I was at an John Wooden Global Leadership Awards Gala for my alma mater, UCLA Anderson School of Management, this evening and I had a chance to do something that is on my “Always Do” List. Let me first explain what an “Always Do” List is:
The Always Do List is an action of behavior that you absolutely must ALWAYS DO. There is no excuse tolerable. No “I’ll let it slide this time”. No “It won’t make a difference”. No “Next time”. It’s always.
The List can be whatever you’d like it to be. But once it’s on the List, it can never come off. This is the challenging part…FOR-EVER is a LOOOOONG time. The List should be someone short–fewer than a half dozen things–as each item on the list must have an impact.
One of the things on my Always Do List is “Always introduce myself to someone who is a billionaire.” How I managed to introduce myself to him is a very funny story that I will keep private, as it’s those moments that are the value to me.
So my challenge to y’all is: What is on your Always Do List?
First off, I apologize for the long time off with no posts. I had a few things to attend to. As a “Welcome Back”, I wanted to re-post a GREAT article by a wonderful blog by Brad Feld about Getting Things Done:
This past weekend was amazing. My company, Super Happy Juice, had it’s first production and shipment of orders.
On Tuesday, the company had an opportunity to face a challenge–One of our products was not suitable to drink.
We make our “Mylks” (a non-dairy drink) with cashews. They are soaked, and then blended and mixed to create a delicious drink. However, if not produced correctly, they can ferment and not be tasty. Unfortunately, this is what happened. We determined the cause, the boxes were not properly insulated enough, and then sought to remedy the situation. While some of the mylks “tasted OK” to people, they really should taste *delicious*, so something was awry.
After the first person who tried them did not give rave reviews, I check my samples and realize they were not good. I then immediately contacted every customer, via email, and called a few of them as well, as informed them to discard the product and we will replace it, free of charge.
There was no other option that crossed my mind. As the Chief Super Happy of Super Happy Juice, my #1 job is to make everyone “Super Happy”, and this means getting them a great product that they will love.
We will make more Mylk over the weekend and send to our customers on Monday–Better insulated, and with extra ice packs. And our customers will go bonkers over how delicious our Cashew Mylk really is.
The great thing about running your own company, is you never have to worry if “The Right Thing to Do” is the same as “What’s Best for the Company?” It always is.
I’ll keep this post fairly brief. (If that’s possible for me!) One of my goals this year is to complete The North Face 50mile race. The event is in December, up in Marin County. I trained intensely for it last year, and had to withdraw due to lingering injuries (not because I’m old). I was able to roll my entry into this year. Unfortunately, that now means I have to start training for this.
Something I’ve noticed though, is I am a much better operator when I am physically active. Nothing revolutionary here, all the science in the world proves it. Science Fiction too. Take a look at this guy. In the end, Jabba made bad “hiring” decisions.
This week, I’m “back on” for my training. I’ve run three days in a row, and feel great–15+ miles in, and likely 10 more over the weekend. Now, I just need to stretch more!! 😎
The photo below is of my friend Brooke, she’s an Olympic-caliber marathoner. She just finished Boston on Monday. She’s amazing! And funny.
Important to understand. Have balance. Take care of yourself, physically and mentally…you only got one of ya!
Amazing things happening on the Super Happy Juice side. We are doing #TheBigSqueeze on Sunday and shipping to customers on Monday. Go to www.SuperHappyJuice.com and place an order!
Well, it has been a while since I posted anything. I apologize, we have been busy with Super Happy Juice and some other things.
I did attend the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim two weeks ago, and it was a BLAST! I went there to meet several potential partners, suppliers, industry connections, and source a few items we still need. It was a very successful event.
I had a chance to meet, this guy–Jay Kordish. He was one of the first “juicers” in the industry. He had several infomercials and is still rockin’ the heck outta the Puma track suit. He’s a legend!
Speaking of legends, how about this. I am an Olympic Fan to no end. Hannah Kearney, two-time Medalist was at the Chobani booth, signing a few autographs. I was able to get a photo with her and my friend Mike. AND, she let me hold her medals. First time I’ve held an Olympic Medal. Very inspiring, to say the least. Hannah was super cool, and gave me her info to send her a copy of our photo. She posted it to her Facebook page, and is interested in trying out Super Happy Juice when we launch. Super Happy Olympian!
As I mentioned, Expo West is a great place to network, and reconnect with people. Since I absolutely love raw chocolate, I get to sample a seemingly endless supply of tasty bites. One of my favorite people in the cacao space is Vanessa Barg, the Founder of Gnosis Chocolate. If you haven’t already…check it out. You’ll fall in love.
I also saw Josh Handy, with Earth Circle Organics, and Mirek Boruta with Seed Group. Look for great things out of both of those companies.
The above photo is the real reason to go. At the end of the event, the exhibitors give away the product, rather than haul it home. I try to to get greedy, and I think I did a decent job. Some of my favorite products were shaving items. Every Man Jack gave me an outstanding shaving brush and after shave lotion…I LOVE them! Also, I tried a shaving cream from Elvado in almond scent…OMG!!
Finally, I found a few super cool products that I’ll be revealing in a short bit, and we start using them with Super Happy Juice. Which, is about to launch!!
Well, Tuesday was my birthday and I had a blast with it! I did some business work, but I’ll keep the focus of this post on the personal adventures.
I went for a, at this point in my training, long run. Yes, it was only 5.5 miles, but I’ll take it! I haven’t been training in several months and it felt really good to get back out there and put some miles on the shoes. There was a gorgeous sunset over Santa Monica, so I was able to snap a good pic of it too!
This was a GREAT run!
Speaking of Papasan…My Dad sent me a Super Happy Birthday Card of one of my favorite Super Heroes–Thor. I’ve been a Thor fan, since before Thor became a popular movie. I’ve had a costume for well over a decade. It will make an appearance I’m sure.
The message of my Birthday Post is this: Be not just Happy, but Super Happy for things in your Life. And never hesitate to take moments to realize this. My Birthday comes close enough to the beginning of the year where I can put in some more in-depth introspection rather than the typical end-of-year “make more money, get healthier, have better relationships, etc.” resolutions. For the next year in my Life I am committed to driving this business to success, and over $1 million in sales. Run my ultramarathon on December 7th in Marin, CA. And, working towards my ultimate goal of “Having a Dog” (This is the topic of an entirely separate posting).
Spend your time wisely, for there are no refunds in Life.
This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the Northern Trust Open, the LA stop on the PGA Tour. This was the third consecutive year I’ve worked the tournament and it was the best it ever was.
One of the reasons why I like working at the event is being able to meet all sorts of very interesting people. And this year was no exception. My goal, in meting people, was to find a contact for this year’s Masters Golf Tournament, A Tradition Like No Other, and I think I put forth a good effort. We shall see.
The other reason why I enjoy working there is to practice my communication skills. I check credentials for people entering a very exclusive (read: expensive) courtesy tent–The United Fairway Club. Tickets are around $250/day and well worth it. Here’s how you buy, ask for James Jackson and mention me…Although he might charge you extra if you do! 😎
As I was saying, when you have to tell people “no”, it can be a challenge. Especially when you are in a positive environment like a golf tournament. People want in, yet they didn’t pay for a ticket. The food and beverages are part of your ticket, so it’s a great time for all.
However, if I let just anyone in, then it would dilute the value of those who paid for their ticket. Sometimes, this meant a person was delayed in entering while I validated their credentials. Doing this in a positive way, benefits everyone.
The lesson learned here is this. Being cautious and preventing “mistakes” is worth the “hassle” of being wrong. Especially when you consider that “being wrong” will eventually mean, you won’t be able to volunteer in the future.
I made the wife of the Executive Director of the tournament get a ticket, because her credentials didn’t allow her entry. While inconvenienced, she admitted she was impressed and would give a positive, glowing feedback to her hubbie at how diligent I was.
At the end of the day, literally, all we had was how we handled our patrons. Courteously, and with diligence.
“Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” –Chinese Proverb
“You can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin it once.”–Sheep Farmers
Howdy Super Happy People!
One of the challenges of creating a business from zero is finding out where to put your money. There are literally thousands and thousands of banks out there who are more than willing to take you money. Yet, surprisingly, there are very few who are willing to let you keep your money. Our goal, as a bootstrapping company, is to find the latter. As a startup, cash is your lifeblood. And if you pay it to banks (via fees), then the bank is making money (by taking yours) while you are losing precious capital. Every dollar invested into building your brand, can come back as a $100 in a few months or a year. If a bank takes $1000 in fees the first year, they are in essence taking $100,000 in revenue from your company Year 1. (These are my PFA estimates, and not to be confused with accurate information. )
Now before the bankers get their Excel sheets and CAPMs all bundled, let it be known I love y’all. I’ve got NO problem with paying for a service, and I plan on having to pay a LOT in fees over the next few years. My Dad, The Good Doctor, had a saying, “You do realize if you pay a LOT in taxes, it meant you made a LLLLLOT of money–and that’s a good thing.” I love my Dad.
We have found that bank.
Grandpoint Bank, to be found here, is a bank specializing in startups. We like that. The Grandpoint office is in the ROC Office in Santa Monica on Arizona. Smack in the middle of the tech scene of Santa Monica. Since I’ve got a bit of a tech background, I liked that vibe. It shows they like being in the action of their investments.
As an entrepreneur, I am hesitant to give my money to someone if they aren’t impassioned about what I am doing–transactional vendors partially excluded; I bought a printer from Staples, but I still handed out two business cards while I was there–and the person who will be handling our account is flat-out amazing! Her name is Petra Griffith, Awesome Person, and she is the exact person I can trust with our money. She has a great background, with startups as well as larger companies. When she told me, “We don’t charge fees your first year.” I LOVED that. “When you are successful, and we plan on that happening, then we hope, and anticipate, you will use us for the services that you will need.” That was her entire pitch. As a salesguy, that is the BEST sales pitch I’ve heard from a bank–EVER! She earned our business.
Most importantly–She. Loves. Our. Product. On the way out, she said, “So when can I buy this??” That sealed the deal for me.
It is very exciting when elements come together when you are starting something. It gives reassurance that this is exactly what you should be doing. The “buildings” at Petra in Jordan were literally carved into the side of the earth. There was no “changing of plans” or “starting over”. In modern terms, there was no “pivoting”. When you see your Team taking shape, it’s exciting. Much like when I saw this Wonder of the Modern World.
Next post: Super Happy Lawyers (yes, there ARE those!)
Over the weekend, I had some insightful things that I thought I would write about to demonstrate my genius, and mastery of conveying said genius upon my followers.
However, this morning I read a posting from a person much smarter than @ChiefSuperHappy. And that person is Scott Weiss (@W_ScottWeiss) of the firm Andreessen Horowitz, This Guy . He had a brilliant post about the start-up mentality and GSD (although he used a different term) This post. I love all of the points he’s making–they drill down to “Achieve The Unreasonable”. For example, there have been a few times in my career where my foot has been “on the line”. Fortunately, they have all been successful.
His emphasis on “violent passion”: Do you need an alarm clock to get you out of bed to attack your business? I had a conversation with a President/COO whose company Super Happy Juice will be partnering with. And he put it this way, “I set an alarm just in case, but it usually goes off in my pocket on my way to work in the morning.” Your too busy creating your business, to let sleep get in the way.
Read Scott’s post, and use it as a checklist for your business/Life.
I’ve got meetings with bankers and lawyers I’ll be writing about this week. Be Super Happy Everyone!!