Organized Chaos

June 4, 2008

A series of a random ( so we think) events and thoughts, ideas and visions happening in relatively short period of time for no other reason, than, you have been inspired…

Inspired by something or someone ( in my case both), of which a while ago you had no clue you are even capable of dealing with.

I took the challenge last night and early this morning to take out of my “secret” folder all my notes and pamflets I started writing considering my own business ventures, ideas and plans how it is to be done, every since I had decide to move forward in the way I see my own entrepreneurship. I wanted to read it from the very beginning and see if I can create The Mona Lisa picture from a pieces of puzzles, which left alone look more like The Shrek.

It was a challenge not for the reason of too many materials to read, but because in the light of a new ideas I currently have, my ego was afraid ( shame on me..lol), that I’ll be disappointed, bored and not interested anymore.

Place it on my desk and started to read it by the dates on the bottom of each page. It was a Chaos, thoughts I had at the beginning being interupted by other ones, just to comeback a few weeks later, extending and evolving the thought I had before the previous of the previous thought. Even now, my writing looks chaotic, but that’s only on the surface.

When I finished my first round of reading, I had started to place the individual pages into a sentence, not by the date, but by the merit of each idea ( regarding of what has been done, what’s in the doing stage and what’s coming) and I see, that however not really “Mona Lisa”, pretty nice picture is beginning to develope.

I still don’t have “the eyes” painted yet, but having an idea ( one of a few to come), how they should look like.

It is still a Chaos ( as all true entrepreneurship is), but more and more methodically organized. Sometimes it makes perfect sense and sometimes does not.

But that’s the beauty of it. When you write your next idea down, you can ( and should) read it and reorganize it again !

Believe me, it is a wonderful and very useful excersise…..    

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Personality Matters

June 3, 2008

When I wrote my article about importance of a “busines plan”, I had directed it in the matter of getting bank financing for your busines. You don’t really need to prepare it your self and if a bank requires have one done, get somebody familiar to this bank regulations to guide or even write it for you, because the  most likely  reasons for the bank is to estimate and find out the risk of an industry you are be doing a business in. In this case, you need to know the bank CURRENT policy, the one outlined yesterday, is probably in this credit chaos not valid anymore.  

This plan will end up in a trash can of the loan officer and even more importantly, should end up in YOURS.

But, if you even think to start and go on the road called entrepreneurship, you should, or even better Must have a plan in order to have any chance to succeed. This kind of plan you have to create for yourself. You should start it by trying to estimate your own personality. I said try to estimate, because in many cases further down the road, many of us find out, that we are not who we thought we are, simply because on focusing and observing anything and anybody around ourself, we don’t really pay attention on our true being.

Make it simple in this article, I see entrepreneurs either as a “Hunters” or a “Farmers”, I know it is more complicated than that, but it will help me to keep this post relatively brief.

Farmers

Those are the ones having the idea or expertise in one of industry, the plumbers, electricians, car dealers and other retailers, or even people involved in real estate. Form being just a self- employed, they crossed the line to the entrepreneurial world by creating some kind of system around their expertise. ( adding a people to various positions) They constantly growing their “farm” by re-seeding and re-planting their own “crops”, they methodically expanding the ” Southport Ranch empire”

Hunters

Or call it action entrepreneurs if you like. Those are the ones, constantly looking and searching for opportunity, they have the instinct to know one , when they see one. They have no problem to “jump” in the type of business venture yesterday had no clue about it. Their motto is..: ” You don’t need to be a cook in order to run or own a restaurant!!” While many times seen by others as a “nuts”, they are the risk takers by nature. I must say, that I think in my point of view, they don’t hunt the prey just to “kill” and eat, but many times to “domesticate” it and further more to use it just like the “farmers” do.

The beauty of not knowing exactly from the beginning who you actually are by personality is, that when you build your farm ( just like I did for years), one day you look over your fence, see the other type of stock and crops out there, you finally realize the possibilities of catching it and “domesticate” it, that one day , you decide to go get the “traps” or ammunition and Do it.

On the other hand, the ugliness of not estimating your own self soon enough, could mean the danger, that if you fall in love for hunting, you may have all the traps and ammunition planted or seeded in the field within your own fence.

It is interesting to watch my own “personality” evolution and I must say ( no shame here), that you can call it surprise for me.

Well, I let you think about your own-self and it is not my business to say what kind is better for biz. success. But for the long term plan is good to know…

Are you a Farmer, Hunter or even Predator ?? Think about it !!

  

  

   


“Uncle Sam”, No surprise !

June 1, 2008

 

I am tempted, for a while now, to write an article about the government latest Joke, that is the “welfare check”, they sending to us in order to jump start the Economy ( which has been stalled ironically by their own actions). Had not written it sooner, because been thinking real hard how to start it politely and not to offend the bunch of idiots running the affairs on behalf “The People”.

For the purpose of this piece, by government, I mean not only the politicians, but also the Central Bank, the banking industry officials and other wannabe’s experts, all of them leaderlessly running in the chaos, caused by their ignorance and/or arrogance.

I think, I came up with a polite start, which nobody could sue me over.

Here it goes..:

” You bunch of Morons, you got it all wrong ( no surprise here). We, the rare breed of entrepreneurs, Don’t want to be fed free lunch ( in a form of stinking soup), we want to have a license to Hunt, to Grow, to Raise our meals…!!” I say stick the lates joke back to your ass and give me the right to access and buy the ammunition. I said buy, not to get for free…

I can see myself walking in the Central Bank money auction room, dressed in Columbo style, faded, wrinkled gray overcoat, with unlighted cigar in my mounth and two big guys on my side, in a black suits, each carrying a big, empty suitcase. We sit way back in the corner of the room and observe the auctioneer, offering a different amount of money to various banks and theirs officials, to make a bid for the interest rate on.

I would probably have a lot of fun by listening to the arguments of all those Citigroups, Wells Fargos & others, why they can not take it for more than 2,3,4,5 % and how hard it is to make a return on it. Of course it is, especially because they know only two ways how to use it. Either give it away, or sit on it. In any case, by some weird mechanism, they always get it “backwords”. In the time, they should carefully consider every loan, because of amounts skyrocketing, they were giving it away. In the time, when entrepreneurs need it, to light the fire to cook the meals for everybody to buy, they restricting the access to it.

But back to the Auction.

I would observe the “crying” for a while and at the point of getting “sick” of it, I would whisper to the ears of my two guys my orders and they would approach the Auctioneer telling him this.:

” Fill up the suitcases, our “boss” is offering 15 % and he is taking it all..”

Then we would walk out of the room and while lightning the cigar in my mouth, one of my boys will take down the “No Smoking” sign of the government room door, because every rule written by the Man, can be overwritten by another one!!!!

P.S. This post is imaginary expression and the smart readers will see the point in it.

The ones who don’t, good for you, and have a fun in standing in the line for the next load of the free & stinking government meal !!

   

   


How Do I Know..??

May 21, 2008

Know what, you ask? Know, that we, the citizens & residents of USA are in deep shit and it started much sooner, than all the geniuses with bunch of diplomas from all kinds of worthless educational institutions are willing to admit.

If I had told you 3 years ago, that the US economy is just about to crush, nobody would believe me.

How did I see it coming, it is very easy to explain. And it has nothing to do with the “phony” numbers, the government is supplying the Stock Markets. It has everything to do with ability to observe and use a common sense.

Put it this way. 10 years ago all the people I knew in my old country were asking me if there is any opportunity for work in USA. Just like Bob Dylan sings in one of his songs, “Times, they are changing..”, that’s how the situation changed during not even decade.

The same people are calling me now, asking me to reserve a condominium on the Beach for 2-4 weeks for them, because they want to spend a vacation in Florida. They come here, enjoying the weather, buy any possible thing, they can carry on the plane and when they say “good bye” to me, their last remark is : “It is unbelievably cheap here..”  The first person I know did it exactly 3 years ago and when the arrogant immigration officer , used to asking a stupid questions, asked if he is going to be illegally working in USA, my friend told him the truth : ” I am going to be fishing , you moron !!”

I am not going to make a long list of reasons for this situation, because first of all, nobody is going to pay me for the trouble and the time I spend on analyzing that stuff, and for the second, nobody would take me seriously anyway. 

But I will make a little hint here.

Last time I checked, my computer was not able to “shit” eggs and I don’t think the Web 2.0 can assemble a car or even bicycle. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and internet is very valuable for gathering informations of all sorts, but still it supposed to be just a tool for creating some “real” stuff, not the Goal in creating a Phony value.

It is only my private opinion, but I think that the real reason for the US Dollar to sink almost to worthless piece of paper is, that instead of Doers, worthless Talkers are in control of US business.

Personally, I could care less, my customers loans are collaterized at least with some value ( car), unlike the milions of mortgages collaterized by nothing else, than Fake apraisals. If it comes to the point I need to re-po the collateral, I am pretty sure, I will find it in front of the local city homeless shelter and resale it again, but believe or not, I actually really care for the US customer, after all, in the big picture, I am One of Them!!

I had asked my 85 years old grandma if there is anything the “Big Ben” could do about it.

She had scratched her gray hair for a moment and then she told me..: ” Stop Printing the f….g Money!!!”

Well Ben, there you have it….. 

   

  


How to get their attention and not end up Dead

May 6, 2008

  Yes my friends, I mean dead, but it’s used as an expression and the attention most of you lunatics want to get from, is The Venture Capitalist Gangsters. I used that picture on purpose and all of you, who count on VCs’ money as the only thing missing in getting your business on the road, may as well write the name of your business on that little, cute tag, hanging of the feet of that corpse. 

Put it this way..: If you approach me and ask me to invest in one particular product especially if it is technology related, I would not give you a dime, unless I know, that you are able to turn on spot, forget about that thing and move on, without any regards as to abandoning your original dream.

Let me explain.

 When I see you are so focused on one thing and so pitiful and foolish in thinking, that this is the only right stuff, which will “save the world”, you are unintentionally telling me, that in case some 12 years old teenager, waking up the next morning after his first experience with Whiskey comes up with better technology, this would not surprise me at all this days, well you are telling me that because of some 12 years old genius on the other side of the Globe, all my money will end up in Toilet.

One thing you need to understand.

 I, the Al Capone, the gangster, who you are asking to help you to achieve your dream..Personaly, I don’t give shit about your dream, I just want you to make me a money, alot of it and for that reason, I am not going to invest in the horse ( the product), if I will invest at all, then I will invest in The Jockey ( you) and when circumstances shows, that your horse probably not going to win the race, I want to be sure, that you are able and ready to jump on another horse, provided by whomever,you let your horse die with no remorse and you’ll  finish and win the race. After all, I don’t care, I just want to get the trophy.

So my fellow dreamers, Do You Finally Get It ???? 

In order to get my attention and not feel like a piece of dirt after you leave the table, you have to make me believe, that you are the best Jockey there is, because I am pretty sure, I can find you another horse, in case yours foolish, idiotic and crazy dream horse turns up to be a looser. Capiche ??

That’s what my take would be if I was one of the Gangsters..( I am not saying, that I am not..LOL)    


The Race with own Ego

May 6, 2008

After all those years dealing with almost imposible dilemmas and situations, pushing the limits further ahead right at the time when one more challenge is solved, it makes me wonder…

What is the cause making lunatics like us always keep going??

Well, I am not a psychiatrist of any kind, but it seems to me that when we start pursuing our dream so fanatically, that on many cases dreams turn to the nightmares and when I think about it, I don’t see the main reason for it in doing something majorly wrong business-wise. Most of us entered the entrepreneur scene with at least some kind of plan, ideas or knowledge and I don’t assume we turn overnight to worthless idiots.

I see the main reason for the nightmares and anxiety is, well, because somewhere on the journey many of us unintentionally enter the race, which you can never win. That is unless you change.

You are entering the race with the worse and toughest competition there is and that is your Own Ego. Unless you realize that and at some point of the race you’ll tell it : “Go to hell”, most likely you’ll be running as long as you can and then you’ll die. That’s O.K , everybody has to die someday, but you my friend, instead of having your dream in mind before making the last breath, you’ll be haunted with your nightmare..

I am not saying that if you have an idea or dream, you should just let it go and forget about it. On the contrary, I want you to succeed and enjoy the happiness in what you doing, pursue it with focus and make it work, but in order to fully enjoy all of this, you have to be able to see the color of the “grass”, hear the “birds” singing in the morning and don’t say your annoying wife and kids, begging for attention, you don’t have time for them, because you need to take care of just one more thing. Believe me, I had done it many times in the past myself and as more I pushed, the less I had achieved. Your mind starts to control the most important part of you as an entrepreneur and that is Your Natural Instincts. Unless you let your instinct tell to stop, relax, to lay down on the grass, close your eyes and breath in the fresh air, rest assured, there always going to be One more thing to solve. And when you do that, you take your kid to soccer game and while your eyes are watching him to score, your mind is already somewhere else on the next project.

Once you get to this stage, many of us are in it and not realizing it, it is hard to stop. The thought of what is going to happen if we don’t do the next step right now is almost unimaginable. I can tell you that most likely nothing major going to happen, you are not going to be better or worse, than you are today, because at the time you are done with the “urgent” step, the past is not going to matter anyway, you did not even had the chance to enjoy the previous successful step, you are not happy with where you are Now again and there we go. All over again & again.

The way you deal with that is, you have to feel your success Now, take the Vision of Success like a journey, just the fact, you have an idea of how to create even better product than IPOD and after you had contacted numerous VC firms nobody called you back, should not make you feel like it is the end of the wold.

 Accept and face the reality, the reality of Now. What is your problem Now? If you answer your-self truthfully, you’ll see, you don’t have any problems as of now, only your Ego feels the fear of failure tomorrow. Once you realize, that tomorrow is going to be Now again, you are making the first step on the journey to not only success, but to happiness it-self.

Lesson # 1

Don’t be bothered at all, when VC don’t call you back. Accept the reality, that the world is full of people with great ideas, in case you don’t know any VCs’ personally, the chances you get their attention are 0.000009 %. And you know why?? Put yourslf in their shoes and if you are smart, like they are, you will see, that there always going to be somebody with even better idea, better software, better this & that. By the time, your idea gets developed, somebody else comes on the market even bigger “killer”. So  ironically, if you think about it and look at this issue from the distance, maybe the way how to deal with your dream will have nothing to do with the dream itself. Maybe instead of fully focusing on the project, you should focus on getting the right connections..

But that is a matter of another article…..

And folks, enjoy the moment, because Success happens Now, not right after you do this & that…     

  


“Importance” of a Business Plan

April 19, 2008

Let’s talk a little bit about a topic, which most smart asses, calling themself consultants in the business financing field will push you to hire them and of course pay alot of money for it and that is, the importance of a detail business plan in regarding to obtain any type of funding from a bank. See the garbage above? That is exactly the place, where all the money you had spend on a firm supposedly preparing your detail business plan will go at the end of the application process. Even if you prepare detail business plan yourself, spend a lot of time thinking how you’ll be doing this & that, researching the market place and focusing too much on the current conditions of it, write a lot info and figures down and think, that this is the most important stuff for you to do in order to get the funds, let me say it very politely. You are just wasting your time and unless you are very well known writter, nobody is going to read it anyway. Let me explain : The position of a Business Banker as a person taking it one client at a time, paying attention to your particular needs and actually caring about your business as something important for him, hmm..how do I say it, so everybody understand.. Well, these kind of people working in the banks Does Not Exist !!!!

On my recent journey, I had found some institutions actually really wanting to know something about my business, but these were financial companies strictly focused on small business financing, not a banks. Position of a business banker in any bank here, is replaced by a college draduate, punching your SS # into the computer system and if your FICO does not meet the banks’ matrix criteria, you can be talking about your great business and the excellent season you had, the hundreds of thousands of revenues, whole day long, Nobody is going to listen for a simple reason. Nobody, whom you will be talking in the bank about it, will have any idea, what you are talking about.

1st: Get your personal credit straight, if it is too much damaged, get somebody with a good one on Your Ship..

2nd: Get your business credit straight, you don’t need a partner for that, there are actually some firms offering that service and surprisingly, I need to say, some of them works…

3th : Most importantly, what ever your idea of business is, Don’t name it like : ” Uncle Joes’ Steak house” or “Jimmys’ used car sales”….Anything consumer related is a Red Flag for all the banks right now, so name yourself something like : ” Dream Vision”LLC, or “Paradise Entreprises, inc.”  and if by any chance some moron, taking your application for biz. line of credit asks you, what is your business about, just tell him : “I have firm, providing variety services, for variety clients..”, it will be confusing enough to put those guys back where they are coming from anyway..: To The Computer Matrix

The Matrix does not care about Ideas, it cares about numbers, so get your number straight, personal & business and you’ll beat the system.

That is the good news, what’s not so good for some, is the fact, that get all the numbers in working order, sometimes requires “business plan” for itself, but this kind of plan, I suggest, you are thinking really hard about when you want to get the funds and ultimately have the chance to put in use the plan, what everybody say it is important for a start up, that is The Business Plan.