LEARNING TO SAY THE RIGHT THINGS TO MY WIFE

As I strive to be a better man I’m learning to say the right things to my wife. It’s easy to say the wrong thing – we as men do it all the time, but it becomes WAY more difficult to say the right things.

  1. Every morning I wake up and let my wife know that I love her: Yeah, it sounds simple, but when life starts to happen it becomes easy to forget.
  2. You’re smart, confident, and beautiful: By saying this regularly it builds security, affirmation, and confidence in her. I also tell my son this same thing pretty much daily. The only change is hansome.
  3. I was wrong, I’m sorry, will you forgive me: I want Sarah to know that I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. I want her to see that I’m not to good to say that I’m sorry. And that I always seek forgiveness right away.
  4. So, is this what your saying? I want Sarah to know that I hear her, respect her, and I value what she has to say.
  5. How can I be a better man for you and our family? I want her to know that I’m striving daily to be the man she and our family deserve.
  6. I want to spend more time together. What do we need to do to make this happen? I want Sarah to know that our time together is special to me. And, I want Daniel to see that we love and value one another.
  7. What do you think about this? It’s important to me that I include Sarah in my decisions because everything I do affects her and our family. I never want her to feel like she isn’t a part of what I do.
  8. Can we sit down and go over our family financials? I try to be intentional about how we manage our money as a family. I want us to be secure first and then plan for the lifestyle and future that we want to have.
  9. I’ll take care of this or that so that you don’t have to worry about it. This could mean taking care of our son so she can focus on school or something else. The key is that it shows that I support her dreams and goals.
  10. Call me anytime: I like Sarah to know that I’m always accessible and there for her to talk to. If I’m in a meeting or something I usually will step away and take her call or try to call her right back.

How about you? Are you saying the right things to your wife?

STEPS TO STARTING A COMPANY IN 2014

I saw this list put together by Ryan Roberts;  a startup lawyer who represents technology companies through all phases of the startup process, including incorporation, seed & venture financings, and exit transactions and couldn’t help but post it here for everyone to read – all the loves goes to him though for putting it together – I’m just spreading it. Thanks again Ryan – this is the best I’ve seen.

Incorporation

(1) When: As soon as I was serious about making my startup a business
(2) Type of Legal Entity: C Corporation, and not an S Corporation or LLC
(3) State of Incorporation: Delaware (since I’m at least potentially looking to raise capital)
(4) Authorized Shares in Certificate of Incorporation: 10,000,000 sharesof Common Stock
(5) Par Value of Common Stock: $0.00001 per share
(6) Aggregate Stock Issuance to the Initial Founders: 6,000,000 shares
(7) Founders Equity Split: Depends on the Team, But Quickly but only after the Difficult Conversation(s)
(8) Vesting For All Founders?: Heck yeah
(9) Vesting Schedule: 4 years with a 1-year Cliff with Double-trigger Acceleration
(10) Payment for Founders’ Shares: Cash and Intellectual Property
(11) Handling of “Lost Founders”: Get an Assignment and/or Release (then wish them well)
(12) Freak-Out on My Lawyer When I get My Delaware Franchise Tax Bill?: No

Incubators, Mentors, Advisors and Developers

(1) Choosing an Incubator: It’s all about the mentorship
(2) Incubator Funding Documents: Easy and Light
(3) Strike a Deal with a Mentor During the Incubator Program?:Probably not
(4) Raise a Round Before Demo Day?: No, wait until after…unless it’s a great Series A.
(5) Option Grant Size to an Advisor: 0.10% to 0.50%, but only after execution of an Advisor Agreement
(6) Outsource all Technical Development?: No

Raising Capital

(1) Length of Investor NDA: 0 pages
(2) Fees Paid to Pitch: $0
(3) Investors: Accredited only (no crowdfunding until the rules are easier on startups)
(4) Seed Round Structure: Convertible Notes
(5) Convertible Note Incentive: Discount and Price Cap, but with aliquidation preference regulator.
(6) Convertible Note Interest: 2-8%, but hopefully 2%
(7) When to Hold Closing: On a Rolling Basis
(8) First Purchase after Closing: A Legit Scanner

To all those who dare to start a company in 2014! Now go for it.

WILL YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS IN 2014? MAYBE THESE CAN HELP.

Use some of these to help you achieve your goals in 2014.

  1. The first person you need to change is your self.
  2. Make family first – they are the only thing you really have at the end of the day.
  3. You have to be the one to find a way to win.
  4. Own your crap and fix it. No one else is going to.
  5. Don’t try and be awesome, just be you and work hard daily.
  6. Stop talking about other people. You are just as messed up.
  7. You have nothing to prove to anyone, but you.
  8. Stop holding  yourself back
  9. Stress is real. Deal with it in a way that makes more sense in your mind.
  10. Your always going to have worries they will just be different.
  11. Stop talking about the shitty place you are and start talking more about the place you want to be.
  12. Get out on the field and play the game. You don’t win from inside the building or on the bench.
  13. Stop trying to be a leader and just do your work. Leaders always rise to the top by their actions.
  14. Only have meetings if they have meaning. Meetings suck the life out of you.
  15. Don’t make decisions out of emotions. If you’re emotional walk away and come back later.
  16. Give money away if you have it.
  17. Go volunteer. Do something for someone other than yourself.
  18. Realty check. This isn’t the [ insert name here ] show.
  19. Be nice to people and say thank you.
  20. Be understanding. We all f*** up. We are human, right?
  21. Get yourself some zen mediation. It will change your life.
  22. Ask for serious feedback and think before you respond.
  23. Be a man or woman. They have left the world and now we have a bunch of douchebags.
  24. Be confident
  25. Focus on growth in everything.
  26. Get lots of sleep.
  27. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Why do it? You have enough pressure on yourself.
  28. Exercise. It makes you feel awesome!
  29. Get shit done.
  30. love people.

WELCOME TO 2014. DON’T MAKE YOUR STORY SUCK.

I said that I would start writing more in 2014 so here it is.

It’s definite that you will never get this year back again. It’s 2014 and you have 365 days to spend wisely. What are you going to do with them? Will you sit around watching the next Netflix movie? Updating your social media? Watching pathetic reality tv? Complaining about how you wish your situation would turn around? Or, will you scrap all that and focus on writing a good story, today?

Remember, you only have 365 days..and they will fly by.

Now it’s Dec 31 2014 and you’re reflecting on the year turning pages, looking at photos, talking with your friends and family. How is the story? Is it a page turner? Can you not put it down? It’s your story to live. How will you live it? Consider this, would you rather look back and know that you created some of the best stories of your life or sit around and Netflix binge or obsess over your social media.

Your story is waiting to be written. Don’t make it suck.

THOSE WHO HAVE FAILED WILL GO ON TO BE GREAT

From my previous failures and what I’ve been able to observe, there is nothing more valuable and powerful than a major or personal failure. I believe that failure is what brings things to life and positions them to be great. I think it forces introspection, humility,  and that extra drive to prove something to those around you – specifically those who have watched you fail or been apart of your failure and now question your abilities. As I reflect on my failures and interact with those who have also failed I begin to see a pattern where the entrepreneurs who have failed typically are the ones who become the most successful.

An Update From The Trenches

It’s been awhile, but I’m back. Sorry for the delay – I’ve been in the trenches and spending lots of time with my family.

I’m not gonna lie, blogging has been on my list it just hasn’t risen to the top. Yeah, yeah I know how important it is, but I also have things like an amazing wife, an incredible son, and startups that need me out there hustling.

You’re probably wondering what’s happening in my world. Maybe you follow my Facebook or twitter and see my posts/tweets, and you’re wondering, what’s up with him? How is he making money? How is he keeping it all organized? I’m wondering  all the same things!!!! Oh, and it looks like he’s killing it and must be raking in the $$$$. Not really! It may look spectacular on the outside – it really is on the inside too, but it’s not because I’m making lots of money, it’s because I stay focused on what’s important and I wake up everyday knowing that I really have everything I need; a beautiful family, my health, and the opportunity to start and build things with people I care about.

Here’s what’s Important to me:

  1. Trying to be the man and husband my wife deserves
  2. Trying to be the best Dad I can be for my son
  3. Adding value to my startups: strategy, data, raising $$$, sales, customers, traction, marketing, distribution, talent, the list goes on
  4. Making good decisions based on past experiences
  5. Surrounding myself with people who challenge me to be great
  6. Leading with my strengths

Next question, how is he making money? It starts with me getting creative every month. Sometimes it comes from my startups while other times it comes from a consulting project. And other times lots of prayer. It’s tough. I have to work hard every month to find a way to pay my bills. But, I’m ok with it. Is it tough and at times do I want to give up? Yes, but then I think about my wife, my son, and my passion to win. I’m a champion and I know not to let short-term gains affect my long-term possibilities. I press on.

How do I keep it all organized? I don’t. Instead I build up people around me who can fill in my gaps so that together we win. My mindset is that together we go further faster.

How are my startups doing? Incredible! I mean they all have their challenges, but overall good traction, growth, distribution and they’re all really early still.

Here’s a little more on my startups and projects:

  1. Free Lunch Friday: This is my passion project. I carry it around daily looking for ways where we can add value and change the world. Because I understand what it means to be hungry, at FLF we are on a mission to feed the hungry startups and entrepreneurs that feed our global economy. We are starting with community – free food and beer, but come this August we will be rolling out FLFU ( Free Lunch Friday University) – basically the non-profit version of GA, but insanely focused on entrepreneurial education and content. We are very excited about this. Our plan is to pilot it in 3-4 cities and then scale it big in 2014.
  2. THINK TABLES: I’m an idea person and If I want to write it down, then I want to do it on the table. I co-founded this company because I wanted a whiteboard table for myself. The company is scaling sustainably – not huge, but a healthy growth rate that feels right at the moment. Nevin Groce is the CEO and is killing it. A few weeks ago he engaged 3-4 direct sales people that are currently experiementing with different sales channels. We also have some new product lines coming out soon.
  3. FundOurCommunity: You watch, this company will go public within the next 10 years. It has a solid team, the product is great, and the power it has to completely revolutionize the way we fund projects within our communities is nothing less than special!
  4. schwagon: On hold – picking up pace – had several issues to sort out.
  5. konnect: This is a new one. We got sick of wasting time at events and meeting random people who don’t add much value. We are making connections way more intelligent and using big data to do it. We just started raising money a few weeks ago. Our go-to-market will still be this year.
  6. + a few stealth ones that I can’t share at the moment.

That’s it for now – I’m just getting back at blogging. More later. Thanks for following. Let me know how I can help or add value.

BUILDING STARTUPS OUT OF REAL PAINS AND PROBLEMS

Where are you searching for ideas or innovations? The best ones come out of real problems or real pain – things that you feel or face everyday.

I’m not saying these are the ideas or innovations that you should pursue, it’s just the way I roll.

To me, If it’s something that I will use personally then I will put all my effort into making it an excellent product. I never build just for the sake of building.

If you ask me, there is nothing truly new in the world. It’s really just a mash-up of all the things that provide different perspectives – that allow you to think or do something in a completely different way. You just have to keep your eyes and ears open to the things that are driving you crazy.

For proof, check out my startup companies. You will see that they are all things that I use. They are pains that I or someone that I care about have felt at one point or another and because of this we put together startup companies to solve these problems.

What are you working on? Is it a real problem or pain of your’s? Or is it just some shit that you’re building just to build. Go for the latter if you want to succeed.

Happy Sunday!