success

The Courage To Start Again

Developing the courage to start all over is challenging for everyone. Later in life we have amassed an arsenal of mental weapons to defend ourselves against a threat, yet, increasingly we have a habit of becoming the threat. It creates the situation where we lack the courage to start again.

When I started in my business career at the young age of 11, not much could derail my intentions. I think if you analysed why, the answer would become very clear. All of my family and friends told me how amazing it was that I had decided to travel down such a path.courage to start

The Courage To Start Again

Later in life however, the fragility of our ego takes over to burden us with questioning fears of doubt. They are often precipitated by our supposed friends and family who ask “Are you crazy to leave that security behind” or “But have you thought about your family, what you are doing to them” and then it creeps in to our minds, ever so slowly. Self-doubt, the killer of all great ideas.

While we have this amazing arsenal of experiences and self-defense mechanisms we also drag along with us a pile of self-doubt – in fact, trucks full of self-doubt.

Many of my friends and occasionally even my wife ask how I can be so upbeat and happy all of the time? The truth is I am probably not in reality, but comparably I am. If I am in a bad situation I focus on the way out, I am excited to have the opportunity to change my circumstances. Besides, getting down about the situation doesn’t solve anything, it simply serves to make people around me miserable!

Some of my self-doubt was built up in the mid-nineties. As a relatively young entrepreneur, I had decided to branch out diversify and get involved with a very honest and ethical Multi Level Marketing business.

The allure of a lifestyle of freedom and travel was strong enough for me to give it my best shot. My wife and I were quickly hanging around with the leaders in the business and enjoying the success that we had created. But as time went on, the success was never duplicated. We were stuck at the same level. We never reached the ultra high levels that beckoned. Yet, we were being taught if we just did the work the success would come. It was supposed to be a process not a puzzle!

After eight years of trying to push our business beyond that point we decided to back down from the work habit that was proving fruitless. I needed to develop the courage to start again.

I had a terrible feeling of failure and could not overcome the thought that “I” was not able to grow my business, yet in reality, the nature of the business is that “others” need to grow their business to succeed also. Was I a bad mentor? No, the system told me that they do all the work. So I was left feeling like a loser but deep down, knowing I wasn’t.

I had to get back on top and so I leapt into some new business endeavours and enjoyed some success. I started a rally racing team and quickly won a couple of championships. I proved to myself that I still had a winning attitude, a determination to see things through.

To a certain extent, even top corporate leaders suffer from the same silent thoughts that lead them to sometimes doubt their ability to lead. Then again, leadership is a very lonely place.

Through my experience, I learned that later in life, our approach to success can be very different. Our skill sets for entrepreneurial activities are in place, we just need a little coaching and inspiration. We need to innovate and above all, protect what is important to us.

As a result, I am launching a coaching academy in March for people who wish to look at innovating a new life, defining a new destiny and road mapping a future that may have alluded them to this point. http://IntroducingSuccess.com will be a learning academy with a difference. It will be a place that allows people to develop the courage to start again.

To encapsulate the flavour of the project, I want to leave you with a quote from Jon Krakauer’s book, Into The Wild. The words could be your biggest friend as you develop the courage to start something new.

“make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” 

 

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What is the value of my business?

what is the value of my busnessWhen we think about “what is the value of my business” one of the most common mistakes we will see with entrepreneurs is in valuing their business when it comes to raising capital.

In our enterprise we have had the opportunity to analyse more than a few hundred businesses annually. There is some commonality to the errors that we see but largely it revolves around the perceived value of the business as compared to the real value of the business as seen from the eyes of the investor.

In one phone call I remember chatting with the principal of a tech company in the beacon streaming sector. He proudly walked me through his business plan and asked if I had any questions? As a matter of fact I did. I wondered where he derived his assessment of his company’s value? He had pegged it at $5MM. It was a very interesting number I recall suggesting, in fact it is a very round number!! What happened next is pretty typical – he defended his price with no facts or science at all. Simply that he knew his company was worth that. He perhaps would have been better served to ask someone “what is the value of my business” who had some qualifications.

My next line of questioning was in regard to what his company had achieved. The answer was that he had a good idea. He had not made any sales, but like every company he was about to. So in reality his company was worth nothing or at least almost nothing. He had a good idea and he had spent some other peoples money developing a good idea but he had not proven it in the market.

The biggest mistake we see is overvaluing your company very early in your genesis. It means that the shareholders you may be fortunate enough to bring to the table have no room to grow their investment without substantial leaps in development of the company. The problem is then compounded because the first shareholders in are usually the worst offenders because they want to see growth in their value and so they arbitrarily increase the value of the company’s stock. I get it, it is human nature, but it also spells the demise of the company’s ability to attract capital to be able to operate and reach strategic milestones that add real value.

Back to the conversation. I pressed the entrepreneur on where the valuation came from and finally he suggested a very well respected friend told him his company was worth that much. It was all I needed to hear. I indicated I was not interested on the basis that the valuation was so far off base. Of course the entrepreneur defended his position and argued he would find the money and we said our good bye’s.

Imagine my surprise the next day when I received a call from the same gentleman. He thanked me for my input on the previous day and suggested that he had thought about his valuation and decided his company was today worth $2.5MM. I explained again that $2.5MM was also a very round number and interestingly it was exactly half of yesterdays value. Did he have a reason why? Of course it was as much a farcical number as the previous day’s and showed a serious lack of business intellect on behalf of the owner.

 

So What Is The Value Of My Business?

Sadly this process repeats itself far too many times. The lesson might be to figure our what your business is truly worth today (with some consideration given to opportunity) not what it might be worth tomorrow – that is tomorrow’s value.

So if you are wondering “what is the value of my business”Consider talking to many people, including private lenders and people in the same industry to get a benchmark price. What we do know is the metric for value is and always has been the price at which a willing seller will sell to the willing buyer who will buy. It is pretty simple really.

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Kick business in to high gear | Having a blast with all wheels driving!!

Kick business in to high gear | Having a blast with all wheels driving!!

kick business in to high gearKick Business In To High Gear

I am sure many of you are familiar with the benefits of all wheel drive vehicles. In the winter months we take pride in the fact that we either have all wheel drive or four wheel drive options unless of course we are driving a two wheel drive vehicle.

But without a good set of tires, you might as well leave the all wheel drive at home. There is a misconception that all wheel drive system will keep you safe on the road and stop you from sliding around corners… not true. The good folks over at Big O Tire in Westbank who play a huge role in the rally success I have been able to accomplish will tell you that. In fact worn winter tires are proven to be better than brand new all weather or all season tires.

Given that winter seems to be lasting a little longer and going a little deeper than usual, you might want to give BigO a call and see if they have any inventory left.

Talking of all wheel driving and kicking business in to high gear, this year is going to be an extremely busy one for me behind the wheel of a car – including hopefully a flying car!

I start off with an expedition up to the arctic for a major truck manufacturer. The team will be one of the last to travel on the Ice Roads to Tuk prior to them being closed down in favour of a newly built road. I am looking forward to the adventure and just a little bit anxious about camping on arctic ice in potentially -50 with hungry polar bears!

Then I have to kick business in to high gear and compete in the Western Canada Rally Championship again which gives me a busy year with the support of businesses like Valley Mitsubishi, Big O Tire and Stroma Signs (More announcements to follow!).

As luck would have it I was also asked to be a driver on a Baja team so this year I get to experience the thrill of the Baja 1000 with a great group of drivers – a dream from several years ago and I am excited to be a part of a team to challenge the event. Between the drivers we want to kick business in to high gear and get a solid finish!

All in all, it looks like a busy and productive year, although fitting business in to the schedule is going to be a decent challenge.

On top of all the driving activities we really have decided to kick business in to high gear and this year we will be not only selling the flying car but launching one in Europe too! Time to get your order in 🙂

Remember to check out your tires for winter – we still have a few bad months ahead.

Watch out for some exciting posts from Andre as he embarks on a crazy world record while he flying around the globe on business!

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Starting a business mid-life

Starting a business mid-life

Starting a business mid-life

starting a business mid-lifeThere are a number of reasons to look at starting a business mid-life once you are heading to or past the magic age of fifty.

Getting to a half century doesn’t mean your nearly “out”, it means you finally have a chance to put all those resources you have been gathering to good use.

I had a mentor several years ago who said that in an ideal world we spend a third of our life learning how to do something, a third of our life doing it and a third of our life giving back or showing other people how to do it. So starting a business mid-life is not a bad idea is it?

Life is never that neat and tidy but in theory I think it is great. So if you look at a productive life cycle, from 20 – 40 we are learning to do something, 40-60 we are doing it and 60+ we share, teach and give back.

So it sounds a little idealistic – I get it. The whole theory gets busted when you look at digital commerce where more and more people seem to spend a month learning to do something, then sell it to a whole pile of people for a few months before becoming “experts” and charging us a lot for a course to learn what they learned in a month. At least it seems that way!

So in reality, what I am saying is in those mid-life years, the senior “gap years”, we are at our most productive.

It is also reality that many people my age question how valuable they may be to an employer… what if I lose my job!

Frankly, there is some truth to the fact that in such a fast changing world it can be hard to keep up as an employee.

As an entrepreneur however, when you are thinking of starting a business mid-life, it is quite different.

There is always some fear and trepidation when you think about starting a business, but think about your strengths when it comes to becoming a solopreneur or entrepreneur.

1. You have gained wisdom (hopefully!)

2. You have seen a lot of things go wrong – that is experience and it is very valuable

3. You probably have a better handle on finances than a young entrepreneur

4. You are a little more level headed. You know the difference between risk and stupidity.

5. You have developed a network of connections

6. You have a little more time to devote without raising a family at the same time.

That is a pretty good A list of positive attributes.

The problem is we don’t focus on our strengths when we compare to other people. We compare our weakness and look at their strengths – it is a losing game form the start. So instead look at the list above, add some more to it and get going…. there really is no time like the present.

Happy new year

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Business Advice – The worst I ever received!

Business Advice – The worst I ever received!

business adviceMany people ask myself and my business partner why we appear to be having so much fun in business. They are in a way seeking business advice from us.

It is a startlingly common question usually followed by “I wish my life was like that”.

Well frankly, they probably don’t because there is an awful lot of hard work to get to this point and stay here. And it doesn’t all smell of roses along the way! If you seek business advice, you will likely hear that whatever you embark on, you will naturally find challenges along the way,

Business Advice

But here is what I consider to be a big part of the secret.

When you plan a business or project, why not start with laying out the fundamentals that you enjoy. What would energize you to go to work every day and be positive even when it does not go the way you want it to?

Along the way in business I have heard so many bad pieces of advice, including:

“It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters what you make at the end of the day” or
“Never turn your passion in to a business, it will ruin a good hobby”.. really?

There are many more saying that are along the lines of the bottom line being only the money and this, I believe is where most people fall in to the trap of a daily routine they do not enjoy.

So, for 2017, how about you write a new business plan. Not for a new business, but what about for you personally?

Lets start 2017 by looking at how you might want to live, or the things you might want to do. Perhaps a top 20 list of what you would like to accomplish during the year.

For goodness sake, don’t write anything about income, or work because that is where we fall in to the trap. We measure our ability to achieve things by our relative access to time and money.

What if those parameters did not exist?

My wife and I did exactly that in 1994 and found out in the process that we don’t even like work! It was not in our top ten list of things to do – imagine that.

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Successful life

Successful life

Successful life

I read an article about about entrepreneurs the other day and how they yearn for a successful life.

Of course the rewards can always be there if we are wiling to work hard and smart but for many the journey can be tough and yet rewarding.

My grandfather always told me that the first million was the hardest to make and lets face it a million dollars does not define a successful life in this day and age. But he was correct. In fact, the first dollar can be the hardest to make which is why one business author coined the phrase “entrepreneurshit”.

successful lifeIt is a challenge but if you persist, surround yourself with successful people, tap in to mentors and get involved in a mastermind group the results can be amazing.

I have always loved flying and led a team on a successful Guinness World Record with paramotors a few years ago so when I had the opportunity to learn to fly gyroplanes, I jumped on it. Is it the result of a successful life? Well, I can tell you now I have very few regrets, I don’t consider myself to be super successful based on what I see around me, but I do enjoy freedoms that many other do not and I am grateful for that.

Remember, dreams do come true and anyone can live a successful life. What separates those that do from those that don’t is two very simple to master parameters – use of time and use of money! We nearly all start life with no money and about 710,000 hours to invest, what are you doing with yours?

Invest them wisely and you could live a successful life too.

Enjoy the video – this was taken just over a year ago in Spanish Fork Utah, learning to fly with AirGyro – a fantastic school that uses some wonderful new gyroplanes.

 

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What freedoms entrepreneurs have

What freedoms entrepreneurs have

Entrepreneurial Freedom

Before people embark on a journey of adventure with entrepreneurial endeavours, they often question what entrepreneurial freedom means.

I have always approached the topic differently. I have always asked entrepreneurs why they decided to be self-employed. The single biggest answer was to have control of time and money. So then I ask my next questions. In regard to entrepreneurial freedom, do you feel you have control of time and money? Most say no. So what drives us in our quest to be self employed.

entrepreneurial freedomFor me it has always been the element of control. I want to know that I can work late in order to get an early days skiing in the following day. Or I can work early so that I can go fishing… so do we need complete control of time and money to do that? The answer, clearly, is no. We need control of where we invest our resources.

Now, when you entrepreneurial freedom and before you decide that self-employment is not for you because you just read the first three paragraphs, I have also met many self made multi millionaires who are solely in the position they are in because they were self employed.

This blog has been created to inspire you to reach a greater potential, to understand what control of your daily activities can mean to your future and to give you a sense of empowerment that allows you to acknowledge you have the ability.

I started in entrepreneurial life at 11 years old and one day I can share that story with you. But today, I am 53. I have loved the journey, it has been challenging, exciting and invigorating. I would not trade the lessons I have learned for a short cut.

Today I do have the opportunity to take days out of my week and well, frankly, fish, or race cars, fly planes, or go water skiing. I have earned it, as can you.

So I, for one, can tell you that entrepreneurial freedom means a lot to me and frankly in regard to freedom I have a lot more than people working a job! Enjoy the video

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