Strange day today – was feeling a bit edgy – as I do when I get a lot of small things on my plate and not able to focus on big things. So, to deal with it, I just focused on getting everything tasked and recorded – to clear up the mind from the minutia. It helped.
Overall, I feel we are moving to slow, and not fast enough for what I would like to see. It seems every time I touch financial stuff I get ticked off that I have so much cleanup to do. Basically, I have to rework the whole financial system, inventory reporting, bank consolidations, accounting, taxation, transfer pricing, etc. I’m moving forward of course, but ever time I touch it, I’m frustrated that so much time has passed (so many years) and that I have so little in place compared to where it could have been.
Basically, I’m was looking for a strong CFO – and it has taken me a while to get a full grasp of what I want. I started off thinking that I need a CFO / fundraising guy – but as I engaged with those types, I have now come to realize that I actually don’t need that level. Essentially, my thought before was that these high level CFO boys would clean up the mess I inherited, but the long of it is, that this mess is mine to clean up – and no matter whom I get on board – it will have to be me for to get this on the right track. Maybe it has been this realization that made me bit cranky today.
But, the bottom line is this – Financial department is a mess, it hasn’t been setup well and there is no magic pill, but to pull up my sleeves and get it done. In fact its not rocket science – and hence – I have decided to go for a junior level controller type – younger, fresher, troubleshooter instead of a high level person.
Basically what I’m seeing is that the high level CFO boys want to come in at 10-15 points and for what they offer that is just plain way, way to much to give up for what I need. So, I’m going to go just hire a controller, setup the infrastructure and get things cleaned up – which I think will be a few months – at which point, if I need a higher level CFO, I will be able to bring them on on salary instead of equity. Point being is that 10-15 points in equity to someone, is equal to $3MM USD – and there is just no one out there that is worth that much. So, as I have learned before, I’m better of giving up the 10-15% to strategic investors – and then using that money to buy a CFO I need without any equity play for them.
So, what that still means is that I need to clean up the mess myself, and this is just something I truly dislike doing. But, this will not be the first time, that I will do things I don’t like, so my goal here will be to get this done and over with as quickly as I can and then get on with it.
So, the good news is that I now know what kind of person I want to hire, what I need to do. Execution won’t be fun, but the description ‘”Chief Janitor and Bottle Washer” is very fitting. I’m the finance department Janitor now – its going to be my role and I will do the sweeping up.
So, the positive on the day is that I book the flights – going to fly into LA and meet with Jeremy from Pearl Paradise – its a tight schedule – I fly in at 12:30PM, meet with Mr. J from 3PM till 8PM, then next day fly out to Germany at 11AM. I can tell I’m in a not so great mood – because already the though of going through LAX is making my teeth grind! Even the though of that fact that I’m flying united is grinding me – because United is just such a crappy airline compared to Asian airlines. I got first on this trip – but even first on United is like business on Asian airlines. Hmmm.. as I write this…its quite obvious that I’m tired. 🙂
But, it will be good to meet Jeremy in person – I want to meet him to see what kind of man he is – and to see if there is things we can do together. To do this, I actually only need 5 minutes – so, the 5 hours will be more than enough to asses if we should play in sandbox together.
Germany is looking fun though, and it looks like M and I will do a roadtrip. Trying to setup meetings with C level boys at Amazon.de to see what kind of play we can make there (if any) – and to also asses the type of people I would work with, and what it would look like to work with them. At this level of play, there would need to be a strategic co-operation with Amazon.de for me to be interested in doing things with them.
Beyond that, cleared off my calendar for the week – lots of prep for Germany ahead of me – and I can feel that I have pushing myself a bit too hard – so need to ease of and give myself a bit of a rest – mental rest.
On the positive side, I have committed to do Everest Base Camp trip this year – so, shortly I will book a timeslot, and then use that as motivation to get myself in shape. Been wanting to do this for a long time – and I think this is that one extra push I need to get myself moving in the ‘health’ direction.
Spring is finally coming to Beijing, trees are getting green. Still a bit cold, but its going to be nice to get a bit more warmer weather.
So, overall, bit of a cranky day – but the nice thing about cranky (or should I say crappy) days, is that the next day will be better! You need the downs to be able to feel the ups.