The One Thing in Life You Can Control: Effort

It was right around then I heard something that I would hear a lot once I bought the Mavs.

In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.

I had to kick myself in the ass and recommit to getting up early, staying up late and consuming everything I possibly could to get an edge. I had to commit to making the effort to be as productive as I possibly could. It meant making sure that every hour of the day that I could contact a customer was selling time, and when customers were sleeping, I was doing things that prepared me to make more sales and to make my company better.

And finally, I had to make sure I wasn’t lying to myself about how hard I was working. It would have been easy to judge effort by how many hours a day passed while I was at work. That’s the worst way to measure effort. Effort is measured by setting goals and getting results. What did I need to do to close this account? What did I need to do to win this segment of business? What did I need to do to understand this technology or that business better than anyone? What did I need to do to find an edge? Where does that edge come from, and how was I going to get there?

The one requirement for success in our business lives is effort. Either you make the commitment to get results or you don’t.

–Mark Cuban
“How to Win at the Sport of Business.”

5 lessons for money seeking entrepreneurs

Here are 5 lessons for money seeking entrepreneurs from the Shark Tank:

1. Know your numbers: I can’t tell you how many times variations on the following conversation occurs on the show:

Kevin O’Leary (shark): “Let me get this right. You are offering 20% of your company in exchange for an investment of $500,000?
Entrepreneur: “You bet, we have a great product!”
O’Leary: “But that means that you are valuing your company at $2.5 million. You only have $120,000 in sales. Your company is not worth close to that my friend.”
Entrepreneur: “Uh, uh . . .”

Investors want to know how you are valuing your business, how much money you are going to make, how much profit you have made, and why you need their money. Potential is great and all, but numbers talk, BS walks.

2. Understand that money has no feelings: Kevin O’Leary is fond of pointing this out. This is about making a profit for the investors, nothing more, nothing less. How, exactly, will you do that? How you feel about your business is fairly irrelevant.

3. Have a real business that can be scaled: The business cannot be you doing labor, unless that labor can be duplicated en masse. If you make homemade cedar toy chests that cost $300 but take 25 hours to build, it is difficult to see how that is a business that can be ramped up to sell mass quantities. A business that makes widgets for $2 that retail for $4 is a business that is scalable.

4. Have real (not false) confidence and be emotionally intelligent: Yes, it’s all about the numbers, but then again, it’s not all about the numbers. You have to be a cheerleader for your business while being able to read the room.

Says Barbara Corcoran, “Make sure you can sell your product, because if you as the head of the company can’t sell it, who will? Also be sure you’re ready to answer the two key questions too many of the entrepreneurs who come on the show can’t: 1) What will you do with my money? and 2) How will I get my investment back?”

5. Be unique in the marketplace: The products that get some love are usually those that are 1) different, and 2) clearly serve a market need. Again, Barbara Corcoan puts it well: “If your business idea clearly answers a need in the marketplace, it’s probably a good idea. If the need is already being met by well-entrenched competitors, it can still be a good idea if it’s a new, cheaper or more clever way of doing it.”

Follow these rules and hopefully you wont be eaten by the sharks.

Zendesk – Retrive Custom Field Using PHP API

I use Zendesk a lot. I came across needing to retrieve a custom field for a client so I thought I would share the code with you.

You can view the code on Github here: https://github.com/3con/ZendeskField

The Margarita Society of Arlington Presents the Annual Margarita Gala & Charity Ball

Mark your calendars and send your fancy duds to the cleaners. Yes that’s correct, it’s time for Arlington’s number one party extravaganza! Two decades have past since our first Margarita Gala & Charity Ball and they have only gotten better each year.

This year will be the biggest and best yet! Sat. November 19th, 2011 Doors open at 7:00pm Invitation Only.

After the huge success last years Monte Carlo night, we are bringing it back! As always, we will have great bands cranking out the greatest dance tunes for you to shake that “money maker.” And don’t forget the most important feature of the gala…FREE MARGARITAS compliments of the Margarita Society of Arlington.

What is the purpose of this event, you ask? It’s all in the name of helping out Arlington’s less fortunate children. Each attendee must present, upon entry into the gala, a new unwrapped toy for Arlington’s underprivileged youth.

Main Focus

I recently attended Cloudera’s Developer Training for Apache Hadoop in Dallas which will play a big part in our application development.

What is Hadoop?

Apache Hadoop is a software framework that supports data-intensive distributed applications under a free license. It enables applications to work with thousands of nodes and petabytes of data. Hadoop was inspired by Google’s MapReduce and Google File System (GFS) papers.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadoop

Motivation

I hope I’m not late for the party but better late than never…right? But never late is better. Anyways, here we go. I’m going to share with you every failure and success since the beginning. I’m going to take you on a journey that started from nothing to something spectacular. I am not only a developer but an entrepreneur and I will share my code, tips, and thoughts to help you take over the world. I hope my story inspires you and you come back as I continue my journey on the path to success.

“People who say it takes money to make money are using the worst excuse ever. . . Create massive value for others by providing a solution where no other exists.”
 – Matt Mickiewicz (Millionaire age 25)