Looking ahead…

As changes take effect soon, we continue to plow ahead in search of long-term opportunities.  We have had several projects that highly interest us in the past few months, but good things take time and you should not rush things.  Let them run their course and if you are in its path then so be it, if not another one will materialize.

As good part of an entrepreneur’s life is that you get to control a lot of your time when you are not busy.  You choose the time that you are busy as well and you pick your spots basically.  A big thing for me has been the ability to spend more time with my children.  I think I know my kids much better than before.

In the last few weeks I have given my 4 kids an opportunity to look into what is it that we do. Something very simple but that will let them understand more or less in what we spend our time out from home.  I think they have seen that work is difficult, specially when you start projects from scratch.  It is easy to tell someone, “Oh, I work for Kellogs or I sell Snapple”, those brand are already built.  But when you explain I do this product and they have no clue what it is, then it becomes a harder challenge.  Kids are kind of understanding that.

Well, it works the same with clients.  Isn’t funny that if I tell someone I am a consultant with Snapple or I merchandise Kellogs they immediately relate you to the big companies?, even if your role is non consequential in the growth of the brand, but if you tell them “Oh, we are developing this line for these people” they look at you with blank stares. Funny, but it is human nature and we have to live with it.

Keep Calm and Stay Humble…

Hard decisions…

I did not write last week because I was not sure to write about.  We have been having challenging weeks here at HT. As honesty and humbleness are part of the mission of this blog, I must share with you that things are not going as they are supposed to. You measure your business on many aspects: Growth, Sales, Prospects and a myriad of other indicators. Ultimately, though, you have to take into account the profitability of the business and if it really is a business.

Well, this business was started 10 months ago and it is doing very well in certain aspects. Those are projects for the future, established accounts, revenue stream established, but they are not sufficient to sustain the amount of expenses that I chose to include in the business. The easy thing is to say I was mistaken in establishing a high structure of expenses from the get-go. Anyone with a good sense will tell you that is just stupid. I can choose to be stubborn or prideful and tell you that I did it because of XYZ reasons, and in my head, I still hold those reasons to be valid. (Stubborn, I guess)

Well, the reality of it is that I think I made a wrong choice.  I should have waited to get more established cash flows in. My idealism got the best of me and so I move on. But, what to do, well the only thing to do when you measure your business is to make changes in your expense base, and I will have to do that. My timing was off in hindsight, I believed that we would be able to close more contracts and established a better base by now, but the truth is we have not.

Although there are lines which are doing well and we have a few projects that should close within days, they could be weeks or months before we see cash flow coming in, and that is the unfortunate situation. I have put into this business more money than I wanted to originally, and I can’t do that anymore. You can’t throw more money into it, even if you know it is going to work, if all you are doing is supporting expenses which are not justified. If they are justified, then go for it.

So, after weeks of deliberating, I do it and as I fall down and express my gratitude to a couple of co-workers, I push myself off the ground, dust off and continue in this hard journey of entrepreneurship.

Keep Calm and Stay Humble…

Compound interest…

As I was talking to my grandmother today she was asking how things were going. She and I usually speak once or twice per week and we discuss everything that we can think of.  Today it was Brexit, the floods in West Virginia, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and our project.  As it relates to this project, I can tell you that it is sometimes difficult to explain it because it has so many moving parts.

But I think I figured out a logical way to explain it to her and here is my long-shot explanation: it is like Compound Interest, you know, interest on interest, which over time becomes quite an asset for you if you own it and quite deadly if you owe it.

The way I look at any new business is like this.  Let’s say we start business on Month 1 of Year 1 and we go after 10 deals, after 2 months we realize that 3 deals will proceed. After 4 months we know only 1 is a good deal after all.  Well, the same exercise happens on Month 2 Year 1, you find 10 new ideas and 3-4 months later 1 pans out.  Imagine this occurring over the next 12 months.  For a new business, not only will it take time to actually land the deals, but then they have to be the good ones to have any future positive effect.

Now imagine a business that actually survives and it is on its 10th year of business.  This is probably a business that not only has a stable line of revenue but that more than likely it has already been through the motions of the good deal, ok deals and bad deals. Business become stable after a while, it does not happen over night, nor after 1 month nor after 1 year.  It is a process that takes years and if not worked properly, even after landing good deals they can fall if those deals are not replenished properly

That is us right now, waiting for deals to mature and hoping they are good deals.  So we wait some more.

Keep Calm and Stay Humble…