10/15/18

Voting Trusts

Big Red Car here on a rainy Monday in the ATX. [Whoever has been praying for rain locally – you can stop now.]

So, a founder calls me and says, “I read where you recommend a voting trust for a startup. Do tell?”

A voting trust is a good idea right from the founding of a company. It is something which should be in your founding documents:

 1. Articles of Incorporation;

 2. Corporate Bylaws;

 3. Option Plan;

 4. Founding Shareholders Agreement;

 5. Voting Trust; and,

 6. Employment Agreements.

[You do have the Big Six, right? Haha, half of y’all couldn’t find these docs even if you made them. Sorry, that was mean.]

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04/24/18

CEO Shoptalk – Staying in Your Lane

Staying in your lane, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a lovely, sunny Texas Spring day. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

So, the Big Red Car talks to CEOs all the time and I am seeing an odd trend. CEOs are wandering a bit.

They wander a bit because they are successful and they wander a bit because they are not.

When they are successful, they wander because they can afford to do it. [Pro tip: We never make as many mistakes when we are broke. We can’t afford to.]

When they are struggling, they wander because they are looking for that inflection point which will put their compass on the azimuth to the Promised Land.

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04/23/18

Building a Fundraising Database

Building a fundraising database, a perfect subject for an incredibly lovely Monday morning in the ATX. Cool, crisp, sunny — ahhh, on Earth as it is is Texas!

So, you are ready to begin fundraising. You need a target list, a database of potential investors. This is true whether you are in the family & friends, angels, syndicated angels, seed funders, or venture capitalists arena. You need to identify the funders.

So, how do you do it?

In our example, I will build on ten such campaigns I have assisted entrepreneurs in the last year.

Remember, you are dealing with people whose job is to invest money. If they don’t invest money, they don’t keep their job. You, dear entrepreneur, are helping them keep their job.

 

It is hard work, but it is not a difficult task.

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09/28/17

Critique — CEO Shoptalk

Everybody needs a good critique, right? Ahhh, criticism is the breakfast of champions, no?

Big Red Car here on a cloudy Texas day. Only going to be in the low 80s today. Time to start thinking about the swimming pool, eh? Haha, Hell no. Swimming today, y’all.

So when you’re a CEO you will receive and give critiques. Makes sense, no? Performance appraisal — feedback — is the breakfast of champions.

Today, I want to get your mind right about how to receive this when it is you being critiqued. Ready?

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09/12/17

Editing for CEOs — CEO Shoptalk

Editing for CEOs, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a perfect Austin By God Texas morning, y’all. Day for a long run with the top down in the 70F weather? Indeed!

OK, today, we talk about editing in the context of finally getting you to commit to writing the Strategy for your company, dear CEO. Just a first draft.

That is Strategy in the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture continuum with a side of crawl, walk, run. Whew! That is a mouthful.

Nothing is done until it is done and that means you have to edit it. So what exactly does that mean?

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09/2/17

Strategy — First Draft

Strategy — let’s get you writing that First Draft, shall we? First, let’s figure out where it fits.

Big Red Car here on a sunny, dry ATX morning. Sun is shining, but it is cool. Maybe the summer is over? Haha, you’re so silly. This is Texas. Summer doesn’t end until October 23.

OK, so I keep getting folks who don’t get where Strategy fits into the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture continuum.

I want to help y’all, so I made a picture of it for you.  Continue reading

08/30/17

Entrepreneurial Energy — CEO Shoptalk

Entrepreneurial energy, Big Red Car? What is that?

Stay with me, beloved readers, all in due time.

Big Red Car here in the ATX in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — son-of-a-bitch. Fifty inches of rain?

Lots of leaves in the swimming pool, lot of rain, trees down in the hood, the ATX endured nothing compared to the Coast and Houston. God bless Port A, Rockport, Corpus Christi, Houston. It will be a long recovery, but this is Texas and Texas will recover.

I particularly want to compliment Mayor Turner of Houston (all mayors), Governor Abbott, President Trump, the Texas National Guard, the Cajun Navy, and everyone who got wet in Houston serving their fellow man. Y’all are what makes Texas Texas.

Good luck, Godspeed, God bless Texas!

So, entrepreneurial energy, what is it?

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08/25/17

Writing Strategy — CEO Shoptalk

How does a new CEO write Strategy? First, she gets her mind right. Here’s how.

Big Red Car here expecting Hurricane Harvey this weekend. Likely won’t get to the ATX until Tuesday. Whoa, Nellie!

Pray for those along the Gulf Coast who will be dealing with the first hurricane to hit Texas since Ike in 2008. Governor Abbott has already designated thirty Texas coastal counties as disaster areas. The Feds are already pouring into the fray. Well played, FEMA.

So, the Big Red Car is constantly talking to CEOs about their Strategy — the Strategy for their company. It is, sometimes, a confusing and disjointed talk.

We see CEOs having no problem with Vision and Mission, but the second it turns to documenting their Strategy, things go haywire.

The objective today is to get you in the right frame of mind to write your Strategy. Not to write it, but just get into the right frame of mind to be able to write it.

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08/2/17

Flying Solo — For CEOs Only, CEO Shoptalk

Flying solo, Big Red Car? Where did that come from?

Big Red Car here on a cool and gray ATX day. Only getting to 88F today, downright cool. Hot tub tonight for the BRC? Hell, yes!

OK, so there are a number of analogies between flying airplanes and startups — takeoff, reaching cruise, landing. Startup, scale, exit?

One of the most apt analogies is the idea of FLYING SOLO.

Me, the Big Red Car, and the Bonanza with the cross country tip tanks hanging talking aviation v startup mojo. Yeah, I’m looking pretty damn RED.

In life, one doesn’t receive power, one TAKES power. Think about that for a second. Flying solo is about taking power.

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07/26/17

Training — Baron von Steuben Style for CEOs

Training again, Big Red Car? Really?

OK, dear reader, we will have one last crack at training for the CEO. Promise.

Today, we discuss Baron von Steuben. You know the Baron, right? Drillmaster of Valley Forge, no?

Get this book by Paul Lockhart. Great read. Been around for some time and it is a great book to inspire a CEO.

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