Met with my good friend Jimmy Graham of CQD-Denver yesterday and he introduced me to an individual to share who I am, what I have done, and where I was going. After a brief introduction, the gentleman began to asks lots of questions and took lots of notes (that should have been my first clue).
I shared what I was doing, Jimmy made comments about how we had worked together over the last six months or so to help him with his business, and just had a general discussion around business. But the questions kept coming with him still taking notes.
Hmm, this was not a typical “get to know you” type of meeting over coffee, this is much more involved.
I watch Shark Tank, and this is what the meeting was coming across to me. While I have been searching at how to build my business going forward, primarily I was looking at what the Business Model Generation says to do: Search out a successful business model and then scale it.
Then, it happened.
He looked at me and said, “If I gave you $1,000,000.00, what would you do with it?”
I was a little taken aback as I was not expecting it, although I had researched it and somewhat “rehearsed” it in my mind, I had not verbalized it much, i.e. I had not worked on my startup pitch, as it is called in the startup industry.
So when you’re searching out for your business model, you’re not really looking to spend $1,000,000.00 right away, so I said in essence, “I wouldn’t spend that much right away as I am looking to validate my idea and then validate my market.” I have come across so many pieces of information that entrepreneurs get that are either wrong or just plain noise to what they need when they need it. I told him that I received, through barter (yea, I do that on occasion), a “millionaire’s system” from a friend, but it was so awful at what it provided that I would not have sold it at $27.00, let alone its price of $197.00. My Shark Tank questioner agreed, there IS a lot of bad info in the market place.
So this WAS a mini Shark Tank meeting!
So, long story short, this is what I would be doing if I had $1,000,000.00:
- What’s my vision? To become a Dave Ramsey or Robert Kiyosaki of Startups and Solopreneurs and to improve a family’s life by getting them to see with “opportunity eyes” what their potential is for earning money. As I had told Jimmy over breakfast, my “financial” training from my Dad consisted of spending about 15-30 minutes one Saturday afternoon with him going over what our family was doing with the money he was making. I can see that a lot of families and kids today are going through the same situation, being ill prepared for life. That’s what I am going to change because it has to get better!
- Validate my content (ensure that the content I’ll produce will be exactly what any startup would need, because I have one book I’m currently finishing and another one that I’ll be working on next for veterans looking to be finished by fall or winter 2014, and three more books on the back burner)
- Validate my target and ideal clients so that I know that I can make money at it. This means I start locally and the build from there.
- Then scale to go state and then nationwide.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know your numbers, but a 1,000,000 is a big number, but has many different connotations and most people may not be able to envision such a large number:
- 1,000,000 customers
- $1,000,000.00 to invest
- $1,000,000.00 in sales
- $1,000,000.00 in profit
- $1,000,000.00 in income
Know your numbers, but what is the picture with your numbers?
As one person said about my content, I was “leaps and bounds” compare with another industry, so my vision is on the right path, it’s getting the rest of my ducks lined up.
Oh, and he did buy my book How to Start a Business: Mac Version, so I did gain something, as he was looking for more things to learn about.
As Jimmy and I had discussed, I told him that I can get him only so far and then I’d have to hand him off to someone more knowledgeable than myself. Only fitting to do that for a good friend.
So, to prepare yourself, you need to ask yourself and think through: “If I gave you $1,000,000.00 what would YOU do with it?”