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EXECUTION Mr. Trash's journey to shakeup Private Equity (Trash Panda Capital)

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MrTrash757

MrTrash757

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I wouldn't. I'd keep it all in one place.
But it's your party, your decision.

The mods can change the title for you if you like.
good call! I'll reach out to a mod and get that going.
 

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Mutant

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I'll be launching this product in tandem with my little PE firm I am building, Trash Panda Capital, as the first product in the portfolio (speaking of that, wonder if I should create a new thread for that project, as its now the main one...)
Yay! You mentioned your PE endeavour in some other thread - been wanting that story! Looking forward to seeing it unfold.
 
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Ronak

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Just started reading this thread today. I believe you have something here. It seems like you've been wanting to really do this, but for some reason or another, you've been delayed. I know how it gets sometimes, as I often find myself taking weeks and weeks to do something, which ultimately ends up taking a fraction of the anticipated time.

A suggestion and challenge for you: pick 1 topic, perhaps the shortest one or most impactful one that would be 10-20 mins long. It could even be a subtopic, as long as it can stand on its own as a complete video. Sit down, and just do the recording and nothing else. Use it as a sample/example to presell and get feedback. Send it out to your contacts. You may even get sales before you have a whole product if the need is strong enough.

The last thing you'd want to do is create a 3-5 hour course spending months on it, only to get feedback which you can't act on because you've already finished the course.

This will give you a simple, achievable, and high impact goal to strive for as well as input to make it even better.
 
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MrTrash757

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Just started reading this thread today. I believe you have something here. It seems like you've been wanting to really do this, but for some reason or another, you've been delayed. I know how it gets sometimes, as I often find myself taking weeks and weeks to do something, which ultimately ends up taking a fraction of the anticipated time.

A suggestion and challenge for you: pick 1 topic, perhaps the shortest one or most impactful one that would be 10-20 mins long. It could even be a subtopic, as long as it can stand on its own as a complete video. Sit down, and just do the recording and nothing else. Use it as a sample/example to presell and get feedback. Send it out to your contacts. You may even get sales before you have a whole product if the need is strong enough.

The last thing you'd want to do is create a 3-5 hour course spending months on it, only to get feedback which you can't act on because you've already finished the course.

This will give you a simple, achievable, and high impact goal to strive for as well as input to make it even better.
I 1000% agree with this. It also fits in better with Skillshare, and honestly my teaching style. I like to be short and to the point vs dragging things out. Plus, it can be expanded later into a larger course that can be placed on Udemy to funnel to my site :smile2:

I already got some people in my network that are extremely interested in seeing what I come up with.
 
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Ronak

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Great, when are you committing to finish the first one?
 
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MrTrash757

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Great, when are you committing to finish the first one?
Putting me on the spot, I love it.

I want to release the micro courses bi-weekly. So first one, comes out September 15th. Then another on 10/1, etc.

Then we will see where they go!
 

Kid

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Was reading some random article and thought about your topic. They mentioned Learn Scrivener Fast . Its a course teaching how to use software that i've never heard about ( its about writing books or movie scripts ).

Basically story is a bit aged (circa 2016) but the guy made more money (6 figures) selling the course on how to use the app than the app earned itself.
Pretty neat!
 
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MrTrash757

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Was reading some random article and thought about your topic. They mentioned Learn Scrivener Fast . Its a course teaching how to use software that i've never heard about ( its about writing books or movie scripts ).

Basically story is a bit aged (circa 2016) but the guy made more money (6 figures) selling the course on how to use the app than the app earned itself.
Pretty neat!
This is quite cool! Its the direction I want to go with this, something passive, teaching things that are not talked about right now.
 
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MrTrash757

MrTrash757

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Alright, time to address the elephant in the room. Now that I have time to write a novel... Brace yourselves, its a long one.

I recently changed the name change of this thread to Trash Panda Capital.

Why? Well, I am going headfirst into PE.

First, a bit of a backstory:

I’ve been on the company side of M&A in the past, from another company acquiring a consultancy I worked at, to a port-co owned by a large PE firm in Austin, and another owned by a smaller one in Chicago.

So after working for companies owned by PE firms in the past, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth.

I can go on a whole rant about why I have a bad taste, but I’ll save that for another post.

I’ve sat with this bad taste until I encountered someone that built a PE firm through micro acquisitions, to the point where they are able to raise funds/get loans to buy larger businesses. This is the first fast lane model that made sense to me in a while, as I am more of an operations guy that loves to help streamline/grow things over starting them from scratch (even though I do both).

So I took an existing biz I had, changed the name, and right now I am working on a logo and website in preparation for more of an official launch.

And thus, Trash Panda Capital was born.

The focus of Trash Panda Capital is simple:

Buying & investing in boring businesses & projects others don’t want, that have a high potential for being fully or mostly Automated (especially through AI and other means).

I’m starting with small projects, primarially digital ones. My long term (5 year) goal is to get into $1-10million dollar businesses, especially what I call the “boomer businesses” -> businesses being sold by people that are retiring. I love businesses with large operational problems over sales and marketing issues.

That‘s what inspired the name, as Raccoons (Trash Panda’s) usually pick trash, sit in the dark, and make everything as easy as possible.

Now, an update about where I am right now.

In-case you are reading this and missed previous posts -> I got fired from my Salesforce Consultant position, in an extremely cowardly way by the founder. I ended up getting a small Golden Parachute out of it, but that’s about it. I took a gamble taking the role as a 1099 worker, and got let go right before a transition to W-2 (this company was not really operating in the scope of the law with employment), so unemployment is not an option, which is ok. Honestly, I am relieved to be out of there, it was a stressful time with some questionable characters.

That leaves me relying on myself to survive and make a living. Scary as heck, but now the cards are falling into place. I am not tied to someone else’s company, I have mental and physically stability, and the means to support myself during this time, and potentially replace some failing computer equipment (yay!)

I have about a year to make this work, based on the amount of runway I saved up over the past two years, and excluding the money I have set aside for acquisitions.

My initial goal is to get $1k MRR across multiple products/revenue streams. This will cover my personal monthly expenses , allowing me make myself cash flow positive, instead of burning $800-900 a month from savings.

So now, here are the following products I have under Trash Panda Capital right now. Future updates will also be broken down by each product, with a brief summary of the main company also:

  • Roviki Solutions - Salesforce & Revenue Operations consulting. This was the previous legal name of the company, and I have one customer at $175 a month or so that has been paying for a while (And will be staying). I’m aiming to use this as a funnel for other freelancing/contracting roles that may pop up. To be honest, this “product” is not a priority, I am burnt out from consulting in general, and the market has been flooded with cheap labor due to the downturn. On top of that, I have put a hard stop on applying to full time roles, as I don’t want to go through that cycle of sucking up to someone again. I still keep an eye out for things, but this is more of a “if something pops up” kind of product.
  • TameTheForce - The product that kicked this thread off. Bascially specific Salesforce/ Revenue Operations training in a bite sized set of courses. Right now, I am focusing on condensing the material down, and recording/editing to launch in two week sprints via Skillshare/my own site. This is my #1 product right now.

There are two other products/revenue streams that I am exploring right now:
  • Waterproof/compartmentalizations Marijuana storage container - My girlfriend’s idea. With this one, its basically testing the market via pre-orders, we already have found a supplier, but want to gauge interest before ordering. Trying to avoid drop shipping as much as I can. She has no time to pursue this due to her budding real estate career, so I am willing to give it a shot and see where it goes.
  • Marketing Support for my Father In Law’s business - Basically, this is getting revenue sharing from sales. Something worth trying as all that needs to be done is to scrape a database, create an email, send it, and measure the results. <2 hrs worth of work.
  • AI Tool for my PE deal flow -> In the idea stages right now.

On top of all of these streams, I’ve also been looking to acquire a internet based product/biz. Right now, its been falling apart during Due Dilligence as I have uncovered some major red flags, but I am confident that an honest person‘s product will appear.

Now, the best for last.

About a week ago, I reached out to a connection about if he had knowledge about PE.

Well, it seems I hit the jackpot. He has sold startups to PE firms in the past, and has been extremely involved in VC.

We have known each other for a bit, we are both a bit squirrely and very similar, and we have hit it off.

So now, we are looking at opening a VC fund and then expanding into a larger PE fund In the future. He is also based out of NYC and has a wide range of contacts.

We are working through some of the legality behind this (as I am not accredited, but he is), and it looks like a recent SEC rule change would make it easier to make it work. Staying on the right side of the law is always a priority in my eyes.

This is most likely going to be something outside of my own business, but since it’s still related, I’ll include updates on it.

Phew. What a novel!

Tl;dr -> I’ve decide to open a PE firm called Trash Panda Capital, to hold my own projects, and also acquire some more. Also working with a partner on a separate finance related project.
 
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MrTrash757

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8/30/2020 to 9/5/2020 update.

Figured I would post weekly updates. It helps me to recap what has happened over the week, and I like keeping a diary.

Me
Spent most of the week in a pissed off and depressed state. Got through it finally over the Labor Day weekend, and I have put some processes in place to help avoid/deal with depression.

Trash Panda Capital
Majority of my time has been spent with administrative work, to keep myself as organized as possible. I hate doing this work as I feel like its slow and boring, but it will set me up for success. Waiting on my designer to send branding back so I can do a more formal launch of the website and brand. Spent some time pursuing deals that have lead to dead ends due to reflags in the due diligence stages.

TameTheForce (Salesforce Training Product)
Spent the week laying out the user & pseudo admin courses, starting with the course project first, then putting details in. Tabling admin courses for now. Had to order equipment also, so launch date will be pushed to the end of the month.

Roviki Solutions (Consulting)
Most of the week was spent applying to freelancing posts/contract roles. Finally heard back from a prospect, scheduled a meeting for next week.

Other Products
Nothing to report.

Potential Fund Partner
This is still in progress, but on the back burner. Potential partner and I have not had contact since last week. Since there isn't anything in writing/set in stone, I'm just letting it sit for now.

For the next week (9/6 to 9/12):
  • Me -> Avoid the burn out, take care of my health, and be as productive as possible.
  • Trash Panda Capital -> Finish up work on internal processes/software optimization, begin to ramp up scouting and deal sourcing operations. Speaking with a potential lead on Thursday. Fingers crossed branding comes to me this week.
  • Roviki Solutions -> Speaking with a potential client this week. Responding to freelancing posts daily.
  • TameTheForce -> Aiming to have the full User Reports & Dashboards course laid out and ready for recording the next week. Fingers crossed branding & equipment comes to me this week.
  • Other Projects -> Working with my GF (owner of the projects) to get the ball rolling
  • Potential Fund Partner -> On the back burner. No idea what is going on with the partner, hope he is ok.
 

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MrTrash757

MrTrash757

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9/6 to 9/13/2020 Update.

Going to keep these as short as possible from now on, so I spend more time executing. I’ll just provide updates from now on, instead of laying out a list of things to do this week, as it usually ends up getting trashed by Tuesday anyway.

Me
The word of the week? Distraction.

One of the hardest parts of getting thrust into the Fastlane from the Slowlane is the realization that you don’t need to fill 8 hours a day with meaningless crap, just to keep your job and make the boss happy.

Now the tables have turned, and I am my own boss. A large amount of control I have frankly never had.

Distraction has been the name of the game, mainly due to a ton of administrative and job/contract search related tasks that have sucked up my time and distracted me from working on the two projects that are the path to the Fastlane.

This, combined with the fact I crave quick dopamine hits via multitasking with Youtube or the TV in the background, or deciding to spend a few hours playing a video game, really made it so my productivity has taken a hit.

Nobody can truly multitask. It’s easier to break things into chunks and take it step by step. I know this isn’t ground breaking knowledge, but for someone that has been spinning their wheels trying to do multiple things at the same time, with many dopamine distractions in each, its a big step to break that finally.

Louis Rossmann (MacBook repairshop owner), has two videos that go into great detail about this, linked below:

Negotiating with yourself to get things done

Motivation to rebuild from rock bottom depression.

Trash Panda Capital
Still waiting on my designer to send branding back, he wants to send it with the TameTheForce branding, so I just need to wait a little longer.

I started work on laying out a Web Scraper to speed up the prospecting for deals, this plays into a larger idea around using AI/Machine Learning to help with deals. First I need to relearn Python and some math before I get that far!

I spoke with a long-term prospect this week, he is extremely interested in selling, I just need to find some capital to bridge the gap between what I have and what he wants.

I also started working on building some connections for the scouting side I am working on, with other PE firms, so I can start sending them potential deals I come across and potentially get a nice kickback If they close them.

TameTheForce (Salesforce Training Product)
Spent the week laying out the user courses in detail. Still working on this, and waiting for my branding. Recording should start this upcoming week now that equipment has arrived.

I’ve been a bit burnt out about this project to be honest, but the past week has really put some wind back in my sails as I take a more positive outlook and have realized how easy it is to get these recorded.

It’s a good source of revenue, the market is there, I’m just over thinking it.

Roviki Solutions (Consulting)
I had a few calls with potential clients, one went terrible (and I’m glad it did, I don’t want to do Salesforce consulting anymore), and other one went great and will most likely morph into a part time (atleast) engagement. Nothing is official until the contact is signed though.

I’ve also had to put my foot down about the amount of time this side of the business takes up, between vetting postings, reaching out, etc.

Its not something I want to make as a priority, because I am still trading my time for money. I’m ok with that to a certain point as I need to pay bills as I get things ramped up, but it can also turn into a full time job search easily, which I am trying to avoid.

Mainly trying to avoid getting sucked into the job search trap as that takes time away from finally launching, marketing and growing TameTheForce, along with TrashPandaCapital. Its time to finally stop getting sucked into the Slowlane and start building up for the fast lane.

Other Products
Nothing to report.

Potential Fund Partner
This is DOA. No idea where he went. Honestly, I am glad it’s quiet as this was a distraction that sucked some time away from me.
 
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MrTrash757

MrTrash757

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9/14 to 9/20 Update

Me

Word of the week? Time Management & Distractibility.

It seems that the Slowlane keeps wanting to suck me back into its trap. I spent the week going from phone interview to phone interview. I suck at interviewing so its a mental and emotional drain to move on from these to more productive things.

I've had to really limit myself from going down this rabbit hole.

However, it's lead to me breaking some habits around video games and general distraction. Finally getting to the point where I love my work and get a "high" off it, so I crave more of that productivity. Haven't been this way in five years.

Trash Panda Capital
Branding is coming back on Monday, 9/21. Finally. I can officially launch the website and start getting the word out once that happens.

Still looking for my first acquisition. Its been a doozy. Most deals fail Due Diligence. I am also stuck at a certain price range that is extremely restrictive.

I also stumbled upon this thread last week: Jay Abraham - Try This Incredible Mindset Shift! , and I found a copy of Mediorcity to Millions. I'll be honest, I skimmed the book but got an Aha moment out of it.

I've been kicking around the idea of creating a "scouting" program, basically sending other PE firms potential deals and then taking a cut out of it. Now that I connected the dots together, I'm going to get the ball rolling on this, especially as the "boomer businesses" are going to be sold or transferred to family in the next 3-5 years. Right now, I'm working with one PE firm to become part of their network. Feeling like this is the best path forward for me right now, to get some dollars in the door. Jay's book helped with some mindset around this idea, which was the missing piece.

I also started diving into learning AI/Machine Learning. Its going to be a long process, but I have a massive idea around how to automate a lot of the scouting/due diligence process to free up time and also help with a lot of the analytics.

TameTheForce (Salesforce Training Product)
Branding is coming back to me on Monday. Major roadblock with some things.

Still working on materials. I have set a hard deadline of Wednesday to have them completed. Recording will begin Thursday/Friday, and stretch into Saturday. My aim is get everything recorded so I can edit when I venture up to the UP of MI between 9/28 and 10/2. I also aim to spend that week laying out the next course, as I have planned out two week sprints from here all the way to May.

Frankly, the amount of phone interviews & discussions around contracts for the Roviki Solutions side of the business has been draining time and mental capacity away from this. More about that below.

Roviki Solutions (Salesforce Consulting)
Got a verbal on a deal for some project based Salesforce consulting (3-6+ months). I'm happy about it, because it won't suck all my time away, but will pay the bills.

I have had to dial down the amount of time I spend in this area considerably, the amount of time spent viewing contracts, talking with people, and getting sucked back into the Slowlane mentality of "I lost my job, time to apply for work and be a wage slave for someone else" is a major distraction.

You can literally make applying for jobs/contracts a full time job.

I honestly cannot wait to get the Trash Panda Capital scouting & acquisition programs up so I can use that as a major revenue driver, and hopefully wind this side down. But baby steps first, right?

Other Products
Working with my Father-In-Law to get some marketing going for him. I get 50% off of any deals closed through this method. Basically using this as a test for acquiring his biz in 3-5 years when he wants to retire.
 

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