Last week was a busy week – many different activities – preparing for Xmas, intensive cash management, operational challenges (huge volume of orders).
But the highlight of last week was me moving forward one step forward to having a mentor. This is one of those things that you can just wish for and cannot buy. And so, in this way I’m very lucky.Pecce came over on Wed – and we spent 3 hours together and his team looking at RedStores business. The man is inspirational – he has more energy, more zest and passion that nearly anyone I know.

It was a great meeting and I must say I had a lot of fun sharing with him what RedStores is, it’s history, challenges and triumphs. It is easy to tell that he had been where I am now – almost in exact spot. What a tremendous learning opportunity. So, I’m off for a full day deep discussion with Pecce on Jan 18th. Little unreal, but Pecce invited me to stay at his villa and give me a day of his time. Only few months ago I was thinking that I really need a mentor. And here it seems to be. Hmmm… Life is strange. Oh, in addition he offered for his cook to teach my cook some of the ultra healthy dishes he eats. All this generosity seemed strange to me – I’m used people wanting things from me. And in that way I’m actually not very good at receiving.

On weekend, sat and Sunday got together with Gerry and started building a detailed model for RedStores. Quite interesting exercise – I have never modeled pearls only to this level of detail – and it’s quite fascinating to see he economics of a web site working over time – where you model traffic – SEO, ppc, – model repeat sales, model traffic growth, etc, etc. Modeling a website and running forecasts on green fields I haven’t don’t before.

So out of this, some VERY significant insights into the economics of the site and some low laying fruit for Pearlsonly and RedStores.

So, with this in mind, I’m very seriously looking at departing PearlsOnly from RedStores – setting Pearlsonly to run as an autonomous business and running RedStores like a startup.

There is something very clean about this structure – and it yields itself easily to investment. So, this week I want to tune up and refine the mode – get financial forecasts – cash needs and areas of where those will be deployed. This will give me a very easy to defend business plan. There is a couple of assumptions that we are going to validate over next weeks.

So, bottom line is that SipverDevotion and MyjewlweryCove gave us some real data. It has showed us what doesn’t work. So, this is helpful as it can help us better understand what does work.

On the personal side, things are complicated and not nearly as peaceful as I would like. That is distracting but I’m working hard to compartmentalize things as much as I can. Doing not bad at it.