Thursday, February 12, 2015

Where there is a will there is a way...

This week has been an interesting week so far. I'm actually in a moment of zen compared to previous weeks.

First off, I'm starting to lose weight. A week and a half back I hit an all time high of 210.4 lbs. This morning I weighed in at 204.4 lbs.

The cause of my weight loss it the Banting diet (high fat / low carbs) and no beer. If I have any chance of losing weight I have to stay off the beer, it also keeps me mentally sharp.

This Banting diet is really good. It was around 100 years ago and in 1959 got the "poo poo'd" from the world and is now making a comeback. Not a lot you can eat but the rules are simple and you can eat as much of them as you want and most of the time I don't feel hungry.

Last night I cheated, I had some yogurt with 12 carb per container and about 5 containers.

Early this week my mindset changed regarding my new venture. Actually it didn't change, it just became even more "resolved" to make it happen. And by that I mean "there is no way this is not going to happen and where there is a will there is a way!".

This raising money is all new to me, but I'm a quick study. I've been getting advice from some people on structure and frankly most of the advice I get from Canadians is bad advice. Thank goodness I'm dealing with a Silicon Valley lawyer that has been part of hundreds of deals. He sees stuff and terms that others do not.

He's also good at explaining what I think are complex concepts. I've gotten a crash coarse and actually feel pretty comfortable now. I proud and surprised with myself how quickly I'm learning.

I'm going to sound like a broken record but I'm also really looking forward to not fundraising and making enough money that I never have to do it again. It's a very academic exercise and I find it tough because it's a bit of a beauty pageant and a little distasteful and in Canada they are just so risk adverse.

Right now I'm in the process of finalizing our term sheet and heading right down to the U.S. where I feel more comfortable and where deals our done. My whole career 90% of my customers were U.S. based.

The funny part is I know I piss off some of the people who have been giving me advice. They think I should take it. I had one guy tell me that getting contracts signed with big companies take forever. This was a VC type. He then went on to tell me I should focus on small accounts.

So I'm thinking okay, first off it's not your money, you are representing other peoples money. Second off you know nothing, my whole career we have signed deals with major corporations and it ain't that tough. I told him so and he backed down right away saying "really, oh, well I guess you have more experience in it than I do, I just assumed". Geez...and this is the type of guys that are telling me what to do.

I was thinking in hindsight about them, "if you are so smart, why don't you have your own business?" I even spoke to one guy, who was from Silicon Valley and super smart with 2 billion dollar separate experts and he pass up on Airbnb and Uber. So that tells me that no matter how smart you are, no one has a crystal ball.

My plan is really coming together. I figured out a model that will reduce my need for capital, a pricing structure and now I'm at about 25% of what I originally thought I'd need. Frankly though, only with my background and experience is it doable, a young technology person with programming and marketing hacking skills couldn't.

In fact I got a call from one of those in NYC and it was a smart sounding young person, raised good VC money and they realized they can't get more sales by growth hacking online. They realized they need an outside sales force, have tried, failed and realize how hard it is.

He asked me a question, "if you had three things to tell me how to run a sales force what would they be?" Good question, totally unanswerable. I thought hard about it and said, "that's like asking a brain surgeon what his three top things are to do brain surgery". We even had a loose conversation that he would want to hire me or a guy like me. I told him I could do it, easily, but I have my own thing I'm working on right now. The loose offer he made was something most people would think twice about. I didn't.

What's really cool right now is these young tech companies are realizing that personal connections matter and have no idea how to do it. They are used to trying to do everything through the computer or social media and now they realize "old school feet on the street is where it's at".

Funny part is many of the guys that know how to set that up are retired, or don't deal in the technology world, social media world and don't get it, or are too long in the tooth.

To set up a sales department from scratch is fricken hard, especially to scale quick. It's Ironman hard.

I had two takeaways from that conversation. Number one is it further reinforced how committed I am to making next to nothing to launch my idea, and number two that I realize there is a big market for someone with my experience. I often tell programmers that the ultimate smarts is not programming, because it's all black and white, the toughest is dealing with people who there are no rules and you need to figure out the computer of someones brain and emotions.

On the training side I'm back at it. Ran 4 days straight this week which even in Ironman training I never did, it's usually 3 runs a week.

The runs have been awesome I get so much thinking from them and I come back with more resolve and inspiration than when I left. I can also tell that my being in a better state of mind makes it easier to train and keeps me motivated. When I'm not there it's easy to get on that emotional roller coaster and bail on training session.

It's also been cold. Today I ran in -22 C with windchill. I got back and my face was really red and windburnt whereever it wasn't covered.

The good thing about running in the cold is there is less people to run around and no people walking there dogs. Often the people walking there dogs don't pull them out of the way and I have no idea if they are going to bite me or not. The worst is when they let the dog jump at me because they know it's friendly but I don't.

So today's a big day, later in the day. Have more discussions and possible negotiations and finally getting to the point I can go get some money and finalize my financing. If I can't get it all I'm off to Silicon Valley for a week or two and knock on some major doors.

I don't know how this will unfold, but I do know..."where there is a will there is a way and this is going to happen!"

In the meantime its a waiting game. A very strange feeling to me.

Monday 1:05 / 9.24 Km
Tuesday 1:10 / 10.32 km
Wednesday 1:19 / 11.22 km
Today - 1:16 / 11.21 km

204.4 lbs


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