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MrTrash757

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October 23rd to October 30th, 2020.

Word of the week is kindness. More about that here.

Trash Panda Capital
I closed a three month (for now) business management deal under Trash Panda Capital, to provide revenue operations & Salesforce services to a client.

While this is a Slowlane thing, it helps cover my personal expenses and provide a good amount of capital to fund the business. I've been thinking about turning it into a productized service also and eventually getting out of the day to day with it, as that could be a major revenue generator. Another idea is to offer it as a free resource on the website, or one I can sell. Right now, its the small part of the Slowlane I am willing to accept to keep my head above water and fund other parts of the company.

I've signed a few more agreements with some more Private Equity firms to be a scout for them. Now I need to build up the network more and begin to connect buyers and sellers.

I'm a bit disappointed that I have not spent too much time in this area so far, as the scout rates are quite lucrative. Some of these private equity firms will pay out anywhere from $25k to $500k, which makes it a no brainer to get this up and going. The problem right now is that everything else in the business is taking time away from this, and it's a very long term game due to the nature of acquisitions. It will grow with time :)

Ok, and now the thing that has been sucking up most of my time, closing the deal on the on the aviation drawings website.

After finishing due diligence, I shot an offer over to the buyer, with a proposed downpayment in Escrow, price, and then the monthly payments. I got quite a response that I did not expect, that the seller refused to go into Escrow!

Why do you ask? Well, long story short, the Seller got scammed by someone via Escrow (seller sold services, delivered them, got paid via Escrow, buyer filed a dispute after money was released, seller is now fighting Escrow to prove he provided services), and wrote all the services off. Similar to what some shitty people do with PayPal. I got him to agree on using the service, but now I have to use a different service all together due to their stupid requirements! SIGH.

Thankfully the seller has been awesome and patient as I have asked questions, done my homework, and we have negotiated and are working towards a deal. The best part was when he dropped the price by $25k due to the sellers wife ;)
 

MrTrash757

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October 31st to November 5th.

Word of the week is Break Time. More about that here.

Its been quite exhausting getting back to a Slowlane job, but I am working through it. That and the election have put a ton of stress on myself. Biggest problem has been a lack of sleep and adjusting to a set schedule working for other people again. I hate it as I have had a taste of the Fastlane for the past 2.5 months, but I have accepted the fact that I need to get some income to work towards a permanent Fastlane life.

Trash Panda Capital

Officially closed on the Aviation Drawings website on October 31st. I’ll share it next week as I am still working on the asset transfer. Crazy that this deal went through, and at a lower purchase price than what I expected! Now that I have this first acquisition under my belt, I’m pausing on further ones unless something comes up that I need to have. I need to focus on growing this port-co, consulting and finally building up the scouting business.

As mentioned above, I started with my first large scale consulting client this week, and its been a ride dusting off brain cells and doing prep work for action next week. That and the fact that their previous Salesforce admin did stupid things in their system.

Good news on top of that, I signed a second consulting client (third really, as I had one before these two, but it is tiny. ) This one is 5-15 hours a week for three months. Its good to have this money coming in, but I want to replace it with port-co and scouting income. With time...

Speaking of scouting, no updates on that front, but I am beginning to take a step back and plan next steps. I really want to automate the outreach as much as possible, to save time that can be used to build up relationships with sellers and buyers. Thats going to involve me learning how to actually code most likely, which is scary.
 

MrTrash757

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November 6th to November 12th

I finally unveiled the first acquisition this week, more about that here.

Trash Panda Capital

Finally closed out the acquisition and I am beginning to unpack everything. It needs a bit more work than I thought, which stinks, but it is still a good deal. It did put me in a bad mood for the first part of the week, but I am over it now.

Other than that, not much else is going on. I've been working 26 hours a week for a consulting client, with another one starting next week, and I have done some other brainstorming here and there for scouting, but to be quite honest, I've sat in a depressive state. I'll get through it though. Hopefully.
 

MrTrash757

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November 13th to November 19th

I'm a lazy, depressed POS who forgot to post an issue this week, more about this here.

Trash Panda Capital
I've been neck deep in clients and haven't done too much with the store. However, I did publish a banner ad on a large aviation website, and I am starting to see the traffic flow in.

I also deactivated the physical products (for now), until I get them set up as options. It has helped to consolidate the product line and re-focus on getting traffic to convert instead of visitors being confused.

I'm aiming to shoot out a Black Friday email with a coupon to my email list (which is surprisingly large), hoping that will help with conversion.

Also a lot more work to come... stay tuned.
 

MrTrash757

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November 20th to December 2nd

I'm going to go to bi-weekly posts on this thread. Too little going on. I wrote about it here in my newsletter too: Issue #40 - Newsletter Update ️


Trash Panda Capital
Still neck deep with my primary client. I fired a client on December 2nd also, and it felt refreshing. Most likely what will happen with this client, is that I will go and work for them full time, to provide a stable income while I grow Trash Panda Capital. I honestly need this right now, and the place is a the perfect fit for me.

I've made alot of changes with Aerodrawings. First, I blasted out some marketing emails with coupons to drive conversion up on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I offered some deep discounts on purpose - to reactivate old customers, and also because my product and overall costs allow me to. More campaigns to come this month.

On the marketing front, I am eager to get started on Instagram and Pinterest marketing, but I have been battling Pinterest to get the account unlocked so nothing on this yet.

In the next few weeks, I have a massive plan to overhaul all of the products and optimize everything from SEO to Pictures and Variants. I plan on also adding Physical product variations to replace the old ones I deleted. Shopify doesn't make this easy.

Project X

Introducing Project X. Calling it this because we do not have a name for it yet.

Remember a few months ago when I was talking about partnering with a friend to open a fund? This is it. We are not sure if we are going after a fund or another finance related vehicle, but we are working on incorporating a partnership and then looking at our options. I'm excited about this one as we are a founder fit.

Project RE

Also introducing Project RE, another unnamed project. I'm working on the early steps of partnering with my girlfriend to pursue real estate investment and development opportunities. Updates will be sporatic on this one.
 

Jasper S

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It's great that you are honest with yourself and have a good idea of what you need to do in order to continue to pursue your fastlane goals. Even when it means taking a slowlane job. Bonus points for it being a good fit.

Also, I feel like I should say congrats on firing a client! I'll bet it's not an easy decision to make, but it seems like it was what needed to be done. Not worth the effort, or the headache.

It is wonderful to see you are still pursuing your goals and continuously building your business(es). Keep up the great work! :smile:
 

MrTrash757

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It's great that you are honest with yourself and have a good idea of what you need to do in order to continue to pursue your fastlane goals. Even when it means taking a slowlane job. Bonus points for it being a good fit.

Also, I feel like I should say congrats on firing a client! I'll bet it's not an easy decision to make, but it seems like it was what needed to be done. Not worth the effort, or the headache.

It is wonderful to see you are still pursuing your goals and continuously building your business(es). Keep up the great work! :smile:

This means alot, seriously. Its been a bit tedious with AeroDrawings because of the amount of work needed to take it to the next level, it is a good base but needs alot of small and not easily made tweaks (SEO, variants, product cleanout, operational efficiency). Its also losing money (due to the payment), but its a small amount. Just frustrated with it overall but every time I get into it, I am extremely happy and satisfied to see the changes, and also see verification that they work with customers buying the product.

I'm lucky that my largest client currently will most likely be the one that I join full time, and they have a Salesforce instance that is aviation focused. Keeps me challenged and interested and makes it much easier to work in the slow lane. Seriously. My mental health has been at all time highs doing everything I am doing, even though I have those very low moments where doubt creeps in.

Now that I am also looking at other income strategies, it makes it even easier to get to the fastlane. Hopefully.
 

MrTrash757

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December 3rd to December 18th.

I know I am late with this one. Sorry :) Its been busy between work and

I wrote a long newsletter post about what has been happening with my first acquisition, Aerodrawings. Check it out here.

Trash Panda Capital
AeroDrawings has been taking up most of my time. I finished a large scale redesign of the website, products, and some of the social media pages, and ramped up marketing with extremely positive results. Nearly doubled last year's numbers for this time, and organic traffic driven orders keep piling in. My focus now is to dial up social media, email and forum engagement, along with regular promotions and adding more product. I've been cutting expenses also, like paid advertising, as that is ironically not doing anything for me. What a shock. Its good to know as this reduces my burn rate dramatically.

I need to get scouting going. I know there is a MASSIVE evergreen opportunity scouting not only for buy-side players (PE firms), but also scouting for brokers, as I talked with one recently that offered 10-20% of his 6-10% cut on a deal if I source it. Not chump change by any means. And its easy once I build the network. No more excuses.

Project RE
I've made this officially a part of Trash Panda Capital, focused on real estate development and investment. Felt natural to just add it to what I was doing, as real estate has been a LONG (10+ year) passion of mine. Mainly working on research into investors/fund strategies, trends in a certain area in Western Michigan, and also playing around with some container home designs I have had in my brain for years (a little bit of my secret sauce I am cooking up). I'm actively working my GF to build up hers (our) portfolio as we investigate multi-family properties around here. Perks of dating a realtor. Future updates will be in the Trash Panda Capital category.

Project X
My partner and I are actively working on this one, just struggling with a name. Looks like it will be VC focused.
 

MrTrash757

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December 19th (2020) to January 10th (2021)

Happy New Year! Its been wicked busy, so I know this post is late. I'll be posting bi-monthly on random days now.

I wrote a newsletter post about 2021 goals, fessing up to some mistakes I made last year, and also showcasing where I want to go this year. Check it out here.

Trash Panda Capital
With the holidays over, my focus with AeroDrawings is to dial up social media, email and forum engagement, along with regular promotions and adding more products. January and February are traditionally slow for retail also, so I need to be prepared for that hit. Due to a massive tax refund this year, I am also looking at paying the seller off early to get some positive cashflow with the business. My goal for January is to get everything on autopilot (mostly), so I can begin to focus on other endeavors.

I sent my first scout deal off to a potential buyer, fingers crossed it closes. Kick back would be 10-20% of his fee (which is a good amount to start). I am actively looking to grow my scout network of buyers and sellers to get some more pipeline going. Feeling extremely confident with this (and everything else).

On the real estate side, most of my time has been researching the investor and Urban Planning side, to get up to speed with what I need to look at and learn. I am also looking at getting my realtors license later in the year and joining the team my GF is on. Eventually, once she gets her broker's license, I'll hang up mine with her. I'm also working on rekindling the creativity I had in urban planning school, working on home and community designs with big goals.


Project X
My partner and I are actively working on this one, just struggling with a name. Looks like it will be VC focused with an advisor side. We are two squirrels so it makes it hard to work sometimes. Maybe that should be our name, Squirrel Capital Partners. :rofl:
 

MrTrash757

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January 10th to January 26th

Still wicked busy over here as I ramp up with full time work. I won't be writing the newsletter as much now, and posting in here haphazardly.


Trash Panda Capital
With AeroDrawings, I've been dialing up social and email marketing. Results have been interesting, less page views overall but +50% YOY compared to January of last year. The site is finally at the point where its mostly automatic. Which is great.

Still waiting to hear about my first scout deal, I plan on messaging my contact this week to see where things stand. I've been slowly ramping up my scouting business in general, more to come on this.

Unsalted Coast Partners
This is a real estate project between my and my girlfriend. We decided to join forces and work on real estate together.

Inovat8 Capital (formerly Project X)
My partner and I are actively working on this one. Right now in the process of getting things up and running and doing research into prospects.
 
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Ronak

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Man, I want to say...

You've got so much going on: PE fund, deal scouting, real estate, aviation, Salesforce consulting, ecomm site, God know what else!

I want to say--stop! focus! too much!

I want to say, "pick 1 and do that! you're too scattered to be able to move the needle on any one thing."

I want to say all these things.

But I can't.

Because, I'm exactly the same. Too many interests, too many projects, and I want to do them all.

Even if it means I make less money. It just seems so much more fun :)


The curse of being an idea guy/gal!

Prove the critics wrong so I can get my justification for doing the same!
 

MrTrash757

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Man, I want to say...

You've got so much going on: PE fund, deal scouting, real estate, aviation, Salesforce consulting, ecomm site, God know what else!

I want to say--stop! focus! too much!

I want to say, "pick 1 and do that! you're too scattered to be able to move the needle on any one thing."

I want to say all these things.

But I can't.

Because, I'm exactly the same. Too many interests, too many projects, and I want to do them all.

Even if it means I make less money. It just seems so much more fun :)


The curse of being an idea guy/gal!

Prove the critics wrong so I can get my justification for doing the same!
Haha trust me this has been an internal discussion in my head too. I am doing all of this to have multiple streams of income over one that I rely on. If I have to trade some cash for that, its fine.

I've gotten it down to three wealth building areas:

1. Real Estate (in partnership with my GF).
2. VC (In partnership with my friend).
3. PE/Scouting (Me).

Having partners in two of these areas helps immensely, especially as they move at different speeds. The VC partner moves much slower than I expected honestly.

This is on top of my 9-5, which I keep to a 9-5 if you know what I mean.

The best thing to make all of this happen is automation and systems. I've gotten to that point with my store, where all I really have to do is schedule social media & email posts, and deal with customer issues/inquiries as they come up. Major change from when I first got it.

I hope to repeat the same with Scouting, once I get a list of prospects and automated outreach, allowing me to spend time building relationships.

The thing that keeps me going is that I love all of it (except for Salesforce HA!). Thats what keeps me going with working after hours on my own projects. LOL.

Its oddly refreshing to work 16 hr days on all of this and not feel burnt out. Major contrast to last year where I worked for a terrible company and founder and was in fear of getting fired everyday.
 

MrTrash757

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Ha whoops, forgot about this thread.

Its been a busy past few months to say the least.

After my last post, a surprise trip to Maui dropped into my lap (for free), with the catch of transporting 4 cats by air.

This trip turned out to be a turning point. It was the first time I have ever had a taste of the Fastlane life, where I had nobody to answer to, and the ability to do what ever the hell I wanted. Hawaii really is paradise.

It's made me want to quit all social media except for TikTok and Reddit, and really rethink my life and what I want. I want less material things now, overall the reason I am doing what I do is to have time to travel and experience places off of the beaten path.

The trip also made me realize how off course I have gotten, trying to chase so many things instead of focusing on two main things (Trash Panda Capital & Trash Panda Adventure Club), and some smaller side projects. Going forward, my hope is to re-align and not stress myself out.

Needless to say, it got me thinking, and I also spent a few weeks in a pissed off and depressed state because I had to come back here.

Here are some updates since last time:

  • Consulting: I'm in a year contract (with extensions expected) with a company as a full time Salesforce Admin, which is quite honestly keeping me afloat with Trash Panda Capital. Hope is to expand into Deal Flow as a Service (DFaaS, more below). The weeks are a roller coaster but I like it for now, and it allows me to stockpile cash for my endeavors, and helps me keep taxes low.
  • AeroDrawings: We are having a blockbuster year. After the tweaks I made, and the social media campaigns I started, we are currently +32% YOY with Sales, and -40% with traffic YOY. This is a sign that the store was not SEO optimized when I got it and missing its target audience, a good sign overall that there is viability and life in the store. Store is currently cashflow negative due to the repayment, but once that is taken care of in December of this year, we will profit $600-750+ a month. Lots of lessons learned with this one., I'm excited to see where we end up for the year. Hoping in 7k+ in sales, with more products being launched (apparel).
  • Future Port-Cos: My sole goal this year is acquire another company (at least). This time around, I am learning my lesson from the first one and either purchasing with all cash, or leveraging the financing so I am not underwater. I have a few prospects right now via brokers, but I am working on building a tool to help with off market and on market listings (more about that below). I've refocused my investment criteria into three industries: travel, transportation and real estate.
  • DFaaS (Scouting): Major change here. I have decided to scrap doing anything with scouting in the traditional sense. Path forward right now is to create an ultimate on/off-market deal aggregator (as I need this for myself, as I spend too much time combing through listings to find things that aren't true garbage), and eventually sell a monthly subscription to it. There is another similar tool, but frankly its hot garbage and limited to 3 brokers. With this, I also plan on adding in a 1 on 1 package to help find people deals. Thinking about $500 + 2% as a charge for this. We shall see. The reason behind me going this route and not the traditional scouting was due to a few things: A) I honestly hate cold calling and emailing people B) The market needs this. C) I was already planning on building this tool myself. This is one my highest priorities right now.
  • Trash Panda Adventure Club (formerly Unsalted Coast Partners): So this is a fun project. We decided to make a name change after getting drunk off of Sake at Morimoto's in Maui. Trash Panda Adventure Club has been a code word for all of our trips as a couple and a friends group, and we thought it would be fun to make this the name of our vacation focused project. We originally started out looking at multi-family property & house hacking, but have fallen in love with the vacation rental market. Further discussions have expanded this beyond real estate - right now I am looking at acquiring a Sprinter van for us to rent out, house boats, building & buying cabins, etc. We want to give unique experiences, not just rent condos out to people. Really excited about this one.
  • VC Project w/ Friend: My friend has been wicked busy interviewing for tech startups, so not much on this right now. Its a lower priority overall
  • Potential Salesforce project: I've been talking with with a former colleague from the consulting firm I got fired from about starting our own thing. Reason behind this is that the consulting firm has gone down hill, and they want out. Focused on Passive income (courses and such). Will see where this goes (if anywhere).

 

MrTrash757

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I should really get a title change for this thread (again). What do y'all think it should be?

I've been busy with everything going on, along with dealing with my physical health (lifting, beginning to run, tons of Golf and Disc Golf). I'm in the best shape I have been in since 2015 ATLEAST. It is helping me a ton with my business and personal life too.

Here are some updates, in order of my priority (from #1 to #7):
  • DFaaS (Deal Flow as a Service): This is my primary focus, after networking with people they have asked me to find some seven figure deals for them. Rates quoted to me for payment of the finders fee are $500+5%, which is extremely lucrative. I am looking at recycling the newsletter for this service too. Very manual work right now, but I hope to automate it soon. If anyone here would like to learn more about this, please let me know.
  • Trash Panda Adventure Club: This is priority #2. Right now, we are working on writing a playbook and building relationships with Salvage Yards, Storage Units, Municipalities, to acquire trailers, ambulances, school busses. Market is red-hot right now, which is allowing us to set up our analytics (to see if deals are good or not), do research into models & materials, and also slowly automate the collection of listings. Our goal is to flip a trailer every 30 days, and flip an ambulance/school bus every 60 days. Eventually would like to get into custom building RVs from Aircraft fuselages, rental properties & RVs/Trailers, campgrounds, etc.
  • Nameless Salesforce Project: Working with a friend who is leaving the employer that fired me on some trainings/productized Salesforce consulting. Very early on, but this is most likely going to be the first true money maker (unless DFaaS comes first). This to me, is my exit out of the Salesforce industry, as graceful as it can be (I have some MASSIVE grievances with Salesforce right now).
  • VC Project w/ Best Friend: Two weeks ago, I flew out to NYC/Hamptons to meet him in person. Spent a week together, getting to know each other in person, and I finally saw how the other half lives (which was surprising in a good way). I was very quiet and private on this trip, didn't post on Social Media much, just absorbed the experience (I found out this is the biggest reason he likes me as a friend/biz partner), and this trip really was the beginning of a new chapter. Our time frame with this is 8-12 years, so its a lower priority, but we speak on a daily basis and move forward. Working to get our Series 65s too.
  • Consulting: Very busy time, but my company loves me. Its also morphing into a large idea (see below). Hoping to exit this as my full time gig by 2023.
  • AeroDrawings: Since April, sales have been down. Guessing this is because the world is opening up, and I am at peace with it. Working on improving product listings, looking at networking with forums/communities, adding some new product, and outsourcing operations to a VA. I paid off the seller in full with two lump sum payments, after deciding this was the best thing to do to free me from debt. This is the first asset I truly own. Feels good.
  • Future Port-Cos: I'm pausing on all acquisitions right now. The market is not favorable to me right now, and I feel like AeroDrawings is not finished. I did write a playbook for our Acquisitions and I will continue to improve upon that.
 

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