Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Commit to the Trick"

       Commit to the Trick
After having learned from and a bit more about Nicole Donnelly it really stood out to me about how she spoke about commitment. I think every time I have failed at something it was because I had not really committed to whatever it was. Instead of focusing on all the failures of when I didn't commit I want to express this point with a recent victory I had. My wife and I spent more money then we ever do on two tickets to an intense obstacle course race down in Utah called the Spartan. When we had signed uup the race was said to be anywhere from 8 to 10 miles through the mountains with mud and other obstacles. We were excited. We wanted to get in better shape and do something hard/fun as a couple. We started to train. One day while training we decided to go roller blading... My wife had an accident. She would be fine all but a large scar tht she has across her leg. This was only weeks before our event. It was a deep enough nd painful enough that she would not be able to compete. Additionally, the race had flexed the race we were participating in to the next level of difficulty turning a 8 Mile race into a 15 mile race. Being frank we hadn't trained enough for an 8 and now we were expected to double our distance. My training got worse and ultimately it ceased. The day of the race game. Everyone we were going to do the race with wondered if I would do it because frankly I was not in shape. I said I was. The day came and after 7+ hours I finished the race. For all intents and purposes I was out of shape and had to walk most of it. However, I was committed and I finished a race I shouldn't have been able to.

For me this is very applicable because in business people sometimes jump in with expectations just like I did for the Spartan beast. I assumed I would be fit and ready for the challenge. I wasn't. Did that mean I failed? No. Could I have been better prepared? Surely. In business it is no different we can prepare as much as we want but the real thing will always be different when the pains begin and the challenges occur. I have experienced this already a bit with selling cream puffs. It has been interesting to see how situations can indicate our commitment level. I had been excited and ready for this assignment all semester and now that I am doing it is stressful and a pain. I am taking 15 credits in school and working a job. This has caused running this business to be even more difficult.I have found this to be a very good experience and I am learning bout a lot of assumptions that I made tht were not good and what I need to address better in the future for better success.

Revenue: $190

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Put the "Grave" into Gravy

"Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail." ~A Christmas Carol

The Grave in Gravy

I was truly inspired this week by the two Acton Hero videos I was able to watch. The lives of Catherine Rohr and Corey Bell will lit me up. Bell's words about death and the graveyard being the richest place in the world really hit me. With the holidays fast approaching  I have been thinking a lot about the book The Christmas Carol. I always make a goal to read it before Christmas because I find it to be so inspiring. I can't help but think of this "rich graveyard" filled with the spirits trapped by their own agency wishing forever the two simple words "What If?"

I find myself becoming extremely emotionally pondering this topic of these individuals like Marley crying in their hearts “I wear the chain I forged in life....I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”

What if? What if?... WHAT IF?

Simply put I want to live a certain life and up to this point I have only had excuses as to why I cannot be that man. To quote Dickens again “No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused.” 

I can't help but feel this argument going on within the silent chambers of my heart as if Scrooge and Marley were there present arguing:

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” 

I have been studying and learning for a lot of my life to be "a good man of business." What is my business truly? Mankind. That is what will make me happy. That is my goal. That is my "What If" scenario. 'To live a life like no one else so I can give like no one else' to borrow a phrase from Dave Ramsey.

I feel a spark that is turning into a flame within my soul... this deep and hopeful question reversed on the doom and dread that it could in one later day bring me by stopping to consider this life now..... "What if?"

$100 Challenge Update

Sales: 81
NOI: 61

I have orders that are rapidly growing this week as well for the holidays that will dramatically bring in more revenue.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cream Puffs On the Bus.... But Why?

Cream Puff Business ($100 Challenge)

Follow up: I have passed out flyers and started to receive orders. I was able to e-mail my flyer to all Bonneville Sheriffs Department (AKA all County Employees). I was able to advertise on local Facebook. From these efforts this week I have already received orders for $222 worth of products. Due to the nature of my business model I have not received any actual money yet. The cool part is that I can make this all under $20 dollars and still not be short products or over on allowed money.

Total Earned Money: $0
Total Orders: $222
Total Cost: $20
Net Operating Income: $202

On The BUS

I was considering the different readings from this week and I enjoyed thinking about "Good to Great" that we read and thinking about 'who the right people' would be to be on this bus. I know my mother would be a great resource so that I can ensure quality control (she would be a great adviser) not necessarily an employee. Eventually, if this business was to take off I would need a baker and a Sales associate (if I was going to sell them from my own location). If I was going to produce these and try to sell them out to other businesses I would need drivers, bakers, warehouse employees, and a manager. In either scenario I would need an accountant to keep the books.

I had to think a lot about what would have to happen before I was willing OR HAD to hire other people to enter into my business. The move from infancy to adolescence (E-Myth Reference) can be hard to know when to pull the trigger and go for it. I have run through many questions such as "Is this only getting this kind of responses because I know these people? Or, Is it because the profits are going to a non-profit? Or, is simply because the holidays are coming?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Disciple Leadership in the Similitude of Him

This week the studying we did on disciple leadership and especially on Jesus Christ: The Perfect Leader has really stood out to me.

I have been thinking a lot about my role in this world and my future vocation. I had a very spiritual experience while studying about disciple leadership and have been inspired to do something a little different with my $100 challenge AND this Holiday Season.

As a young man my mother used to read picture books to us while we laid in bed before sleeping. Each holiday season the books changed into whatever holiday was coming up next. One of my favorites was the book: Silver Packages.

I started thinking about my Christmas experiences since being married. I have always loved the Christmas season but ever since getting married it has been a hard time of year. My sweet wife lost her mother to an accident days after Christmas. As I was reading the power point from this week one of the first slides said in essence: 'Challenged the the reader to think of what we can do to take a stand, get involved, and make a difference...' I thought about that book from my childhood and my current situation and thought to myself that my wife and I should be like the man on the train from this book. In the book there was a man who would come and give out "silver packages" each Christmas to those who were in need from the back of a train. We had been planning on going back east and I thought to myself "How much better could this trip be if it was filled with the spirit of Christmas doing service all the way to and from New York and back?" I have begun to compile a list of service activities and am going to organize my efforts to do fundraisers and collect products such as blankets and clothing and hygiene kits for various non-profit sites along the road. We are going to serve throughout all of this Christmas season. I directly believe this inspiration for this idea came from this week's homework.

As for my $100 challenge I have begun to advertise and have had some orders that have been put in for when I make the first batch of Cream Puffs.

Money Earned: $0

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Market WHAT?

In light of the readings from this week I wanted to do some costumer development before I went forward with selling. I needed to know just how much someone would be willing to spend and who my customer segment was. I conducted some data collection and asked around at work and other various locations concerning price points and interest levels. I cannot say that I feel confident at this point of my selected choice of business but I feel like it is a good start.

After all the readings this week I felt like my decision to move forward with customer validation was the right one. I want to make sure I can sell every single cream puff when I actually spend the dead president and move forward with this endeavor. I was able to not only get pictures of my product this week but also some left-over clam shells that I will be able to use to sell individual cream-puffs.

Total Money Raised: $0

Plan of Action: I have made a flyer in Microsoft Word. I have planned out some different locations and individuals who will take these flyers and I expect to start gaining orders this coming week.

I have been trying to decide how I can better my "costumer relationships" for a start-up venture and the only thing I feel like I can do right now is make sure the quality of the product is good and that my customers are taken care of.