Category Archives: Entrepreneurial

My visit with 2 Youtubers

In December I had 2 Youtubers for a visit to do a special “mini” episode for a major network.  It was refreshing to have a different view and I learned so many new things during their visit.  Josh and Cody are two tremendous people that I am happy to now call my friend.  During the trip, we spent time at an abandoned factory and  we took a trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom (for the fun stuff).  Here is Cody’s vlog from the Magic Kingdom LINK

The first thing that I found odd but now find awesome and liberating is when we went to Disney, they were recording for their vlog.  People looked at us oddly but once I got used to it, the stares had zero impact on me.  I have now started my own Youtube channel and doing a mix of a vlog and other content.

My older son, like most kids, loves Youtube.  Being able to meet people he watched was amazing.  He came with us during all video shooting and even used the cameras at time.  He and I are now bonding over doing our own channel and he works the camera and does all the editing.  Its nice to bond with a teenager over something that he has a passion about and enjoys doing.

Even as we get older, we need to remember we do not have all the answers.  We must remain open to learn new ideas and concepts.  If we close our mind and shelter it, we can never grow beyond the boundaries we set for ourselves.  Thanks to Josh and Cody, I have extended my boundaries a little more.

Be good to yourself and each other.

Exploring with Josh
Cody Buffinton
My Youtube Channel

Define Your New Peak

My last post I did was about 4 months ago where I was talking about what to do once you hit what you define as a peak.  Obviously reaching that peak does not mean you just coast because you will coast right down the peak and getting back up becomes that much more difficult.

For me, I am unable to just rest, or coast for that matter.  I needed to keep growing, needed to continue to grow as a person, father, husband, and friend.  The last 4 months have been incredible, here is a recap, which I will fill with more details in the following posts:

  • Played host to 2 incredible YouTubers who taught me a ton of new stuff that I plan on using in my everyday life.
  • Enjoyed the stressful holidays, why do we make holidays so stressful?
  • Made a personal health change to live a better lifestyle.
  • Connected with several big YouTubers, this is exciting.
  • Filmed a pilot TV episode for a major studio, unfortunately, it needs work.
  • Started a YouTube channel, realized its much harder than most people think and the first video had tons of mistakes and issues.  Its all about learning though.
  • Working to donate 100% of everything the YouTube channel brings in to a veterans charity in honor of my grandfather.  Still working out details with them before I announce which charity.

I will update early next week with the next blog post.   In the mean time and always, be good to yourself and each other.

Reached the peak?

What does someone do once they climb Everest? What is the next challenge that would not seem small or trivial?  I am really curious about this.

Let me first say that no matter how good someone is, there is always a better version of them.  Its what makes us constantly reach for higher goals.

What are you supposed to do once you have hit the peak of what you do?  When I say the peak, I mean, there is no one better than you and every challenge you had you conquered.  This post is not meant to be cocky in any way, but just the opposite.  The system I built has been destroying piracy and the pirates really have no where to hide on Usenet.  It has taken many years to finally hit this peak but we have achieved it, and planted our flag.

I love what I do, I love the cat and mouse game that dealing with anti-piracy constantly gives.  I just seem to be in a “what next” type phase where I am trying to figure out another anti-piracy ecosystem I want the team to look into.  We do so many different things already but I want to achieve the peak with another ecosystem.  A few clients have said, “Do not lose focus on what you are great at”.  I have no intention of slowing development on our specialty, just looking for another pool to dip our feet into.

I guess what I am saying is being an entrepreneur I always have this unfulfilled feeling.  Like my work is never done.  When someone explains a process to me, mentally, my mind is going 10k MPH where I am reducing their process to the bare bones and then restructuring it in a more efficient way.   Sometimes I feel like I am cursed as my mind never stops running, but other times, I also recognize that my OCD’s and ADD has given me the skills to succeed.

Lastly, I promise, I will write more on a more regular basis.  I am starting to look into doing  youtube channel as well eventually..

Fear Vs Danger

This is part 2 to my previous blog post

I wanted to cover my feelings on this topic relating to business.  These are just my opinions obviously.

Fear is made up.  My son has to do book reports and different things where he has to stand up in front of the class.  He has really bad panic attacks.  I used to be like that.  I did not like standing up in front of people and speaking.  I much rather prefer sitting in a darkened office, doing code work or project planning.  The absolute worst thing that will happen is you will die.  Yes its a bit of a stretch but once you realize the absolute worst, scale it back, you can cope with it.  When I do a meeting, I am not afraid of hearing a no, or failing.  I look at the positive, I made a connection and met some nice people.

With Fear, it can’t hurt you.  Danger can.  The fear of jumping from a plane will no hurt you, but the danger of going splat will.   You can’t let fear control your life, get out there, get busy, meet people, talk to them, make that connection.  You might be surprised that the fear you had was holding you back from becoming extraordinary.  We all have greatness in us, its how we chose to channel the fuel that fires us up.

To sum it up, do not be afraid of the fear, however, be aware of the danger.

Be good to yourself and others…

Why do you want to start your own business?

Why in the hell do you want to start your own business?  Take the safe road, go get a 9-5 job, and collect a pay check.

Have you ever heard that?  I have, only about 10,000 times.  I hear that from family, friends, connections, just about everyone has an opinion on what is the “safe” way to live a life.  Here are my thoughts on this topic

My question is the same that they just asked you.  Why? You will spend tons of time, not make much money right away, you will sleep less, have an emotional rollercoaster and wow, the list goes on and on.  So why?

I can’t answer the why for you, but I can for me.  Because I can, and I want to.  The one thing I promised myself is that I will never live with 1 single regret.  If I want to do something, I want it, not tomorrow, but now.  My life philosophy has caused me both pain and immense joy.   Doing a start up is not easy and anyone that says it is, quite honestly, is bragging and you should stop talking to them about your start up.  Talk to me instead, use the contact form and lets chat.  I have no interest in convincing you that my life path was correct or that it was wrong.  It is after all, my path.

You must choose your path, remember, blue pill or red bill?  You and only you can make the choice BUT you have to live with that choice.  The odds that you will have the next facebook or uber are so slim, its not worth the odds.  If your goal is to have the next FB or uber, I wish you luck and hope you can do it.  It is a goal to set the bar high but if its too high, failure is the only option then.  Example, if I create a new business and set my goal for the company to be worth 4 million in the next year.  If you do not achieve your goal, you failed.  This does not mean that your business failed, it just means the goal you put on yourself failed.  Obviously you want to set your goals, everyone needs them, but they should be realistic goals.

On top of all this, you will most likely need a gig to pay your bills until start up starts making money so you can earn enough just to survive.  No one said this was easy, if it was, everyone would do it and no one would ask the question I mentioned on line 1 of this post.

So, to recap, the reasons NOT to do a start up:
– milions of dollars in first year
– you find yourself procrastinating just to get out of bed in the morning
– you need directions to the corner market
– your idea has been done 10 times over but you have 1 thing that you will do differently
– you are cash strapped just to pay your current bills
– you value your sleep
– complain about working long hours

Be good to yourself and each other… I’m out…

Being an entrepreneur and having a family

I knew I would write about this at some point, I honestly thought it would be a topic I would hit towards the end of the year, however, I just felt this was the write (pun?) time for this topic.  This is a pretty personal topic for me.

One of the hardest things I cope with as being an entrepreneur is balancing family. By family, I mean spouse and kids or relationships in general.

Early in my career I failed as a husband, I hate to admit failure but I think anytime you learn something from that mistake it was not a total loss.  So there, I said it, I failed as a husband.  I failed because I did not know how to turn off the business part of me and turn on the family part of me.  Often I would spend 15-18 hours a day in my office doing code work, project management or some other task that really could have waited till tomorrow.

Luckily for me, my wife, while not happy did reluctantly understand but often let me know exactly how annoying it was.  We worked through it and I have learned that there is a tomorrow and if there isn’t a tomorrow, then would you rather have your arse in the chair doing code work or spend that time with the people you care about?

Yes, you absolutely have to work on your business, but do not overlook the business of handling your family.

Everyone needs someone to talk to about what you are doing, where you are going, and how you will get there.  My wife and I talk almost nightly regarding the business, well, mainly I talk and she listens.  However, that listening is such a tremendous help for me, it transforms my day into something magical (used without the permission of Disney).  As I continue to write, one topic is the often ups and downs or rollercoaster feelings you have as you do a start up.  My wife is the center point for me.  She keeps me balanced, and handles all the family things, like doctor appointments for the kids.  Without the understanding of my wife, I 100% believe we would not be succeeding.

How did I overcome this?  I hired a few people to help with the day to day stuff so I can concentrate on steering the ship.  I am fortunate that I am able to have a few people that I trust and have the skills I am looking for.

This blog post is dedicated to my wife and life partner on this journey.  Thank you for being sun in my solar system.

Be good to yourself and the ones you love, till next blog post… out

What I use to work.

Valid as of o3-31-2o14

So what do I use to make magic happen?  Quite a bit actually.  First I a lover of all tech so I have had just about every variation of the iphone and bounced back to android.  So here is a list of everything I use.  If you notice the date at the top of this, I will keep this current and just update the list.

Lets start with the most important tool in my arsenal, my phone.
Phone: Galaxy S4 w/ 64gb microsd – I have tried every phone, I need to be able to work while waiting for the metro or flying easily.  This screen is brilliant and allows me to function.

Laptop: Google Chromebook (acer c720) – Yes I know its not windows or a macbook.  Honestly, they are both fine as I have had both, I just prefer the chromebook.

Tablet: Lenovo Yoga – Its another instant on device, like the CB.  I watch my tv/movies on this as well as do work in a pinch.  I have a bluetooth keyboard that I can use.

Home Desktop: Lenovo ideacentre – When at the home office, this is my device.  Its a powerhouse and functions for everything.  It runs windows 8 as well and I have zero issues with it.

Home Monitor(s): Dual Asus 24 inch monitors – why not?  My neck has muscles on muscles from turning my head left to right to see everything.

Office Desktop: Custom Built – This is the work horse at the actual office.  It runs windows 7.

Office Monitor(s): Dual Asus 21 inch monitors

Server(s): 6 quad core servers with each having 128gb ram.  – Power…. I need more power.

I think that wraps up most of what I use for working.  I think I mentioned I really love tech 🙂

100 people walk into a bar and 20 walk out…

OK, that was my best attempt at a captivating subject.  You should be expecting a joke or something else, but I left a big part out.  I did not mention that the people walked into the bar to start their own business.

According to Forbes, 8 out of 10 business’s fail: http://goo.gl/njZXvf

Having your own business is tough.  Its not all glamorous like most people think.  Youwon’t sleep, you will have ups and downs with your partner, your kids.. just about everyone you know.  Some people will think you are crazy for even thinking about it and will say that you should get a “normal job” with a steady paycheck.

The first few questions you should ask yourself all start with “Why?”  (I will go into each one of these in upcoming posts)
Why do you want to start your own business?
Why not get a “normal job”?
Why would people use your service?
Why risk a “safe” path for a turbulent one?
Why do you want to start your own business? (yes, ask it twice and compare the answers)

Thanks for reading, there is much more coming, and I’m back…..

Best Skill I have developed

If you read my previous post you know how busy I am.   There are days when I am traveling, and days when I have multiple meetings with clients and pending clients.  So how do I manage everything? and what is the best tool in my arsenal?

I am attaching a screenshot of my March 2013 calendar to give you an idea of what I mean.

Screenshot_2014-03-21-10-12-06

 

If I were to pick one skill that any person even thinking about starting their own business needs, it would be project management.  Forget the coding skills, people skills, or any other skill you have.  If you can’t do advanced project management you will fail.  I have an entire team of people that I rely on to get these tasks done.  I have several programmers on staff, and several DMCA agents that monitor every facet of our offerings for our clients.  Even when I first started, I had to do simple PM with just my time.  Now I am managing upcoming tasks with multiple facets and employees.  My PM skills are something that has developed over many years of making mistakes.  Just being honest about it.  If you are not making mistakes, you are doing things either wrong or not pushing yourself to new levels.

I have started several business’s. Sold a few, closed a few to both failure or not profitable, and I run a few now and am always looking to expand.  There is absolutely zero possibility to accomplish what I have done if I never learned how to properly manage projects.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment away… I will do my best to reply.

Sleep, what is that?

I have said to myself, I really need to focus on updating this site more.  So this is my first attempt and doing just that.  Going forward, my goal is every Monday and every Friday.

Let me start this post with this sentence:  I sleep an average of 4 hours a night and love it.

I wear many hats, entrepreneur, father, husband, consultant and many others.   When I first tell people what I do, the conversation usually goes like this:

them: how do you have the time?
me: I do not sleep.  Atleast not in the traditional manner.
them: oh, I need my sleep, if I do not have 8 hours, I can’t function
me: I can’t remember the last time I had 8 hours of sleep
them: doesn’t that affect you?
me: no, not really.

Now the deeper reasoning.   I have never been one to sleep.  Even when I was a kid/teenager, I always popped up out of bed.  I honestly hate sleeping.  In my opinion there is only one reason to goto bed and its not to sleep.  Let me say it again, I absolutely hate, going to sleep.  If I could take a pill that would allow me to be up for 5 days, I would line up to get it.  Running my own business is something I love, being a father and husband is something I love as well.  My hobbies and personal joys take a backseat to both of them and in my opinion, its what being a father is.

I usually goto bed at 1-2 and am up around 6.  I do use an alarm just to ensure I do not oversleep but I really do not think I need it.  Its more of a crutch than anything.  The issue I have is when I actually do lay down, my mind lights up and does not shut off.  I usually need to write my thoughts down (I have a neat pen that lights up where you hold it to see in the dark) on things to do in the morning.  I feel if I didn’t have to sleep, I could just do these tasks instead of putting them off till morning.

Everyone has their own abilities, I am sure there are people out there that go 1-2 days before sleeping and that is their normal.  My wife requires a full 8 hours or gets irritable.  I am grateful that my body requires 4-5 to function, if it required the full 8, I would not be able to accomplish everything I set out to do.

You only live once (yes, I just YOLO’d you) and I do not want to spend it sleeping.

Thanks for reading, the next blog post will be back on the entrepreneurial path.