Adventures with Lyrical: Buying a Business (REPOST)

Sanrith Descartes

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Same with gambling. I guess you could say that stock trading IS gambling, but if you're standing at the craps table you have to make all the boring bets, not walk away when you're down, and then walk away when you're up. The opposite of human nature. Because of that casinos can offer games with almost no house advantage and still rest easy that they are going to make money.
I spent some formative years living in Reno so a> got my "gambling is cool" shit out of my system and b> learned to understand the industry and odds. My way of gambling when in Vegas is simple. I find the "megabucks" or whatever they call it these days (the networked super progressive $1 slots that run between the casinos) and drop $100 bill into it. The payout is usually over $1m. The risk v reward is acceptable in my mind. If on any pull, even my first, I double my money ($200+) I get up and cash out. Slots are all about the slow bleed to the house. The only way to win is to play for the odds spike and if you get it you stop immediately otherwise it all goes back on the slow bleed.
 
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Shonuff

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I spent some formative years living in Reno so a> got my "gambling is cool" shit out of my system and b> learned to understand the industry and odds. My way of gambling when in Vegas is simple. I find the "megabucks" or whatever they call it these days (the networked super progressive $1 slots that run between the casinos) and drop $100 bill into it. The payout is usually over $1m. The risk v reward is acceptable in my mind. If on any pull, even my first, I double my money ($200+) I get up and cash out. Slots are all about the slow bleed to the house. The only way to win is to play for the odds spike and if you get it you stop immediately otherwise it all goes back on the slow bleed.
In a nutshell, I do the same with OCO bracket orders. I limit my profits and downsides. I traded Zoom for months, and got to the point where 71 of 78 trades were good. I've swapped to Tesla, because Zoom volume has dropped. Right now, I switched to simulated trading on Tesla, because it feels like every trader in the world is on it. When you get a signal, it can blast you pretty quick.

The goal, by the end of the year, is to be doing trades of $100,000. But I have to prove to myself I have the discipline to stop deleting my downside protection in my OCO orders. I'm up 435 today, because I'm not being a tool. I have a list of rules, but every time I have a bad day, I go back, review the tape, and see I broke one or more rules.
 

Cad

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Cool, Tmac. That helps. I try to help people, but usually that's on my Facebook now. Is there a thread for you?

Not much has changed.

- Business is almost completely free and clear of debt, and I pay very little rent ($400). So with the debt reduction, its added roughly 3k a week discretionary income, on top of my regular business income.

- We've gone eight years without running out of work. They say the thing that keeps business owners up all night is not being able to pay the bills. Incorrect. The thing that keeps us up all night is demand. I constantly tweak the ad mix to make sure we are good. I have spent 31K in a month on advertising, but that was in an abnormally slow month. I have laid off one guy in those eight years (although I've fired hundreds not up to my standards). I hate laying off hard workers, I lost sleep until I hired him back three years later.

- IRS showed up at the door a few years ago, demanding every penny in the bank account. They claimed I didn't file my W2's (even though I had a receipt from my CPA showing I did and people did their W2's. Took me almost 2.5 years to make this go away and fix my credit. They placed a lien on everything. 2.5 years later, they finally admitted the computer told them the wrong thing. Fuck the IRS. Spent many a sleepless night, as they were trying to pierce the veil and go after our home. In the end, they got a few k.

- Got a chance to take a selfie while being served with a 10M lawsuit. I sued a landlord that contracted with me to sell what I was renting and he backed out. He sued me and said I ruined his five acres that were worth maybe 100k, and said I did 10M of damage. I think I paid him 5k and then I bought the land (after a couple of years). Straight hands with me put into the wall. IRS or real estate moguls be damned.

- Finally got out of our last yellow pages. Our cost of acquisition per customer went past $200, and we got out. We milked those books until there were no customers left. Three years ago, we were still spending about $2,600 a month on yellow pages. We moved all of that into online advertising.

- Moved hardcore into online advertising. Got a consulting company named wordstream to help me. Just ended my contract with them, after having spent 24k in consulting fees over four years. Well worth it, half of our business comes from social media. Social media helps me target high net worth individuals that need my services. I own a tree care, and having full insurance helps with these people. They don't want sued if someone gets hurt. Billboard and TV we still use, but we do not spend anymore 15k monthly budgets on TV. I don't like TV as much as social media. They hold me to contracts. With social media, I can pause anytime. My 15 year old helps with the ads, and people tell me they look professional (unsolicited to do so).

- Last few years, we've exceeded one million in sales, which I think only 2% of businesses ever do. We are kind of flat, because I don't like customer complaints. Tree care is rife with druggies and alcoholics. I'm not having customers complain because I hired a meth head. Business is a cash cow for me to do other things. I work in in it 3-5 hours a day max.

- Covid had virtually no effect on us. I think we dropped 10% in sales. We spent more in advertising to get people's attention. We did take the PPP. We are considered essential, and while the Economy sucked, people worked on their home projects more. So we benefitted from that.

- This year, we are fighting the labor shortage like everyone else. State has forced us to use CDL drivers, and that's been tough, since there is a shortage nationwide. CDL drivers tend to think they are above work, and everyone works here.

- I'm at 2.75 crews right now, because of the CDL driver issue. It's rained so much we've been behind. But last month, we got very little rain, and it was a record month. Between my draw, 401K, IRA, cars, meals and entertainment, net income of the corporation, and the expenses I cut, we made roughly $40k profit on 110k in sales. It was the best regular (as in non emergency month) in the 14 years we've owned the company.

- Current advertising mix is 5k on google (I cover 91% of my geography), 2k on billboard, 2-4k on TV, 3k on Facebook/Insta and I just started with 2k on youtube ads. Last month was so good because I wasn't on TV or youtube at all. I increased it because I don't think I can continue to do 100k+ monthly sales on just google, billboard and TV. This is different for me, because I've spent 15k in a month on TV. TV is going down 10% a year, but social media goes up and up. Impact to the bottom line is that it goes up. ROI is higher on social media. TV brings me leads, but a lot of them are broke. I like wealthy individuals, as I'm billing sometimes almost 6k in a day in service fees for my crews.

- Considering advertising on LinkedIn and Twitter to further go after wealthier individuals. Still trying to figure that out.

- I spent more time trading and investing stocks in the last year than I do on my business. That intrigues me. Trading takes an entirely different mindset. In business you need to be an alpha, but when you trade you better be a good beta. I am my own worst enemy at trading, because there's something in my head that tells me to never give up, even though the formula tells me I need to bail on the trade. Some days I make more trading than I do in my tree care business. Other days, not so much, because I'm not following my trading plans.

Sorry for typos and grammar, but I'm busy.
Glad everything is going well man. Congrats on getting that whole operation tip top.
 

Shonuff

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This is where I'm at right now. My energies are more focused towards trading. The business, I get involved when I need to. My wife handles it, along with my Manager and two Crew Leaders. 14 years of ownership, I'm trying to branch out and do different things. 14 years is longer than I've ever worked for someone else. If there is one thing covid taught me, is that I've built a solid enough business that I can do other things.

$435 simulated profits on Tesla today. I'm swing trading AMD right now before earnings. I won't start using real money on Tesla for awhile...its tricky.
 

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Sanrith Descartes

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This is where I'm at right now. My energies are more focused towards trading. The business, I get involved when I need to. My wife handles it, along with my Manager and two Crew Leaders. 14 years of ownership, I'm trying to branch out and do different things. 14 years is longer than I've ever worked for someone else. If there is one thing covid taught me, is that I've built a solid enough business that I can do other things.

$435 simulated profits on Tesla today. I'm swing trading AMD right now before earnings. I won't start using real money on Tesla for awhile...its tricky.
I was swing trading TSLA back in the day. I stopped because there is so much non-financial influence on it that the variables I couldn't predict made it untenable for me. I made my Benjamins on SPACs last year before the bubble popped. You should bounce over the stonkhouse forum when you have some free time. Its quieter than normal right now being summer and all but still has some good posts dropping in.

ps.. Don't tell Big Phoenix Big Phoenix you are trading AMD otherwise you will have a friend for life :)
 

Shonuff

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I was swing trading TSLA back in the day. I stopped because there is so much non-financial influence on it that the variables I couldn't predict made it untenable for me. I made my Benjamins on SPACs last year before the bubble popped. You should bounce over the stonkhouse forum when you have some free time. Its quieter than normal right now being summer and all but still has some good posts dropping in.

ps.. Don't tell Big Phoenix Big Phoenix you are trading AMD otherwise you will have a friend for life :)
Been in AMD since 70s, sold at 93, and am back in again.

On Tesla, I've been on it in the last week and a half, and I think the trick for me is to do an OCO bracket order with .02% upside and 1% downside. And I have to be especially careful around resistance and support on this stock. Never seen a stock bounce so hard off the walls like it does.
 
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Shonuff

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Still trying to get in rhythm with Tesla. Not a bad trade today, $513 simulated profit in a little over an hour.
 

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Shonuff

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Went in and gave everyone a 6% raise today. That's expensive. But with all of the stimulus funds, workers are short. Everyone is trying to steal other's workers. All I can do is remind them that not one of them got laid off with covid last year. The companies back then weren't hiring anyone, and if they were, it was for 20% lower pay. I have one employee tell me he's being recruited by a corporation with a 10k signing bonus, but I don't think the rest are going anywhere.
 

Tmac

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Shonuff Shonuff what company did you use in the past for SEO?

I need to drive more traffic to my sites for hot leads. We're spending a lot of time and money cold calling and the difference in the sales cycle is nearly a year.

For example, got a lead off our website three weeks ago, went and trained last week, and they'll add $40k a year. A cold lead might take 6 - 12 months to close and might add $10k - $50k a year.
 

Shonuff

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Shonuff Shonuff what company did you use in the past for SEO?

I need to drive more traffic to my sites for hot leads. We're spending a lot of time and money cold calling and the difference in the sales cycle is nearly a year.

For example, got a lead off our website three weeks ago, went and trained last week, and they'll add $40k a year. A cold lead might take 6 - 12 months to close and might add $10k - $50k a year.
I used wordstream for over four years I think. I stopped using them when they sold off all accounts that don't spend 6k a month in SEO in one platform. Sometimes I spend more than that in google (last 30 days was like 8k), but when we get busy I turn it all off. They changed it so you had to guarantee them a spend level. And they took away the control.

I think I slept through enough of those sessions to figure it out on my own and save the consulting fees.

Not sure who to recommend now. That happened last month.
 

Tmac

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I used wordstream for over four years I think. I stopped using them when they sold off all accounts that don't spend 6k a month in SEO in one platform. Sometimes I spend more than that in google (last 30 days was like 8k), but when we get busy I turn it all off. They changed it so you had to guarantee them a spend level. And they took away the control.

I think I slept through enough of those sessions to figure it out on my own and save the consulting fees.

Not sure who to recommend now. That happened last month.

Wanna give me a couple hours of training? We could start at 10AM and that way you'd be forced to stop training, wouldn't lose any money, and you'd feel good about yourself for helping a noob. It's a win-win-win!
 

Shonuff

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Wanna give me a couple hours of training? We could start at 10AM and that way you'd be forced to stop training, wouldn't lose any money, and you'd feel good about yourself for helping a noob. It's a win-win-win!
Man, I think I'd suck at account setup. I'd definitely look for a consulting company and sign up for six months. Most important part is to be able to monitor your account and make changes. That comes with someone going over it with you. They spent 2-4 hours a month with me on that. And then they sent information pieces. Remember, SEO is a market, so its constantly changing.
Just make sure they write compelling ads that make sense for your industry. I had to stop them from writing the weirdest ads. You know your customer better than anyone. They were writing ads that didn't even have anything to do with the services I offered.
I don't think you can do this bootleg. 90% of people are using google. You can see the following impression share chart for my business. Virtually no one in my area of 600k people goes online without seeing me. You are going to have to invest. I think I spent probably 30k in consulting fees (over four years) to get to 90.5% of the market. There are probably 200 competitors, but they aren't even on the chart.

InkedSEO_LI.jpg
 
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Shonuff

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One of my CDL truck drivers left a few days ago, to work for a big trucking company that offered him DOUBLE. They told him they'd pay him a full week for working 20 hours a week, 10k signing bonus, full benefits, paid vacation and local driving only. Two days later, they pulled all of that back and told him he'd have to go on the road again.

I get that the job market is tough, but don't lie to people. I did let him come back while he figures it out, because he did give three weeks' notice, and it was such a drastically higher offer. And I'm shorthanded.
 
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Tmac

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One of my CDL truck drivers left a few days ago, to work for a big trucking company that offered him DOUBLE. They told him they'd pay him a full week for working 20 hours a week, 10k signing bonus, full benefits, paid vacation and local driving only. Two days later, they pulled all of that back and told him he'd have to go on the road again.

I get that the job market is tough, but don't lie to people. I did let him come back while he figures it out, because he did give three weeks' notice, and it was such a drastically higher offer. And I'm shorthanded.

There’s Chinese market exporters hiring CDL drivers in LINE at some mills and offering them cash to walk away from the truck in LINE.

Wild times.
 

Shonuff

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They told my guy to reapply for the position, its no longer open. Nice.