Sunday, February 1, 2015
Even on my last day, I experienced favor with the company.
I asked a few questions about the use of floating holidays vs. vacation time. My manager allowed me to charge all of my time off over the last month to floating holidays instead of vacation...the result will be an additional 20 hours of pay for vacation not used. I will receive a total of three week's pay after today, one for my last week of work, and two for vacation. A very helpful income stream to help bridge the gap.
When I went to drop off my computer equipment at the local facility (I've been working as a telecommuter), no one was there to receive it. I went to the front desk and got a few numbers to call, but everyone was gone for the day (3pm on a Friday). I then called the help desk to try to figure out what to do. While the help desk rep was suggesting I find a local manager, one of the local IT managers walked out into the lobby. She gladly took my stuff and put it in her office so that the PC shop guys could check it in on Monday.
But it didn't make me want to stay.
I feel like joining with the Braveheart army in shouting, "FREEEEDOM!"
I have a contract with the software vendor for the project I've been working on at my former company. I will help them finish the project we've been working on together over the last year or so. They agreed to pay me my standard rate of $150/hr and I will work half to 3/4 time for them until the project is completed in June or so.
I have three crowdfunding clients so far. Those clients will pay me based on commission. 8% of the amount raised for non-profits and 10% for businesses. A very different approach than trading hours for dollars. Instead of putting in your time, you focus on delivering results.
While I really like the folks at the software vendor and enjoy working with them, it is the crowdfunding clients who inspire me. They are seeking to change people's lives and make the world a better place. I get to come along side and help them change the world. One is developing treatment for traumatic brain injuries. Another is using 'edutainment' to teach kids the core values that helped build this country. A third is offering great deals through an online auction while giving clothing to those in need. And more potential clients are in the pipeline.
The new season has begun. Hope you continue to come along for the ride.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
When Patrick and I met after our introduction at the AFA tech transfer meetup in August, he told me about the different investment opportunities he had on his list. As he described a few of them, it became clear to me that the were great candidates for crowdfunding, so I shared with him what I knew at the time about how crowdfunding works. After a handful of weeks of meeting together with the Advanced Link Consulting (ALC) team and building a level of trust, he asked me if I would take the lead on our crowdfunding efforts.
We have three clients so far:
- New Colonies Media: We are doing two campaigns for them, one for a game app and another for a DVD series. They both have the goal of celebrating the good things about America and reinforcing the values and practices that help build this country in the first place. Just this week we created a Facebook page for the DVD series, Rediscover America. My Facebook friends have already received an invitation to "Like" the page. The game app Facebook page will be coming soon. The crowdfunding campaigns are scheduled to launch on Indiegogo on January 20.
- Operation Stand Tall for TBI: They are raising funds for a new and very promising treatment for traumatic brain injury. Eight soldiers have gotten their lives back due to the treatment. To make the treatment widely available requires approval from the FDA, which requires two more phases of study and up to $4M. I will be inviting my friends to "Like" the Facebook page soon.
- Bizargan: This is a live auction web site. They get overstock products for a fraction of retail and offer them for auction every day from 8pm to 11pm PT. They are raising funds to expand the hours of the live auction and eventually run it 24/7. This one is just getting started, so it may be a handful of weeks before we start letting people know that the crowdfunding campaign is coming.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
In August I attended a meetup that featured a new technology transfer program with the Air Force Academy. As I finished talking with one of the Colonels, a guy came up to the colonel, gave him a big hug and warmly greeted him. The colonel responded positively -- which was a surprise given the usual more reserved military decorum. I thought, "This guy is the consummate networker. I don't think I could ever be that good at it." Then I thought, "Maybe I don't need to be. I should introduce myself to him." A few minutes later, I did just that. We talked about what we believe in, our skill sets, and where we wanted to go. He was looking for someone who was good at defining processes and putting people, process, and technology together to make a business run well. It became very obvious we should meet and talk more. We did and the rest is history.
My new partner's name is Patrick. Along with two other guys, Tom and Chris, we formed a new partnership called Advanced Link Consulting. We link investors to people with ventures that need funding. We don't sell securities or serve as brokers. We provide expertise in how to go about the fundraising process and how to 'sell' your business to investors and we help investors sort through the many potential to find the best opportunities for a return on their investment.
My role in the partnership is twofold: 1) helping ALC get organized, our processes defined, and our technology in place and 2) working with clients to plan, organize, and execute crowdfunding campaigns. I will tell you more about the latter in future posts.
In the meantime, I have also completed certification with my company as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. I really enjoy leading the Structured Improvement Activity events and seeing the great ideas that come forth when you put a group of people together and guide them through the LSS process. I hope to keep that work as part of my ongoing consulting business.
I've also taken a number of steps to get Dream Walker Solutions set up and ready to go. Dream Walker Solutions is now incorporated as an LLC in the state of Colorado. It is an easy process to file the Articles of Organization and pay your $50 filing fee at the Secretary of State's web site: www.sos.state.co.us. They recommend but do not require the more complicated Operating Agreement, which lays out exactly how you want to organize and run your LLC. I will, therefore, be drafting one for Dream Walker Solutions and working with a lawyer to get it done right. More to come on that as well.
You may be wondering how Dream Walker Solutions and Advanced Link Consulting will relate to each other. When we file the Articles of Organization for ALC, I anticipate that DWS will be one of the members of the LLC. That is, DWS will own a portion of ALC instead of me. When I do consulting for ALC consultants, it will be a service of Dream Walker Solutions, LLC, in partnership with ALC. The goal is to keep my personal life and my business life as legally separate as I can.
I also got my bank account and a means to receive payments set up for DWS. I deposited enough money in the bank account so that the startup period will be comfortably capitalized, but not so much that I drained my savings.
For accounting and collecting payments, I'm using the online version of Intuit QuickBooks. The accounting application costs $12 a month. The payment tools are free to set up (including a credit card reader for my iPhone/iPad), with a per transaction fee. I don't think I'll use the credit card much, but will likely send invoices to clients through the service, so that I can easily track all of the inputs and outputs of money through one application/service.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The five-step process for making better decisions:
- Maintain a feeling of control over your situation.
- Emotional preparation. Consider how things could be worse.
- Monitor your breathing.
- Controlled empathy.
- Ask "What advice would I give my best friend in this situation?"
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
Be an entrepreneur. Change the world.
This is known as “bad luck.”