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…

Fear is not real, it is a product of your thoughts…

I was reading my daily list of sites and a post caught my eye.  It was 9 quotes by Will Smith.   The first quote was:
Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.

Why did this catch my eye? I read this on a Tuesday and on Wednesday I was going somewhere with my son who wanted to zipline.  Me being the baby I am, am completely terrified of heights.   However, he wanted to zipline and I love doing things with my kids so I agreed to do it.  I could not let my fear ruin his enjoyment.  In my head, I just kept thinking of this quote and it really stood out.  As I leaned off the edge of the platform and looked down at the alligators I would be soaring above, I just let go.  No fear, its not real dammit… Next thing I remember was just soaring down the zipline and having a great time.  The question is, can I conquer my  next fear which would be jumping from a perfectly good plane.

I think with business, this same thinking comes into play.  Lets say you are doing your first startup but also working a 9-5 job.  It can be quite scary walking from the safety net of the 9-5 but don’t let the fear get in your way.  The danger of not paying your bills is a real danger but the fear of not being able to make it is not.  They should be treated differently and not combined.   Next blog post I will break the two down.

Thanks for reading, be good to yourself and each other!

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.

Luck, does it exist to you?

I play poker, let me clarify, I play A LOT of poker.  After I tell people that, I get 2 reactions, that’s great or oh, I don’t gamble.  So today I will examine both of those reactions and how I relate poker to life.

I will say I do not believe in luck the way most people do.  I have started several companies that were successful, as well as some that have tanked shortly after starting.  I have sold a few and also went into partnerships with others.   This was not luck that what I accomplished, it was me being me and having a skill or talent.  It pisses me off when someone says what I have accomplished during my life that it was luck.  I like to believe that I create my own luck, not ride the wave of “luck”.

So back to poker, I look at life the same way I play poker, hyper aggressive.  The idea of poker is not to just throw all your chips into the center and hope for “luck” to help you.  When I play, I sit for 12 hours, I study every play, I am 2 steps ahead of them.  That is why I love the game, its the mental aspect.  Some people get upset when they feel they are entitled to win because they had the best hand at that moment and then someone hits the one card to beat them.  That sounds like luck, however, the person that drew out may have thought they winning the hand with what they already had.

Poker mimics life in that you should strive to put yourself into the best position that you have.  That sometimes means you fold what others would think is the best hand and to listen to them say, “omg, I can’t believe you folded that” only to see you made the right call at the right moment.

Live your life on the edge, safe is for the weak, be aggressive.  If that takes you out of your normal routine, then so be it.  Try something new and make your own luck and go all in once and awhile.  I would love to hear what others think about luck, feel free to email me or leave a silly comment.

Be positive and love yourself

I have worked with a few people on life coaching and worked them through some very tough times.  I do it on occasion but only when asked and never for profit.

One thing that I always find strange is negativity.  There are 3 times of people in my opinion:

1. People that are naturally negative about almost everything
These are people that would win the lottery and then complain they have to pay tax’s on it.
2. People that are naturally positive  about almost everything
These are people that would goto the doctor and get some very bad news, but come out of it and say, well, atleast I have another year to live.
3. People that have ups and downs
Personally, I think most of the population fits into this slot, or atleast its what I would like to believe.

I fit into #2.  I am always happy and always positive.  I wake up with a smile on my face and am happy to get an early start.  I am unable to understand #1 and when I encounter them, I try my best to get them to see the positivity in their life.

Look at everything you have, yes, most have more than you, but so what.  If you look at your neighbor who just bought a new car and you can’t afford one, why get negative.  You have no idea what else that person has on their plate.  Could they be sick, or have a sick family member? Could they be buying the car now because they know in a month they will be laid off?

Life is all about variables, it is constantly changing.  Stop focusing on what others have as a way to gauge your own happiness.  Look within yourself to find happiness.  A new material item is a very short experience that you will find happiness in.  Other people or items augment your own feelings.  Another person/spouse is not going to change you from a type 1 to a type 2, only you can do that.

The world needs a change, but change from within yourself and people around you will notice and change with you.

In a previous job, I had a boss who, like everyone thinks is full of hot air.  It was not until a year or two of leaving that job that I realized I had just worked with one of the wisest people I have ever met.  One of the many things that he taught me was that people will change, but slowly.

A site that I really enjoy wrote something about positive people:
http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2013/10/16/7-habits-of-highly-positive-people