Tag Archives: bankers

Super Happy Banker

“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.

2014-01-31 09.31.56We 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.

Chris at Petra
Me and Petra (not my banker)

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.

The Monastery at Petra in Jordan
The Monastery at Petra in Jordan

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!)

Super Happy GSD

Howdy Super Happy People!!

Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine (the same person who talked me into going to business school) who is an entrepreneur as well.

Me:  “So do we ever get a ‘net negative 1’ on our List, or is it always increasing?”

Friend:  “Yup. There is always something to add.  It never stops.”

2013-09-01 15.21.22
While you might see your Goal in the distance, there is always more, often unseen, ahead of you.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been furiously hammering my List, and every time I start to make headway, 10 more things are added.  For example, we are locking down our production facility for Super Happy Juice, and we need to have a Food Handlers License before we can sign on.  Nothing we didn’t foresee, just something we have to do. It will likely take a day for the class, pay the $15 fee, and whammy, we are certified food handlers.  Again, nothing that precludes us from creating a Super Awesome Company, just another thing.  Just backs up the ability to “cross it off your List” by a day or two.

When I was a Teaching Assistant my 2nd year at Anderson, I worked with undergrads on business plan development and lectured on hands on running of companies.  A common theme was:  A good plan and excellent execution, beats a great plan and mediocre execution.  I would hold this as the most important tenents of entrepreneurship–execution.

In B-School, and the business world, I describe these people as a GSD.  There is no better accolade to bestow upon someone, in my opinion.

A follow up to my mentorship post yesterday.  I had a young person I met over a year ago, connect with me this week about helping them create plan for the next 3-5 years.  Very positive meeting.  What was encouraging about the person was they knew they had an uphill battle facing them.  And in one conversation, they had a week’s worth of homework ahead of them.  As a former collegiate athlete, they were  excited about the adversity in front of them, and the chance to have a long-term goal.  More to come on this.

Tomorrow I’m meeting with another banker.  I get a much better vibe from this one, even just via email.  We have a mission at Super Happy Juice:  Only work with people who espouse what we do, and are excited to be part of our venture.  If you aren’t excited to work with us, there is someone else who is.  And that’s a good thing, for everyone.

That’s my job, and I’m sticking to it. #ChiefSuperHappy