Zero to a Billion: Week 1

A quick note for anyone who has not been keeping up: Zero to a Billion is my 40 year documentary that started on May 1st, 2017. It is my ridiculous pursuit from what was less than $0 all the way to a billion. I am currently worth about $150k, which is obviously less than a drop in the bucket that works to fill the billion dollar ocean, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Week one was nuts! There is no going back now, I’m officially accountable to provide my experiences, lessons, wins, losses and results so that comes with a lot of excitement, but also a little anxiety. While I know there are only a few people keeping up at this point, I’m taking this on as if the whole world is watching.

Restos and Bars

I decided to jump back into the restaurant business. I looked at a few different units, but ultimately landed on one in an amazing downtown Toronto neighbourhood. The cost of the unit was manageable, the landlord was a gem to work with and the restaurant itself was in the best condition of any unit I’ve ever looked to purchase.

We moved ahead and smashed away at all of our due dilligence, reworked some of the lease agreement and had our lawyers tie everything up promptly. We take possession on May 23rd. We will be closing it down for about a month or so, hoping to launch with time to capitalize on the crazy Summer business.

We are going to document the reno and opening process for social media so that the restaurant brand itself has a story or beginning. My plan is to continue putting these units up and scale the brand asap. Once we start posting progress videos, I will link them to these articles.

Tech Biz

Week one also saw a new agreement with ModelMob. This is an app that is aiming to disrupt the current agency driven economy in modelling, providing more transparency, access and quick payment for models. This is an investment of both time and money, but worth while given their stage of development. We acutally met with a tech accelerator group just yesterday, it was a lot like a Shark Tank meeting, but overall great experience.

With all this momentum, we also started the process of creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for our own in-house tech platform. It’s called vrtk.al (vertical). It aims to provide a monetization and education platform for influence marketers. It fits perfectly alongside our branding and social media marketing company, Do It Live Media.

All The Other Stuff

This week was a good test to see how well I could leverage myself and my assets. I had to throw down some money to maintain majority control of the restaurant, buy into ModelMob and launch an MVP for vrtk.al. That said, the more I seem to be doing the more support I am getting from others. People have been very receptive to my ambitions and are excited to jump on the train.

I hired a great number two, Ethan. He’s young, intelligent and will just do whatever the fuck needs to be done. He’s a long-term hire so he will be definitely be getting his hands in on some ownership over the next few months. I’m a firm believer that you should give your people shares and parts of your business. It keeps them dedicated and hard working, but also trustworthy and appreciative. That being said, the team is growing quickly. I’m of the mind that I should bite off more than I can chew then hire out when needed. I anticipate that we will be up to 75 employees by the end of summer. Not a bad dent to make in the 300 I as hoping to have over the next 5 years.

I have some fitness competitions coming up this month so I’ve been a wee bit cranky, my documenting skills for the weekly YouTube show need a little work but all in all, a great first week.

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