Sunday, September 24, 2006

Volume 26 - i.2 update

After sixteen months, filled with a great deal of work, a 'term sheet' has been signed with a major bank to finance Independence2, LLC.

During the last couple of years of employment with my former employer I was privy to information regarding potential acquisitions. During some of those meetings, I was a proponent of 'greenfield' proposals, and heard resistance toward that type of thinking. I witnesses purchases made of poor companies for excessive amounts of money, knowing that a 'startup greenfield operation' seemed more realistic, and certainly more potentially profitable. After nearly a year and a half of building the foundation for our startup company, Independence2, LLC, I realize why start-ups ('greenfields') are frowned upon by companies interested in fast 'growth'. It takes a very long time to create the foundation necessary for a long lasting company from a 'clean sheet of paper' concept. Nevertheless, I'm betting the rewards are worth it!

I believe that fundamental issues such as building a solid comprehensive business plan, showing every detail of the proposed business, is an absolute. In the long run, it will show far better returns then attempting to bring about a 'turn-around'. Fundamentals and application of a proven system is as important in business as it is in plotting out a successful football program. Our business plan, thanks mainly to the efforts of our Operations/Marketing Member, Bonnie Buchanan, who has multiple 'startup' and business experience, as well as the advice of other members, is a detailed 140 page 'bound' document that has been reviewed and critiqued as one of the most comprehensive business plan "ever to make their offices", and actually read, by some of the most intelligent business minds in the Eastern half of the country. This is an endorsement that is not taken lightly. A piece of work that took one full year in preparation and documentation. Persistence mixed with the right attitude stirred with competent and energized people can bring not only positive results but different perspectives to an ordinary playing field.

The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. As my friend W. Mitchell preaches, it's not what happens to you, but what you do about it that matters, and as Robert Ringer writes, "it is more important than the past, then education, then money, then circumstances, then failures, then successes, then what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude that we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one stream we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent of how I react to it and so it is with you. It is indeed within your power to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances. And as a result it is in your power to choose your own way and to have a great deal of control over your destiny."

So, another page of our journey begins filled with excitement, plans for the future, a group of people bustling with ideas, applying concepts, seeking solutions, a start-up with fire in it's belly. And yes, I'm fully aware of the realities of life and business, but this is ours to succeed or fail.

This is not a company full of politics, the slow pace of change, lack of decisive leadership with people chained to their desks, confined to a numbers game, staring at the clock to end a day of monotonous work. Returning to that type of setting is simply not an option. Imagination, energy and enthusiasm are daily traits to nurtured and accepted, otherwise you can't become a part of this venture.

The 'creative process' may not be new, but the natural implementation of its process reaching for moving strategies and higher technologies, instilling innovation, and identifying better processes and systems, yet putting the customer in their rightful position, delivering on your word, with the highest quality of product, and making everyone partners within this venture is what it is all about.