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Getting your teeth kicked in…

Well, as you know and we have talked about for several weeks, the waiting game is hard and long.  But every once in a while you see light at the end of the tunnel and you know it is that dreaded word…hope.  As my friend Red said in Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of all things”.  In this case hope was turned into a cruel joke.

We were so close and we did not get it, but then we knew that it was not going to be easy.  I told my partners that as an entrepreneur you know there is a ledge and a cliff with a long way down.  You know you walk every day toward that cliff, and you know that you are moving closer to that free fall.  You also know, that it will get worse before it gets better and you have to be brave enough to allow your teeth to get kicked in and your hopes to be tested.

As we walk to the ledge we have to realize that there will be more hopes and teeth-clashing before the inevitable happens, you either go off the cliff or you manage, just like in the movies, to hold on and survive.  As dramatic as it seems, it is a cruel and real exercise. Your faith will be tested and so will your confidence.  I am prepared to go blindly into the cliff if I have to before I give up on anything.

Part of being an entrepreneur is developing thick skin; well, we are going to need it.  Let’s keep it positive and let’s continue on this adventure together.

Keep Calm and Stay Humble

Real busy…

As most of you know, the holidays are relax time for most of us. Then like magic, one day we realize that the goofing off is over and we switch up the “get-your-butt-to-work button” and all of a sudden we are running at high rates of speed. What an emotional shocker!

I need to share with you that this week has been extremely busy and I am so glad that tomorrow is Thursday because I am drained! It has been non-stop for 3 days and I expect a busy one tomorrow as well. The life of an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs and I am very proud of my partners, because they have taken the heat like true champs and are smiling and enthusiastic. We are starting to close deals quickly already and I am excited to see what every day brings!

I have not had a lot of time for my kids and not a lot of time for my wife. We are both adjusting to our new activities and living broke. It is not as bad as you would think when there is a common understanding of why we are doing this. I think it takes an exceptional person to sacrifice all the material things to see their loved ones happy, and I truly felt all entrepreneurs needs a balance loved one in their lives. I know I am lucky enough to share my life with my wife and partner.

I invite you to share your adventures with you loved ones. They truly love you for who you are and not what you have . It is how you live in adversity that your kids will remember the most. I was touched this week by the tribute Stuart Scott’s daughter paid to their father who fought cancer. According to them, he beat cancer because he lived a full life and on how he faced cancer. Great teaching from a father who is about to depart. I think similarly for challenges, whether you win big, small or lose, you have to play the game with ethics, passion and a whole lotta love!

Keep calm and stay humble!

End of 2015…

Wow, what a year! 2015 will certainly go down as a memorable year. There were many great experiences and there were some awful ones. It was filled with hard work and then hard rest, then some hard work again. It was full of surprises and events that blew my mind away. Luckily, it was full of family moments, good and bad, and as well as some sad news.

Hispanic Trade, LLC got started in 2015 and it was a year of planning and strategy. As I said before, I will not run my company as a one-man show, I will run it as a serious business where people work and make a living off of it. We will run this company with all the bells and whistles of a regular company. I don’t care if I make money or not, I really care about proving a point, which is people are valuable, they are not assets, they are our partners who are making our business run. As an entrepreneur you might have the ideas, but there are people who carry them out with you or for you, and they are not pawns in a game of chess. They are the fingers of the hand which moves the pieces, which are the resources and the assets your company has.

I left a good company and a job I highly valued, along with people who treated me very well. I did not leave the company because I did not think I could not help the company grow or make money, I left my precious employees, all of them, because I thought that I was not able to help them anymore, and when that happens, then it is time to go.

Now I am here, and I have to put my money where my mouth is. I am having my employees become partners and I WILL share the wealth. I expect to hit big in less then 6 months or go broke trying. There will be no medium ground on this, trust me. I fully believe that empowered employees who have a stake in the company will give it there all for the company. If I am wrong, well, then I guess I am wrong and committed a grave error. If I am right, then it is well worth it.

You should go out and do something you believe in. You will feel great about yourself and you will be proud of your actions. I know I am and I encourage you to live dangerously. You don’t have to go to my extremes, but satisfaction will get to you at any level. Make this your 2016 resolution!

Keep calm and stay humble

Focusing on the near future…

As I am patiently waiting for deals to finalize, I continue to be positive and optimist on the development of this project. The real culprit in many failures is sometimes the lack of patience, and we have discussed this topic on several occasions. Waiting, as was said last week is part of the adventure and it is a great time to do clean up and focus on new business. While deals may take a few days to materialize, other deals will take months to do so, and you need to make sure you are ready, willing and able to take them once ready. This requires a lot of precise planning and an unmistakable knack for the dramatic.

As far as deals go, when you smell a deal is coming close to closing, you have to make sure you can sustain the positive and negative consequences of the completion of the deal. Whether you are getting a new product line or if you are closing out one, this will require communication to partners, employees, customers, vendors and in some cases even competitors.

Take for example if you are representing line A, which is an established line of widgets. These widgets are known in a regional part of the country or state. You then decide that you want to bring in a line which competes with widgets as well, but it is not their primary business. There has to be a point in time, where you disclose to the widget manufacturer that you are working with the other manufacturer. If this manufacturer has a problem with you carrying that line, he will be sure to tell you, but you have to let them know. It may also be in a contract somewhere…

Maybe there is a situation where when you close a deal, you will be much more efficient, but your headcount will be dramatically reduced as a result of this new alliance. Well the most respectful thing is to let people know, with plenty of time that deal might be happening and that it would be best if they started looking for other opportunities as they will not be part of the future plans. It might not be a popular move or something that you take joy in doing, but it still has to be done and if you respect the people that you work with, it better be done with grace and sensitivity. People don’t want this type of news, but they would rather hear it in a sincere and truthful way, instead of a profit based justification in a memo

Whatever you choose to do when finalizing deals, think that that is the end of the negotiation and the beginning of life with a new partner. Many parties will be affected, for good or bad, just make sure never to lose your cool and footing. Remember that the life of an entrepreneur is filled with ups and downs, but emotions have to be kept at ground level always.

Keep calm and stay humble.


As a holiday season is upon us, you can imagine business takes a small bit of a downturn. People are on vacation, people are busy, retailers are going crazy, and people are just basically putting everything off till next year. As an entrepreneur, we have discussed in previous postings, that patience is a virtue, and this is no exception.

The holidays are a time to be enjoyed by most of us. For some people it is very hard because it has been a hard year, or maybe the holidays bring back sad memories. Last time I checked, we are old emotional and social human beings, so it is natural that we will react differently to varied events.

So, while we wait for the holidays to pass us, we are waiting creatively and preparing diligently for January 2016. To be honest, we realized quickly that our breakthrough months would be the first quarter of next year, and that’s OK. We have plenty of things to do and we are extremely busy thankfully. Not making much money but certainly preparing our business to have a solid infrastructure, and that is a wonderful investment to make.

Any good business strategy will include the waiting game. So far we are still preparing our chips, setting up the board and figuring out who’s going to roll the die first. So we will enjoy the holidays and we will enjoy our business. I suggest you do the same !


I was talking to a friend today and asking him if he ever noticed that one of our old customers was very similar in personality to a person who we know. He replied he had not noticed it but he completely agreed that Greed was the main characteristic that defined both of these people.

I sure hope I never come to a point in life when Greed overtakes the most cherished of our actions which is generosity or un-selfishness. I have always considered myself as a noble person, both in spirit and in material things. It would be, not only embarrassing but contradictory to my morals, to cherish in excess more than what is needed. Nothing wrong with making a good living, wanting to make more money, wanting to save and build assets, but I do certainly something wrong with having avarice blind you silly and expose your nature to your peers.

Those of you that know me, if I ever become this, please feel free to tell me and gladly call me out on it. I promise I will not get upset or mad, but I will probably be ashamed of my actions and thank you. I have always enjoyed sharing the material things that God had given me. I have always enjoyed sharing a good time with people, even if I do not know them. I have never enjoyed having a lot of anything in material terms. It scares me to be honest.

Deserving, earning, making, gaining, creating, accumulating, winning, are all words that deal with acquisition of goods or fortune. Maybe we should treat those words more in the context of character and make real sure that we do not confuse them with being a good person. These words will never characterize a good parent, a good husband, a real friend or a king employer. They usually do the opposite. So in essence, for those in Greed, it forces them to want more, and for the ones who are on the other side, that they punish with their actions to gain their insatiable appetite.

As entrepreneurs, we have also social responsibility. To out employees, to our communities, to our suppliers and customers and yes, to our families. But our Greed can define the future of those we are supposed to serve, and mark them in a horrible way. Look at Mark Z from Facebook and his announcement today. This guy is young, has changed the world and is willing to put up instead of falling victim to Greed. Maybe he knows, the world will be a better place, if it starts changing with each of our actions. I believed that too. Good for him and his family. Certainly Greed has failed to possess him like so many others.

Keep Calm and Stay Humble

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

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

Getting busy….

Well it had to happen eventually.  We are getting busy, so busy I forgot to write this blog.  To talk a little business, we have secured our first contracts and are working on developing them.  It is an exciting time and time is short.  I have Friday’s off as you know, but it is getting to the point where I need to work some hours so I can finish.  Decisions, decisions, decision….

If you think about it, I have said that the four-day work week is what I want for me and whoever works with us. Our goal is that in five years we work 180 days and rest 180 days.  When things get busy, you start trying to figure out how the heck do I do this without failing our Principals and actually working on Fridays?

Well, very honestly I think I  will tell you.  For one, my week has to be more productive.  Less time has to be spent in things that are not productive or in things that someone else could do.  Second, I need to make sure things continue to be well-organized and defined as they have been in the last 7 weeks since I started the company. It has been very well-disciplined but now it needs to be extremely well-disciplined, that way time is sufficient.  My afternoons have been a bit long. I was usually out by 4:30pm, now I am out at 6:30pm.  Not really a big deal, as I am still able to walk my little one to school and have a good breakfast at home with my family.  I do not go out to lunch, as I pack one and eat in a rest area in my office building.  And, third and last, I have to make sure that my day is fun. If it is fun 8-10 hours goes by quickly, if it is not, then it is 8-10 hours.

So far it has been a blast and I am happy to tell you that I am making progress. No life lesson today, just a simple business update for those who know me. I will probably get you another one like this in about 7 weeks, and then we will see if we really are getting busy….

Stay calm and keep humble!