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Today, I was referred to a potential small business buyer and manager. He has some cash but is looking for an equity partner… maybe. While I’m grateful for the referral, I also sniffed out a few problems. Being the nice guy that I am, I wanted to save the individual from some serious bruises from Read more about An Email to Executive Referral[…]
Have you ever heard someone say, “create your own luck”? I believe there is skill in selecting situations where the magnitude of a good outcome far outweighs the magnitude of the distasteful outcome. This is my interpretation of creating your own luck. Probabilistically: Look for coin flips where heads you win $100, tails you lose Read more about The Skill of Luck[…]
We had another business owner in our office this morning. It was basically a meeting we came into cold. He had read an article about us, checked out our website, and thought our values might align. So he reached out. Early in the conversation he said, “I don’t know you from Adam.” We made a Read more about Not retired but not required[…]
My good friend, Jason, tipped me off to this quote years ago… Rather than “No, because…” “Yes, if…” We liked it so much that when designing MatchBOX, he put it in one of the most prominent spots. We wanted the community of MatchBOX members to always have an attitude of saying yes to things. It’s Read more about No, because… Yes, if…[…]
For a number of years I wondered why Warren Buffett used the phrase “Investment Ideas” in his early partner letters. While I still don’t know exactly, I think the Oracle was saying, “buy & build” or “acquire & innovate.” Buffett is known as a value investor from Graham-Doddsville. “Investing” is about buying with a margin Read more about Investment Ideas[…]
Today a friend came into our office to seek some free advice. His question: how do I start a business with no cash? After a long winded series of questions and answers, I should have just said, “you can’t.” Mikel said that pretty quickly. Perhaps I’m a slow study. Maybe I like a good challenge? Read more about The No-Risk Entrepreneur[…]
This morning I held the door of our building open for a woman walking behind me. She in turn held the elevator for me and asked what floor. [Side note: I love midwestern niceties.] After telling her I needed to go to 5 she asked, “What’s on 5?” I said, “Little Engine Ventures.” She looked Read more about The LEV Elevator Pitch (Literally)[…]
Last year I had a bit of an obsession with power law distributions (people naturally apply a normal distribution or classic bell curve to situations.) Recently I have come to appreciate the phase change to a greater degree. The most common phase change we are all familiar with is the conversion of water to ice, Read more about Tipping Points & Phase Changes[…]
Following a portfolio company board meeting yesterday I decided to linger and observe a sales staff huddle. Present were the CEO and two salesmen. (They each wear other hats but the focus of this agenda was on sales.) The CEO kicked off the meeting and began with a review of territories and key accounts. One Read more about A Small Business Sales Meeting[…]
Earlier today I was reflecting on the distinction between expectations and exposure. Most of us naturally assume normal distributions. We look at a few data points, plot the minimum, maximum and compute a rough average in our head. We then draw a virtual bell curve in our mind. This works for things like human life Read more about Expectations versus Exposure[…]