Tag Archives: Learning

Structuring the Entity

In the venture I find myself in, so far it’s been a great experience of learning new things. Starting the idea for a business is a simple part, but the recent articles that I’ve read about starting a business may have skipped over the legal paperwork side that needs to be done in order for you to be protected in case something goes wrong. I found myself in that situation when me and my co-founders decided to step forward with a business idea and start executing it.

One thing I can assure you is that it’s costly but very worth getting the legal structure taken care of by a lawyer that is familiar with the field. All of the founders get along but when the decision of how much of the company’s share-hold came up, we all brought a different side of us out. It took a few days to come to an agreement if it’s the best we all get equal shares or have one founder getting a little more. The operating agreement alone seemed so overwhelming that it consumed most of our time. Upon being finished, the bylaws and other legal matters had to be taken care of especially deciding what our exit strategy would be. We did however end up coming to agreement and worked things out correctly so that everyone is protected in case the idea doesn’t work out.

Having being done with the legal paper work side of the business, I’ve learned one of the foremost lessons to always set up a restricted stock purchase agreement with schedule vesting. This secures everyone especially the business in case one of the founders decides to leave early on. There won’t be any fighting going on about how much one should get because they left the business early to start another venture.

But again, a lawyer is helpful in setting up this case. There are ways to negotiate prices that can best serve you. A flat-rate fee of $2,000 is the average cost of having an attorney set up all the incorporated legal structure for the business. $600 for an LLC depending on what state, although in most cases, this can be done without a lawyer. But always seeks advice from an attorney that is familiar with the field.

Another tip I’ve learned is to do some research on what entity is best fit for your business you’ll be starting. Aside from speaking with lawyers, find events/articles that go over the pros and cons of each business entity and most important, the tax side of things (CPA is the best thing to guide you through). There are lots of videos online as well that go over the legal structure. A recent video I’ve watched covered over the mistakes a founder makes when setting up the business structure by Scott Walker.

I consider it very important that if you’re planning to launch a business, make sure you get the right protection you need. Once it’s done, then all systems are go. But what if you don’t have the funding to cover the attorney fees? From the advice I’ve received of people who have gone through this phase, this is what they stated me: “If you have $1500 dollars that you can only invest in legal fees, tell your lawyer “This is how much I have, what can you do with this much, to help me get started setting up my business?” They will find a way to help you.”

I’m sure to hope this helped as much possible when you decide it’s time to set up your legal structure. There are resources that can help you with more information towards structuring your business. The SBA are always there to give small business resources that are sure helpful and SCORE as well.

What can we learn from setting up the legal drafts of the business? Was it frustrating for you as well or did you go through it rapidly? What advice would you give out to those who don’t know about the legal protections of the business?

Is Important? Should Leaders learn Everything

Ever feel like you have to know all the skills relevant to your business? Do you feel it’s a necessity to learn every vital thing? I’m sure we all felt this way; we are focused into our business, we want to be informed a little more about the overall roles of those areas. We go off course of what our roles are and instead take the time to study another area and learn as much possible. Trying to learn everything however, may not be suitable for leaders, it’s instead stealing us taking our time from what we should really be doing.

There are mixed feelings about learning everything, but I’ve came across blog posts and spoke with several leaders indicating that most don’t need to or should know everything. Many who responded to this rather told me that it’s not about what you know, but what you should ask. Asking the correct questions about your organization is one that should be learned. I picked up quickly three important questions: What are the steps needed to fulfill our organization’s vision? Why are we delivering it to the public? And how will our purpose bring an impact to those who use our services?

I recently wanted to learn new skills from another new area. It’s exciting learning new things and demonstrating those new gained skills to friends and associates. The capability of what our minds can capture is astonishing and it’s great to see how we progress even more. However I asked myself why did I want to learn these skills? It came to responses such as saying to myself I want to be able to understand how other areas work. I feel like perhaps there will be a day where a team member and I have trust issues, and his work isn’t what it’s ought to be.

From what I understand now, this could be a waste of time. Instead of trying to spend that time wondering what could go wrong or spending time learning that skill, I should be sharpening more the skills I already have. We have to own what we already have.

The key part here is by surrounding ourselves with people that know more than us relevant to that business area. Our role is to keep the organization at hand running smoothly and keep maintaining that vision we seek. I understand also that we want to seek new skills for pleasure, but what we do is create a team that leaves a brand behind that people will love.

It’s a very opinionated topic for many whom I’ve spoken with. The start-up community, some investors will question what the founder knows in relation to what they will be starting. Would you agree knowing everything from your business’ task are important to learn? How has that experience been? If you look back when starting your organization, would you spend that time again trying to learn those tasks?

Knocking Out Fear & Networking With Others

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Denver Startup Week, and it was an amazing experience. I must say it’s my second time I go to an event like this and I plan on attending many future events like this.

When I first heard about the event, I marked it down on my calendar, I was excited about it but there was this emotion of fear going on. As the day got closer and closer, I began to worry even more about the what happens if this or that situation would occur.

I began to question instead of what, I asked why did I fear about these issues. It’s not just an only me issue but many people will come to a point; where before they attend an event for those starting out, will begin to worry about the weak parts of themselves. Wondering what if I don’t fit in or what if they know more than me, and not knowing what they’re talking about.

When I asked myself why did I have this fear of attending an event with a huge gathering, it made a switch in my mind that in reality it’s nothing to worry about.

When I got there, it was such a great turnout. Not only were people willing to come up and meet me, but they were delighted to give me advice in the struggling areas. Not knowing where this mindset of everyone being selfish came from, but I had in mind many people would not offer advice because they’d think I’m too inexperienced or too young, and it wasn’t like that.

A book I recommend you to read is called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. It’s such a great book about how in order to be successful we must also find other people and work with them. Making these relationships with others will help us grow and gain additional knowledge we didn’t know about.

What we should learn about this is that we shouldn’t have the mentality of fear plugged into our minds, instead we should keep in mind how important it is to establish a network relationship with other people similar to your field. However, we shouldn’t just walk up to them and ask if we may have their personal phone number. We have to ask ourselves what is it that we could do for them that they later can do for us.

What are your experiences in first creating a relationship with others? Were you afraid of any small mess-ups that weren’t true? What advice would you recommend for those first-timers?

To Lift Someone

It seems as though when you want someone to achieve and be better, it gets harder and harder every step. They see that you are doing your part and the dedication you’re putting into their hands so they can improve dramatically. All of a sudden, you see they want to give up. All the time and effort wasted, gone. What do you do to turn them back and motivate them? Normally I would get upset, but the position I see myself in, I want them to succeed. It’s what they’ve been complaining to me forever about. It bothers me that people are actually dedicated to teach them to improve in areas’ they’ve always desired to, but soon after, they call it quits. Why?

Teaching at a local church, a fellow gentlemen called me to see if I could teach him the bass guitar so he could be up on stage and play with the band. I always told him “yes of course whenever you have the time let me know when you want to start learning.”So as time went on I noticed it did seem like he was really passionate to learn. That he was willing to give up time to dedicate his focus to learn this instrument. I was excited in fact because I hardly ever taught any instruments to people, it’s something I never felt comfortable with nor did I have any idea where to start. We scheduled an appointment where to meet and what time. Throughout the last two months I started him off with great knowledge on the basics. He learned the simple chords of A,B,C,D,E,F, and G. It was tough, he’s used to another version they taught him which is completely useless because the band reads chords accordingly to what is setted up. One thing about him is that it seems he gets impatient and off balanced when the band plays. He usually will wonder off into his own little world and just play an off balanced rhythm. One of the fellow band mates gets irritated so I have to confront him about, and that’s why I’m there, so he can be great and improve from where I leave him off.

This recent month seems he’s been putting his effort along well, but his lack of patience keeps jolting him off and it just doesn’t work well. Sometimes I have to get a little more aggressive in response because he sticks to the usual when he gets lost. I see that it’s perhaps a last resort type of thing when you get of note and improvise to get yourself back on track, but with this man he keeps repeating that same rhythm over and over. I want this guy to achieve, I want to get him to where he wants to get but it’s difficult explaining to him that his ways of doing what he’s doing is irrelevant. His body language shows me that he’s nervous, he doesn’t know what else to do. I help him every step of the way but I don’t know what else I could do so he could understand more effectively. I’m doing what I can on my part putting pieces together so it makes it a lot easier for him.

Today he calls in saying he won’t be able to make it. I respond what’s the reasoning behind this. He explains to me that he feels he can’t make it, that he will fail and learning the instrument is too much on his hands. But after all this time we have gone through and he’s already learned so much from where he started he decides to give up? I acted accordingly and told him that that’s too bad, I wanted to see him succeed and play on stage up with the band. There was a moment of silence in the conversation. All he could come up with is that he knows. I can’t take that, this man has to be motivated. I complimented his playing abilities so far saying “your playing is great so far keep it up, lets keep learning you can do this.” He lacks that no one hasn’t complimented him, people are saying he is no good. He will fall and never get back up to succeed in his ability to learn.

As a leadership role in my mind, I want to push this guy to the limit. I want to make sure he gets passed that limit as soon as he gets there. I can’t have this guy give up. Giving up means you’re giving up on your dream, on me, on anyone who thought he could go for it. He has to experience achievement and what it feels like. I don’t know how long it’s been since he experienced accomplishment. I’m sure it’s a goal he would love to get, but with that mentality who will? So what would you do? After all this time, hard-work, motivation to get him up and practice and motivate him to learn some new methods of playing the instrument. What ways could be done to get him back up? Do I have to influence him again? I understand communication is key. Without effective and clear communication, we all fall and get no where. Is this part of struggles leaders deal with? He’s not bothering nor demotivating the band, but I actually want this man to achieve what he’s been desiring a long time for. It bothers me, but there has to be ways I can get him up and running again. What’s causing him of course would be one of the key questions. Perhaps someone close to him keeps telling him he’s failing or wife telling him he’s wasting his time learning the instrument. Either way I will continue and see what could be done.

As a response to this, what can be done? Has anyone had struggles where you pour your hard work onto someone and soon after they call it quits or use their special training skills they’ve gained from you only to use it somewhere else? What ways can motivation get back into his life?