Holy shit I take forever

Been gone forever. Mostly because once you get behind it is hard as hell to get back on it.

So here I am and I am thinking about attitude.

My attitude about everything is brash and very direct. This works to both my advantage and disadvantage.
There are MANY times where patience and a slow approach are the best method and I just come in swinging hammers and singing opera. I have never been one to slow down and beat around the bush. It seems fake and full of bullshit to me. I hate people talking to me and buttering me up just to ask for something. Just ask. I do not mind being asked for things. I hate being bullshitted to beforehand.
It is a major reason I hate networking. It is a bunch of people pretending to not want something from each other. People chit chatting away to see if they want to like you or meet with you again. I have always known within seconds if I like someone or not. No reason to hear everything over drinks. Also I do not drink so networking events are super dull to the sober guy who just wants to get to work. There are two types of people at networking events. Those looking for something and those looking for something. Same thing right? Well not really. Part A is searching for someone to help them. Part B is searching for someone to help. Why not just get that shit out in the open and skip the beer and desert.

Being aggressive helps on ways because I go forward when most would stop or pause. I also push harder than most on things.

Ot’s just not always the best fit swinging hammers and singing opera.

Where the hell have I been?

I started writing this to be helpful. To answer questions and hopefully provide some answers. Over the last few months I have been crazy busy and not been able to think of anything to write at all that would be helpful to anyone but myself.
So today I stumbled upon this. It is an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Now I hate most reality TV. I hate it because it is made up to be sensational. That does not mean I do not watch it, it just means I hate it.
This episode, and all the attention after, however captures something that every single entrepreneur should see and know. The owners of this bistro are completely oblivious to their own faults. They blame the staff, the customers, the internet, and anything else around them. I have seen a lot of this is business. Owners and employees who can not believe how stupid the customer is for not taking their shitty product and their shitty service. Anyone who does not like their food is a “hater”. It is amazing.
Her husband invested 1 million dollars in opening a bistro. A million dollars.

There is an old saying in business that “The customer is always right”.  Damn near everyone reads this wrong. People assume it means that what the customer says is always right. That what the customer demands is always right. They are completely missing the point of this simple statement. The reason the customer is always right is because without customers you have no business. No one will pay you for your product or service. In other words the customers choose with their money. The reason the customer is right is they will choose whether to do business with you or not.

DO not worry about pleasing everyone. It will never happen. Worry about doing things right and listening  to your customers.

No pain no gain my ass

Working out is something I started doing 9 months ago. Now the typical person starts working out to lose weight or get healthy. Not this guy. I started working out so that my body would look good naked.
It all started with a GIANT pet peeve of mine. I hate, with a fiery passion, hearing people say “I would do anything for…” because it is complete bullshit. When people see a person on TV with a toned body and they say “I would do anything for a body like that” I want to slap them. No you would not. You would not do anything. As a matter of fact you won’t even do the two things needed to have a body like that. Eat heathy and work out. So how can you say you would do anything when that is a goal that only requires two things? It is because people lie to themselves constantly.
So here I am sitting on my couch last April/May watching 300 and I say out loud, “Damn I would do anything for a body like that”. I slapped myself in the forehead. So that is when I decided that if I was going to say it I was going to do it. Not so much the 300 look but at least something where I could take off my shirt in public and not feel like I was shaped like a pear.
The other thing that motivated me is that getting a toned body take patience and discipline. Something that everyone should learn, and yes practice. Results do not happen overnight with anything and working out is a perfect way to remind yourself of that. You didn’t get that sloppy body you have now in a day and you certainly are not going to fix it in one day either.
This all said I still hate working out. I have been told time and time again that I will start craving it. Nope. I hate it. There is nothing about it except the results I enjoy.  It hurts, it takes a lot of time, of and it hurts.
Then there is the eating right. I HATE eating right. I like brownies. I like cookies. I like eating crap that is terrible for you. So here I am eating a high protein diet and the same foods day in and day out. SUPER boring. I do eat outside that specific diet but it is rare and a treat.
One thing I do is take a picture every month so that I can see the change happening. It probably makes my computer files a little more creepy but it is worth it so that you do not lose faith.
Some would say that it is not worth it and that they would rather just do what they want and eat what they want to be happy. Super. Have at it. We live in a society that makes excuses  for poor habits so chances are you will be justified in your actions by people. Another pet peeve of mine. People posting pictures of fat people and saying “be proud of your body” while vilifying toned bodies. Pride comes from achievement. Just because you are not proud of something does not mean you have to be ashamed of it. That is the problem. People seem to believe they should be proud of their bodies even when they have done nothing to be proud of. You certainly do not have to be ashamed of it but lets not get all puffy and proud because you feel the need to justify yourself. Be proud when you achieve something that is not easy to do. Hitting 250lbs is easy to do. Working out 5-6 days a week is not. Eating bland food is not. Pride comes from doing something, not doing the norm.


Man crush admission.

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Gary Vaynerchuk has been a major influence on me. Everything about him is just plain cool.
Take 15 minutes and watch him talk here.

“Stop watching fucking LOST” makes me laugh like an idiot.

It’s not the size that matters…..


“What made you think you could make any money doing that?” I was asked for about the 600th time in my life this week.
When I started Renaissance Fireworks 10 years ago I told everyone my idea. You would think I was killing it at open mike night at the comedy club. I am not sure anyone but me and my wife believed I could make a living selling fireworks 2 weeks a year, let alone make it into a business.  The first year I almost lost my belief. Thank goodness my wife didn’t. A year later I quit my full time job and became a full time boss-type person. I went back and worked from time to time in sales but after 3 years I never worked for someone else again.
Almost two years ago I noticed a small market for wedding sparklers. We tried a few things here and there and threw some money into it. In two years we have built an online wedding sparkler store into a business that had over 6000 orders placed in 2012 and in 2013 we are looking at over 10,000.

Now we are on the verge of launching a software system designed for small business and even mid-sized if they ask nice. It is not designed for large corporations and maybe we will let them use it, maybe not.
So why all the focus on small markets? Why not go after the big fish? Why why why you say? Because that is where everyone else is fishing. You can now plainly see my Minnesota coming out as I use fishing to explain this. Imagine a big round lake. Now imagine your family only eats fish. (I know but bear with me here)
Now there is a fishing guide that knows where every fish in the lake is. He tells all the fishermen the BIG ones are on the west side of the lake. Not very many but if you land one it will feed your family for a month. On the East side of the lake are small fish. Each one might be a meal for 1 person so you will have to catch a lot of them and probably fish every day to feed your family. They are easier to catch but of course much more effort and commitment. SO, 20 fishermen line up on the shore every day to go fishing. Where do the majority go? They go West. They go West because one big fish will feed their whole family for a month. They just need to land that one big fish……
I go East.
I consider myself a niche market expert. Most business owners want everyone and everything. They ignore small markets because it just does not generate enough in sales or income they sale. Bullshit. If you know of a niche market, that lets say is rather small in the business world. Maybe the entire US market for that niche does 4 million dollars. Now bear with me, that may sound like a lot of money but in market size it is a pimple. 50 states and for simplicity sake lets divide it equally. Thats $80,000 in each state spent on that niche. What that means is that if you set up a brick and mortar store and captured 100% of the sales in your state your business would have sales of $80,000 a year. If eating cardboard and living in your store is your thing that works. So what you have is a market so small that no one will specialize in it and it will only be touched on the fringes.
“What about the internet” screams the person not locked in a closet for the last 10 years. Sure with the internet you can reach anywhere but it is still considered a small market to most. Market penetration on 10% is considered a dream by any company and that still only has your business at $400,00 a year. Only……..How many $400,000 a year businesses do you need before you are killing it? What if you had just one and it was all done by just you?
What if you looked at that 4 million dollar market with different eyes and said instead of trying to compete with everyone for the 4 billion dollar market I will just go own 80% of that 4 million dollar market?  Seriously….why not?
No one else will put in the effort to own that market in most cases. There will be people picking at it here and there but no one will go after it because they do not see the value. I do. If you own a market then it is yours.

So this is my clumsy way of saying while all the other guys are chasing the big fish I will GLADLY be the guy scooping up all the little ones every single day of the week. I’ll also be the guy that can say he owns a market. or two…..or three….or…..