have just been another day. I'm convinced that everyone in Toronto loves snow days. When you think about it, it's a day off.

Good news was we got a call from the Buffalo stadium, they found Alice's wallet.

So we jumped in the car and off to Buffalo we went. It would have been not a bad drive but with the snow, the highways had the snow cleaning team in front of us and we drove about 25 mph for an hour. Couldn't pass them.

Finally got to Buffalo, got the wallet. All the money was still in there. Crappy part was Alice cancelled her credit cards and Nexus card before getting the call from Buffalo. Amazing part was the stadium didn't find her phone number in her wallet, it wasn't there. They found the address then did a cross check against all the ticket holders, found me, then called me. They tracked us down, above and beyond. Nice job Buffalo.

On the drive back we stopped in to Turtle Jacks. As we sat in the place there was this super drunk kid bugging a table with a father and his two young adult children. The bar ended up having to escort him out.

After a while we left and went across the hall to Earls. Who do we see? The drunk kid. This time he's making trouble and getting close to having a bunch of guys beat him up. The guy was drunk. At the other restaurant when the girls told him to get lost, he started saying "do you think I'm a loser? do you think I'm a loser? Just wait when I start making $150,000 a year you'll want me".  I guess he thought that was a great pick up line.

Then when the security guards were kicking him out he looked at their uniforms and told them he invested in that company and did well.

At Earls they finally got him out of there and I have no idea how he didn't get beat up. The table in front of us had a guy that looked pretty strong and I figured he was going to beat on the guy, but he didn't. He actually had compassion on him and let it pass.

Then out of no where we get a round of drinks sent to our table. It was from the guy who looked strong and didn't beat on the kids. Totally unexpected.

I thanked him and we started talking. Got on great and then their group invited Alice and I to another bar they were heading to and asked if we wanted to join. We did. It was fun. They were mid 20's and they thought I was cool.

Turns out the young kid was a guy that has done door to door sales management for the past 5 years and that is exactly what I'm looking for for my next venture. We talked about it and he gave me his number. I invited them all back to our house, but I didn't realize that behind my back Alice was shaking her head "no".

When I got home I was wondering where they all were. Good thing Alice made that call, about 20 minutes after getting home I was tired and fell asleep.

Next day first thing I did was text the kid, then we arranged to meet. I wanted to learn more about him and tell him about what I'm doing and see if it's something he might be interested in.

We met at Shoeless Joes, and it turned into an 8 hour meeting. Few beers. He was really interesting to talk to and I love a door to door sales guys stories. He was selling Alarm systems and I did door to door sales of Alarm systems when I was 19 years old. It was like trading war stories.

Prior to going to Buffalo for the concert I was doing pretty good on the diet side. Dropping weight and training.

Post concert, too much beer, too much food and I wake up on Wednesday breaking the 210 barrier. YIKES!!!  It was enough to push me over the edge and say enough is enough!!!

Oh how in just 12 months one can gain 20 lbs and it's worse because I dropped muscle too.

Something did snap in my mind. I got an email about the Banting diet and it's really a Ketosis diet and it's time to get back on it.

This time it feels different.

It's been two days since then and I've had two great days of eating and two days of training and down 2 lbs.

Has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I was waiting for a term sheet. It finally came today.

Mind you in the process I was starting to focus on next steps of best way to create and scale a sales force.

What got me on it was I got a call from a young guy at a company that is VC back that is struggling with knowing how to set up a direct sales force and heard about my abilities and at first called to pick my brain and then was wondering if I'd be interested in talking about setting his up, good wage, stock, etc. He's based in NYC.

I told him I'm in the middle of my own deal now, but I'd have no problem taking a look at what he's doing, what his value prop is and giving him some advice.

Based on what he told me, I could definitely build and scale a huge sales department quickly. But when I compare it to the offering I have with my new venture I have a much better value proposition. No doubt in my mind I'd want to build mine first. If all falls through and I don't raise the money for my business, it sounds like I'd have a good fall back position.

BUT it did get me thinking about sales structures and now I'm really excited about some options I have for my business. To put it in perspective I'd want to have a team of 150 - 200 sales people to go at launch in Canada alone. Then scale to the U.S. about 6 months later with a 2000 person sales force.  It might sound aggressive, but it's something I can do without question. It's like saying "can you do an Ironman?" Answer...yes. Actually building the sales team is easier.

This weekend I'll be working with my financial analyst and run options. We've been running payback models for our customers and they are off the chain great. Selling this product is going to be like "Barry Bonds hitting off a T-Ball".

I can't exaggerate how much of an emotional roller coaster this is. I even had the weirdest dream about when I worked at image color and there was Tim, Dick and Neil. I was in dispute with the two owners (which happened in real life) and Neil was defending me. It was an interesting dream.

The one thing that has really come out of this is I'm so certain this plan is going to be the bomb. If I can sell it, and I can scale it, there is no choice but for it to succeed.

Today was expense day. Entering all those receipts hurt. Lots of my money already invested. Lots going out, none coming in. Very strange feeling. It's also a situation that is causing me to see a whole different perspective. I'm normally running at 1000 mph and now I'm down to 5 mph and I have no choice, it's a waiting game. In the process it's interesting to observe myself and how I feel about everything inside.

In the end, I feel I'm becoming a better and wiser person from the insight and ups and downs of the situation.  I can't stress enough how I just want to get out of this phase of fundraising and get back into the trenches and build a business.

So at the end of the day I'm feeling great and at 8 pm to top it all off I went for a run. I knew it would be a great run. I had not much to think about and nothing to worry about.  It was just a peaceful, zen like run.

Yesterday Run - 1:22:30 / 11.19 km
Today Run - 43:50 / 5.96 km

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