First-world problems…

So this is Thanksgiving week. The All-American tradition of fighting for a TV at Wal-Mart (I’m looking at you El Paso…) is very much alive. It is a sad statement on society and more a horrific example for future generations on what the meaning behind Thanksgiving is. But oh well, life goes on and people will never stop and question their behavior and primitive attitude towards their fellow-man, that I know.

So let’s move on to this week’s topic, be thankful for…..

I am thankful that I have a loving, supporting and healthy family. We take for granted how much those 3 words really mean in a person’s well-being, but when any of those are lacking, life careens (which reminds me: I bingoed at Scrabble by using ‘careener’) out of control. Picture yourself in a movie with prancers (another word that I bingoed with in Scrabble) and dancers and then the music abruptly stops – that is what happens when one of the above traits is missing.

I am thankful for being creative, courageous and confident in starting a new business from scratch. Our young company just got its first payments this week! It only took us over 100 days to start collecting fees, and that does not mean we will continue to get them every week. Every day is a challenge to stabilize the business and when you start with 0 dollars, 0 sales and 0 prospects your creativity, courage and confidence is quickly judged as stupidity, ignorance and uncommon. The real gift, though, is that you know that you are taking a risk 100% in yourself and not using any one’s time to build your business. Most people will not do that because, let’s face it, it is the easiest way to figure out if you have a chance, Well, I am not most people and I like to make things difficult for myself, and…..I will not compromise my morals.

I am thankful that I have supporting partners in my business. These are three individuals who have taken a risk and believed in my ideas and said “We will be along the ride with you.  We know its no’t that good right now, but we all know we can make it great.” These people are admirable in my opinion and anyone who puts their faith and blind trust in you deserves the best from you. 100% everyday in work and in attitude. They are motivators. I used to work for companies, now I work for people. I thank them for believing in my abilities and although as anyone knows all new business have a high chance of failures, they decided to succeed or fail with me, priceless.

So just when you are about to bash your co-shopper in the head for that iPad or when you are screaming at the checker to hurry up, think about these sad first-world problems and let us really value what is important and be humble enough to recognize that we all need each other.

Keep calm and stay humble!

Feeling the crunch…

Yesterday I was talking to my wife and partner (same lady,  by the way) and she was asking me about how I could have so much pressure always and always look calm. Now before I let you in on my superpowers and talk blatantly about my immense capacity to deal with stress, I want to let you know that it is not that complicated and that I am not as cool as James Bond.  I crack just like everyone else, and those that know me, know I do.  But, there is always a good poker face that you have to give for hard or good situations.  Even if you are frustrated, we have to remember that it is all part of a cycle and it really is not that crucial. Unless you are dealing with a life/death situation, business is just another aspect of life.

What I told her might surprise you, because it sounds so simple and, to be honest, it might sound irresponsible.  But I told her that all those years that I have worked for someone else and now that I am working for myself, the best way to deal with the pressure was to make a decision and immediately forget about it and move on to the next thing.  Crazy as it may sound, this is the way I have always been able to multitask, work on multiple projects, travel 80% of my time and balance a beautiful family life.  I am not saying you should do this, but this is what works for me.

The reason is that I follow my mother’s advise. Trust your instincts.  And I do.  I might think about something 1 hour or 1 week, but about 90% of the time, what I thought at first is usually how I handle a problem.  Your instinct is shape and molded by experience, education and knowledge, I am not talking about survival or primal instinct (save me the psychology lesson please).  As part of my ongoing education in life, we get to learn every day and mess up every day. So there are somethings you will never forget, and there are somethings you will do over and over (hitting yourself at the corner of that table perhaps?) Once you make a decision, it’s done, you really can’t do much about it, unless you decide to change it quickly and then, you start guessing, did I do the right thing? what if I… you get the point.

So in my infinite wisdom and super wise ways I told this to my wife, who promptly laughed and changed the subject.  Prophets are never welcomed in their own home…. So, if you are feeling the crunch, like I am right about now, and your family knows it, don’t hide it, talk to them and be humble enough to admit that fear, insecurity and doubt also hounds you and when you recognize that you do not need to be superhuman or appear to be so, you will look at yourself in the mirror and look at the guys that your family loves and respects, a hardworking and loving man, at least in my case.

Keep calm and stay humble

The Roller Coaster

So this has been the week where there have been so many things and emotions that I am fried.  It was a great week and we accomplished so many things in such little time, and then I was dealt with a small but significant confidence blow.  What to do now I say….?  Scream?  pull out the little hair I have left?  Get a banana split?.

I might just do all 3 of them right now. But I won’t because it would not do any good and I will probably be embarrassed tomorrow.  A thing that all entrepreneurs have to possess is a thick skin and a short memory.  I have both and I am extremely motivated to forget things that I do not like. Today, I will just remember the ones that I like and I choose to forget the other ones AFTER I figure out what went wrong and how things get screwed up so quickly sometimes.  That might take a couple of hours of my night, but tomorrow I will be a new man.  Whatever happens, happens and you move on….

I am proud to tell you that tomorrow is a great day as it is my wedding anniversary and I am excited to be sharing a good time with my lovely wife.  Why would I ruin this lovely day with this enchanting woman because something went wrong somewhere else?  Not me.  There is too much of a good thing in life to be worrying about trivial details and minimizing your great fortune.

The roller coaster of emotions is nothing in life when you do not learn that all roller coasters stop at a predefined point in time and space.  If you can’t recognize that things will get to normality, then it’s on you. If you can deal with it, then you can basically ride the kiddie coaster forever without feeling that lump in you stomach.

I will be in the kiddie coaster, right after I take some TUMS tonight….

Keep calm and stay humble


Busiest Unemployed Guy I know

Before I started the company in September, I received a call from a good business friend, we will call him Dave, (because that is his name) and one day laughing he told me that I was the busiest unemployed guy he knew.  I was already working on ideas of what to do, and I was helping a couple of people with ideas, no charge.

Dave, in his infinite wisdom, was correct.  At that time, I was still unemployed and had not really decided what I was going to do and I was constantly busy.  That is what happens when you are used to being a self-starter.  My wife would go crazy on me because I would wake up at 5 or 540 and start figuring out how I was going to spend my day at home and supposedly without doing anything.  I failed miserably at being unemployed.  Can’t stand still!

Anyway, I was thinking about that today because this week was one of those weeks that I was real busy, applied myself and then finished most of what I had pending in really good time. But then it happened, now what do I do?  This is where being an over-thinker and can’t stand still really helps.  I started thinking about a particular project I was developing and I can see that the results are not going to be as expected, so I thought out of the box, applied myself and started acting on impulse and instinct and lord and behold, a problem, became an opportunity and the opportunity became a great solution.  I am looking very much forward to this new business we just got.

You have to think on your feet and be always ready to pounce on opportunity.  You have to believe that your instinct is correct.  You can’t force deals, it called in statistics over-fitting.  You mess with a model too much and it becomes too perfect, and then it does not work.  Deals are like that too, if you tinker with them too much and try to make it work, it is destined to fail.  If a deal is difficult, then work at it, but don’t over fit it. When you recognize that is time to let loose of your anchors and sail again into uncharted waters, but with the business impulse pushing you and the personal instinct pulling you, you will be able to come out dry after going thru a waterfall.

Believe in yourself and believe in your experience.  And as Dave told me keep busy even if you are not getting paid, because eventually you will get handsomely rewarded

Keep calm and stay humble