When it comes to my strengths, I’ve always been pretty good, sometimes great, at figuring out solutions to problems. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a skill, but I would say I’m extremely resourceful when it comes to solving problems.
Here are some of the questions and statements that run through my mind when I’m uncovering the strategy. Let’s say I’m looking at a business deal. Here’s the financial situation, and here’s how it operates. How do I fit into the equation? How do I make this happen? What’s the structure look like? How does it flow? How can I raise the funds? How do I finance this? How do I get this motherfucker done?
A friend of ours came in the other day with a similar problem. I sprayed off the white board and said, "Let's lay it out". The goal(s), the money, the scenario, and the value. What’s in place now? What do you have in place? What’s the best-case and worst-case scenario?
Countless people ask me about the levels of risk I’m willing to take on. When I’m evaluating a scenario, I’m always trying to uncover a strategy… whether I decide to move forward or not.
Can I still live? Can I still survive? Would it be uncomfortable? Would it suck? Of course! Would people think "you failed"? I don't really think like that. I’m just thinking of if I can still pay my bills or if I can feed my children.
If I uncover the strategy, and it feels right and makes sense, then I’m going to execute. Think of this process as a first line of defense. Do you really want it or not? It’s easy to not put in the work to see if there’s something there. It’s much easier to say, “It ain’t going to work.” But do you know with full certainty that it’s not going to work, or are you just being lazy?
Most situations aren’t clearly packaged, including MusclePharm. With MusclePharm, I was asking questions such as, “What are the possibilities? Where can this go? What kind of financial backing is required? How much work is it going to take? And if it goes to shit, what will happen to me? What happens if it works out?” Well, MusclePharm worked out. It was the one thing that dramatically changed my career forever. From there, I continued evaluating potential opportunities the same way.
On the flipside, there’s a point where you want something so bad that you become blinded. It does happen. Continuing to develop a better sense of awareness is absolutely key.
If It Works
I’ll visit it once. If something doesn’t work, so what? I’m not going to let it carry into the next day. What do I focus on? I focus on finding the winning formula. Putting the reps is what counts. Putting in the reps and uncovering the strategy makes things less scary.
In the situation I was dealing with, the number went from around $400k to $55-60k. The person had part of it, and they knew how to get the rest of it. So, in two hours, the whole thing looked completely different.
I Had No Clue
Every situation that I went through has been meaningful. When I was raising capital at MP, I had no idea what I was doing. I had barely made over $100k in my career at that point. I was learning on the fly. I was flying to New York to meet with firms to pitch our idea. My suits didn’t fit, and I didn’t have a four-year degree. The strategy? I needed X amount of dollars to make this happen, and I was willing to do literally everything that was within the law to get it.
I believed in myself, that if I executed that number, that we were going to make that number way bigger in sales. It's the same with this process. I think it's one of those things that if there's a way and a strategy, then there's a possibility.
What Do You Have to Lose?
If you uncover it and it doesn't absolutely scare you and you think you can live at the worst-case scenario, then what do you have to lose? If you can live with the worst-case scenario, then it has to be worth it because you now own the freedom to do what you love to do.
Sure, you’re going to have to deal with some shitty stuff at times. Not every day is Christmas. But understand the freedom that comes from the small, medium, and big wins. It’s all fucking worth it.