The Secret to my new stress with Michael J. Fox.

As I have already begun with the actual business, I had to rent an office and have all those nice expenses to begin with. Any good administrator will tell you that you have to make more than what you spend.

I remember the movie in the 1980s called the Secret of my Success. It started Michael J Fox as a small town College graduate going to the big city and getting a job in his uncle’s company. There is the scene there where he is arguing with senior executives and his love interest about making the company successful as they are going thru hard times because a competitor is making a bid for a hostile takeover. She believes that they need to cut costs immediately and he tells everybody that they need to spend more money. I guess this is a classic case of management by cost-cutting vs. management by expansion. In the movie, he is told that they can not do it.

Well, I kind of agree with Michael J Fox’s character. When you are looking to grow, a stable or a startup, you have to invest. You can work from your home, use your cell phone and use your existing utilities. I think that this is similar to the cost-cutting approach. Or, you can do what I did (People tell me I’m not all there BTW) and go out and rent office space, get into contracts and increase your expenses without having any revenue. I would say this is similar to what Michael J Fox was doing. Now I must warn you, I do not take business nor academic advice from trendy Hollywood films, with the exception of the “Back to School” classic, but in my point of view, you need to force yourself to make hard decisions so that you are committed fully (not to a mental facility) to a project.

By working from home, you always have the low expenses base and the option to go do something else, by signing contracts you willingly take that option away. Risk tolerance must be high, as well as confidence, planning capacity and let’s be truthful luck as well. Do not be afraid to go into a compromise if you are fully secure in your abilities. There will be hard moments, like right now that I am starting at zero, but you know what, I could not ask for more, because I have the opportunity to do what I believe in and to help others. Let’s see what happens when the bills start coming in…..

Stay humble my friends

Week 3 – The Calls

A great lesson I learned quite a few years ago was that you should never make life decisions based on more money. As a young and too brash mid-20ish person I did just that. I sold out. It wasn’t bad, I doubled my salary and I moved to an exciting city. But….i forgot my values and my principles. Not going to bore you with a long story of morality but as soon as I got there, the very first day of work, I knew I had messed up in a big way.

True story, but one of my old bosses called me the first week on Friday and he said,

“Miguel, today is Friday and I am sure that by now you know you made a mistake, which you obviously will never accept but I have to tell you, your job is right here waiting for you and we will pay for the move, consider this a life lesson.”

As a good and decent young executive I told him the truth,

“of course not, I am extremely happy here”

To which his reply was

“sure you are, but I will call you in a few weeks and will offer you this again”

Like clockwork and about the same time he called me in 2 weeks and told me

“I bet you are still pretty happy, the offer is on the table and we need you”

I told him that i was just fine, even though I was miserable. Pride, you guessed it

“I will call you again in a month and hopefully you will accept your mistake”

So once again and like a clock (I think he set an alarm to be honest) he calls me again on the day and at the time

“ok young man, this will be the last time I call you, I can’t help you after today”

So I gave up and told him, So and So, I am fine where I am at, hung up and banged my head on the wall for several minutes.

Honestly this was the greatest decision I have ever made…. You thought I was going to say that it was a mistake, right. Well, it was not. The new company where I was working at was awful and treated its people miserably. I used to joke years after and told people I got my Master’s in Anti Human Resources while I was there, but…..

The truth of it is that making mistakes along the way and for the wrong reasons is a costly matter, especially if you do not learn from them. I went for the money because I believed that was my priority. But if I had not done that, I would not have struggled the next couple of years and would not have learned all the other things I learned or met the people I met.

You can not and should not be sorry for the mistakes you have made, that is a harsh reality, you just have to live with them. As I venture in this new company, I live with my decisions and pray to God I do not get calls from anybody this time, well, it might teach me something if I do get it…….

Keep calm and stay humble!

Week 2

Well, it’s Week 2, and I have been thinking long and hard about what we will discuss today, and I will share  with  you about something that I really believe is necessary for any entrepreneur: A 53 point steps to success plan!.  Nah, that is just too boring, let’s talk about something more real…..fear.

This blog’s purpose is simple: we want to share with you the why’s of our decision to become independent business owners.  Nothing wrong with working for a company, in fact, more than likely we will have people working with us soon, hopefully, as the business requires it. No, the challenge is HOW do we make a difference in our lives, our partners (employees) lives and our community.  We mentioned in the last post about our desire to have our partners and us as well work only 4 days a week and get to a point after 5 years of all of us working at 183 days and not working 182 days (we luck out on the leap year!)

We are convinced that business will be hard and not too pleasing at the outset.  I have received so many well wishes that it is comforting to see how many honest and well-intentioned people I know, but I do not kid myself, this is not easy and the road gets very steep especially at the initiation of any venture such as this.  There will be a lot of no’s when you are used to hearing a lot of yes, there will be a lot of penny-pinching dollar spending dilemmas and clichés and there will be, certainly a lot of people who do not want to carry us as we begin.  It is completely understandable and we have to be ready mentally, right?.  The problem is that theory works really good on paper and not as easy in practice. Rejection, Expenses and Interests add up quickly against your self-confidence and your budget, so what to do…..

I have come to the conclusion that we need to be prepared to just say, screw it, I don’t care and nothing happened.  I am beginning to understand that a short-term memory is not such a bad thing and that the thick skin developed in over 20 years of business, goes away as soon as your financial backing is gone.  You feel secure because you have huge pockets behind you and your check is safe, but when you are on your own, it is not that simple, right…?

So, what to do….? Cry, scream, laugh, ignore, hate, love…..  I think that the answer is one that I have always used in my life, Time is a good friend!  If we let things come and play out, without forcing them, we might be a little bit better prepared to deal with them.  As an entrepreneur you need to hurry up though, but as a smart business person, you have to let things play its course, if you hurry them up too much, you miss the timing and the natural evolution of projects.  So the main lesson today is “Patience Grasshopper, Patience.”

Keep calm and stay humble.  See you next time…


Here we go…..

Well, today I turn 43-years-old. Mid life for sure. I am at the beginning of what promises to be a great adventure. I am nervous to say the least. I have left a highly paying job for some reasons, mostly I was bored. Had been doing the same thing for over 20 years. Don’t get me wrong I love it, but we all want more. As it pertains to me, I want the satisfaction of saying I was a workaholic working for others and now I am a well balanced individual working for myself. I have become an entrepreneur and I am not bored anymore.

I want to create a company where me and my partners will work 4 days a week only. Have not decided on 9 to 10 hours to be truthful. The goal is for all to be balanced, so….. the goal is for all to work 183 days and rest 182 days after 5 years and from there we shall achieve balance.

I will probably not make much money, and that is fine, i can live with that, but I will be proud to hopefully be a better father, a better husband and for sure a better person. I want my partners to come to work with a smile and leave with a bigger smile.

I am an idealist, have always been so, not perfect by any means but always willing to help and do the right thing. Join me in this new journey, let’s see where it will take us. I will write this blog once a week on Thursday’s and tell you how my balancing act is going. Your comments will be very much appreciated.

Share this blog with others who you would think might want to cheer us on or discourage us. All viewpoints are valid, just no profanity or other type of slurs, I beg your indulgence on this, so let’s keep it clean.

Let’s be humble and say goodbye.