[Advice] The Realities of Bootstrapping

By | Blog, Entrepreneurship, Old Posts, Platform Building, Stress, Truth

Here’s what the eponymous “they” don’t tell the massive, faceless “you” about bootstrapping a project.

Jesan Job Hunting

The most stressful part of bootstrapping is that the creditors call all the time:

  • They call about the mortgage payment that’s late.
  • They call about the credit card bill you haven’t paid yet.
  • They call about the 10,000 other little bills that pile up in a life because you “needed” that thing, that one time.

Or your kids did.

Or your neighbor needed to see that you had it.

One of the most telling examples from a film that parallels a bootstrappers’ existence, was from The Company Men, starring Ben Affleck (yeah…we know) and a few other actors.

Ben plays a guy who got laid off from a nice cushy, corporate job, and won’t take a step down in lifestyle, so he keeps driving the luxury vehicle, even as his much clearer wife sells everything around him to make the mortgage payment.

And then, they sell the house and wind up sleeping in his parent’s basement.

That’s the reality of bootstrapping. Except with a lot more “I-Told-You-So’s” from your relatives in who’s basement you may be eating ramen.

There is a growing amount of attention being paid to entrepreneurs who commit suicide. Or die early. Or get divorced. Or have substance abuse problems.

Bootstrapping means that you get the creditor phone calls, but you also get:

  • The looks from your wife as you try to explain that spending money on this piece of equipment was worth missing a meal
  • The experience of deciding that your kids need to eat this month, and so liability insurance can wait another month—hopefully no one sues you and takes the house
  • The moment when you’re at a networking event and you’re eyeing the salad bar closer than you’re eyeing the potential client in front of you because you haven’t eaten today—and might not eat tomorrow.

And no one cares. Not your creditors. Not the bank. Not your kids. Not your parents. And we won’t even get into your own grinding self-doubt about your own level of responsibility for all of this.

This isn’t the stuff that makes it into the business books.

This is the face of bootstrapping.

And after you’ve started down the road to building a project, your pride, ego and a stubborn, bull headed belief in your project is the only thing that allows you to ignore the ringing phone, put the ear buds back in, and go back to grinding out another product

  • Or sales call
  • Or mini-project
  • Or marketing strategy

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/
HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com

[Opinion] 3 Routes to Get on The Cover of Fast Company

By | Blog, Entrepreneurship, Marketing for Peace Builders, Networking, Old Posts, Persuasion, Platform Building, Strategies, Strategy

In our entrepreneurial journey we have found that there are only three kinds of entrepreneurs:

  • Those that have money
  • Those that have no money
  • Those that have more guts than money.

If you are in the third category, and you self-identify as a member of a minority group in this country, and you don’t see anyone who looks like you gracing the covers of Fast Company or Inc., then you owe it to yourself to try building something that you own yourself.

Look, an entrepreneur is a person who sees and established model, builds a better model, hustles tirelessly to break the old model with the new model, and then, once the new model is built up, moves onto break another model.

In the high tech start-up world, this is cleverly called “disrupting.”

And if the “traditional” minority success model you’re breaking involves acting/singing/ dancing/sports or any of the “traditional” models to minority success, then breaking that model might be the greatest social entrepreneurship ever.

After all, we started (and we continue) with more guts than money.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] Google’s Glass Problem is Your Problem Too

By | Blog, Brain, Dysfunction, Entrepreneurship, Google, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts, Persuasion, Problem Solving, Social Communication, Strategy, Technology, Truth

There’s currently no compelling reason for us to buy Google Glass.

There’s also no compelling reason (beyond the SEO game) for us to be involved in Google+.

There’s no compelling reason because the guys out at Mountain View haven’t given us one, other than the fact that they currently own all of Internet search worth talking about.

But, as the attention of the world shifts to mobile phone use, apps matter more than search, and Google will have one less compelling reason for us to be involved with them.

The utility of search, mobile, and even wearables is based upon the idea of resolving a need or a want that the customer has and then making the solution so attractive that we can’t help but use it.

However, as the web has matured, Google hasn’t and the utility of wearables really comes down to third party data gathering about users’ behaviors, antics and actions.

The much more compelling reason for us to buy Google Glass—or any other wearable—will be answered, not by Google, or Yahoo, or even Facebook, but by Big Data advocates and privacy hawks.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] The Idolatry of Selfie

By | Blog, Old Posts, Privacy, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Virtue

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the selfie is on the rise.

So is being famous just for being famous.

And there are parents out there that are using their children to promote fashions, lifestyles and conscious ways of being.

All of this may just be fancy marketing, attention seeking behavior, or merely a sign of the times.

Much has been said and written about the rise of narcissism in the overall culture, and we won’t add to that here, except to say this:

The most pernicious conflicts that can occur are the ones that people have with themselves. And the rise of narcissism can be directly related to three things:

  • Idolatry of self
  • Idolatry of others
  • Idolatry of fame and celebrity culture

Once understanding occurs around those three areas, then we can maybe become a little wiser in how often we retweet that Ellen DeGeneres selfie.

Or the one attached to this post.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] Ethical One-Way Streets

By | Blog, Facebook, Google, Old Posts, Privacy, Social, Social Communication, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Twitter, Twitter, Website

The European High Court handed down their opinion dubbed the “right to be forgotten.”

What’s missing in all of the subsequent debate occurring around issue of privacy versus censorship,  is the very real issue about a lack of organizational (read “Googles’”) ethical dealing.

Organizations are seeking honest, fair, reliable, benevolent partners who will commit themselves to the relationship and prove trustworthy. In other words, they seek ethical partners.”

Organizations seek ethical

  • partners
  • employees
  • vendors
  • customers
  • clients
  • and audiences

who will deal fairly—and transparently—in the public commons space of the pro-social spheres that we have created.

However, when asked to engage in the same trustworthy behavior, (read “providing individuals the benefit of the doubt, forgiveness and grace about their messy histories”) they balk.

And then organizations wonder why individuals—who only build real, lasting relationships based on genuine trust, collaboration, ethical dealing and just plain enjoyment of each others’ company—balk at having their every move monitored, recorded and then used against them later.

Doesn’t sound like the thinking that leads to the behavior that will sow the seeds of peace to us.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Dear Graduates of High School & College – 2014 –

By | Advice, Blog, Old Posts, Opinions, Relationships, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Strategies, Strategy, Stress, Truth, Workplace

Dear Graduates of High School & College-

Happy Employees

You have been told a lot of things by a lot of well meaning individuals on the way to the end at which you find yourself. You have been told things by your parents, your teachers, your counselors, your professors and even your crazy Aunt Ida.

But now, I’m going to tell you something that none of them may have had either the wherewithal or the gumption to mention. I’m going to try to do it gently, but, as a famous man once said “The Truth isn’t mean, it’s just the Truth.”

So….here we go…

Life is hard. Your grades, those letters that you spent a lot of time, sweat and—in some cases—blood, to get don’t matter a hill of beans to anybody outside of this institution from which you find yourself escaping.

Those little letters (and numbers in some cases) actually serve to hobble you and handicap you in venues outside of here.

The attainment of them has twisted your thinking into believing that there is only one way of doing, thinking, and being, when, in actuality, there are an infinite number of ways of thinking, doing, and being and no one can tell you which one is the best.

This realization is the chief thing that makes life hard for the first five years after you leave here. There are right and wrong decisions, but there are no definite decisions.

Employers don’t care about how smart you are.

You are the smartest generation to ever graduate from educational institutions that haven’t changed their approach to education significantly since World War 2 (it was something that happened in between the end of the Great Depression and the end of Jim Crow. Google it.) and no one outside of these walls cares about your level of intellectual intelligence. Unless you’re a doctor or engineer.

Employers only care about you showing up, doing the work, not complaining or bad mouthing them either in person or online, and then taking their check and going home to your one-bedroom, badly light and poorly heated apartment.

  • They don’t care about your student loan debt.
  • They don’t care that you fed kids in Kenya last year.
  • They don’t care that you have an active Youtube.com channel with 30,000 hits.

Employers are really…really…really…narrowly focused.

They only care about how much your work adds to their bottom line. In business speak, this is called “added value.”

And most of your bosses, i.e. employers, supervisors, managers and others above you, who will hire you, are people that never graduated college and couldn’t wait to get away from high school, or who drank their way through college and ten years later made anywhere between $250,000 and $1,000,000.

And all your intellectual capacity won’t matter a hill of beans to them.

Develop something, anything that you own.

Look, social media is great for Snap Chatting to your friends, knocking other people on Twitter or getting all hot and bothered about the Ukraine or social justice on Facebook, but these platforms can also be used to build a project, an idea or—even a business—that YOU care about.

This road, the road through entrepreneurship—is hard, heartbreaking, long, and lonely and will not be materially fulfilling for the first ten years that you are doing it.

  • Almost everyone will tell you that you’re crazy.
  • Almost everyone will silently cheer for your failure.
  • Almost everyone will tell you about their half-baked ideas.

But if you can survive all of that, you can have something that no one in any previous generation has had for a very long time: Positional financial security.

Or, you’ll crash and burn and fail.

But, at least you won’t have another $150,000 of student loans in your life, chipping away at your financial, emotional, marital (some of you out here WILL get married) and psychological health.

I will not close with the maxim that many do to “follow your passion.” The reason I won’t is because the Greek root of the work passion really means to “work unceasing.”

I will close by encouraging you to work.

Work unceasingly.

So…go do that.

Go to work.

Thank you.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

The Duke

By | Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts, Technology, Website
At the SOHO Small Business Show in Syracuse, NY, we had to begin the mediation process with John Wayne.
 It did not begin as well as we hoped it would…
-Peace Be With You All- 
                                      
Jesan Sorrells, MA      
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)