Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Entrepreneurial Journey: What have you done for an Entrepreneur lately?

 Jeff Bezos (1999) in HeadQuarters

In Life and Business, we all take different journeys or paths to where we are today.  For most people, that journey is a rocky one. For Entrepreneurs, the journey is a roller-coaster ride with many, many ups and downs. If this is something that doesn't interest you or scares you, don't be an Entrepreneur because it is probably not your calling or passion. A lot about entrepreneurship is counterintuitive.  And when I say counterintuitive, this means the outcome is not expected.  A great example that happens to most Entrepreneurs concerns your support network. Many Entrepreneurs will find out at the beginning of the venture that many people may want you to fail, this includes your close friends, family, relatives, and former colleagues.  Maybe, it could be that they are jealous or they just don't understand what entrepreneurship is all about.  Sometimes, it hurts you that this person who wants you to fail is your wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, your best friend, or even a close mentor.  Think about it Entrepreneurs are humans too and we have feelings. Entrepreneurs are also the economic engines of the economy so they deserve more respect than is usually given.

The inspiration for this article was one of our Twitter followers and a fellow Entrepreneur, Fred Blumenberg, with the Twitter handle @TheRealFredLee.  He posed this question as his pinned Tweet, "Has this happened to you?"  He made the statement below to some other Twitter power users about support in life and entrepreneurship (SEE BELOW).

To be honest, Entrepreneurs don't really get much respect and are often misunderstood. This is why you have to have a thick-skin to criticism and understand how to filter out feedback.  All feedback will not be positive or even helpful as an Entrepreneur. Normally, the only other person that may understand your situation or feelings is a fellow Entrepreneur.  One of our other Twitter followers with the handle @ryantnt stated succinctly what entrepreneurs endure.

In the link below is another example of individuals going through the Entrepreneurial Journey.  This in the sense that they were disrespected, ignored, told that they were crazy, and basically laughed at by everyone.  As confident Entrepreneurs, they got the last laugh when you look at their Facebook and Bitcoin fortune.  Tyler Winklevoss said in an interview, "We've turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back."

How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune

The BIG question for you is this.  How have you as a wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, BFF, VC, Mentor, Entrepreneur, Banker, or a member of the Media supported an Entrepreneur lately?  It reminds me of that Janet Jackson song by a similar title, "What have you done for me lately?"  Yes, I grew up during the 80's and 90's so I remember this Janet Jackson song.  Most Entrepreneurs are already thick-skinned, positive and very focused on achieving their passion.  But with a positive, supporting network, the Entrepreneurial Journey will have less downs and more ups.  So go back to this question when thinking about entrepreneurship.  

What have you done for an Entrepreneur (me) lately?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Wealth Multiplier Effect of Entrepreneurship

Looking back to my childhood.  If someone were to ask me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My answer would of definitely been an Entrepreneur.  This question needs to be answered as Entrepreneur is an odd answer most children would not respond to as their first choice. Here lies the cultural issue as the basic understanding of the wealth effect that is not taught early in school. Early entrepreneurial education will be discussed in a future article on our blog. My upbringing was inspired by management thinkers and motivators such as Tony Robbins, Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Jim Collins, Michael Porter, and Daniel Pink. Did you know that, according to the SBA and Census, 2 out of every 3 net new jobs are created by small businesses?   And we were all small businesses at one time during our infancy stage. We want to give you a couple of great examples of the wealth multiplier effect of Entrepreneurship to support a theory.

George Clooney - Casamigos

Most people would recognize George Clooney as an actor not an Entrepreneur.  But for those who drink tequila, you probably know the story of Casamigos. The name is clever marketing as "casa" means house in Spanish and "amigos" is friends in Spanish. Casamigos started as an idea between Clooney and friend Rande Gerber while they were in Mexico.

What started as a passion project turned into a successful private-label tequila business. So successful that it was sold to Diageo for up to $1 billion. What was the secret to their success? They focused on the product inside the bottle - not the bottle or label itself. Gerber puts it this way, "We have an inexpensive bottle, but the best quality tequila inside."

The two founders stated it was never about money in starting the business.  In their own words from a Business Insider interview, "What was really important for George and I was that we have the best tequila, but we make it affordable for everyone," he said. "George doesn’t need the money, I didn’t need it, Mike didn’t need it — it wasn’t the reason behind launching a tequila. We wanted everyone to be able to drink it and not be exclusive."

The real reason we are writing about this is what Clooney did several years later. Many of you who don't know Clooney may think he is the typical rich-guy actor who doesn't care about anyone else besides himself. This can be seen often with celebrity wealth but this instance shows something different.

On September 27, 2013, Clooney had his business partner Gerber call up 14 of his best guy friends whom they nicknamed "the boys" to a dinner at his house.  When at Clooney's house, a black suitcase for his 14 best guy friends were waiting for them.  To their surprise, the suitcases contained $1 million dollars broken down in $20 dollar bills. Clooney "gifted" this to his boys for their help in his early days and even paid the taxes on the $1 million. For the long story on how this played out, we included the link to the $1 Million Story. This probably wouldn't of happened if they didn't have the entrepreneurial windfall from the sale of Casamigos. But it goes to show how Entrepreneurial wealth has a multiplier effect as his friends will either spend or invest this in activities that stimulate the economy.

Kingston Technology - Fountain Valley

The Kingston Technology story is similar to the Clooney story but I am mentioning it here because it is in our backyard of Orange County, California. The twist on this story is that these employees didn't become millionaires but were rewarded with a special bonus upon an exit strategy of their employer.

John Tu and David Sun, the founders of Kingston Technology, decided to share the wealth when they reaped the rewards of entrepreneurship. They took $100 million from the sale of their privately held enterprise and gave it to employees — a spontaneous gesture to those who had helped make the memory-module company a market leader.

Kingston’s 550 workers each received, on average, $130,000 — about $180,000 today. It didn’t make anyone millionaires but may have improved these employee's lives. But this substantial middle-class bonus motivated the employees and substantiated the fruits of their labor. In reality, none of the employees expected anything from the Founders so this meant a lot more to the employees that the Founders valued their contribution.

Our belief is that the giving pledge should be the investing pledge. The reason we believe this is that  the giving pledge is missing the key wealth multiplier effect of Entrepreneurship.  Sure, some of the money may make it to Entrepreneurs but most of it will inevitably go to charitable causes. In the scenario of an investing pledge, the funds would be going towards the following:
  • Entrepreneurial education for Adults
  • Entrepreneurial development at the High School and Elementary Levels
  • Trade schools for those not going to college
  • Venture Capital for Start-ups who promise to invest back into the Fund  -  "The Investing Pledge Venture Capital Fund"
  • Job training for the unemployed or underemployed
  • Business investment in minority communities and business districts

The multiplier effect of wealth is a numbers theory.  This means by spreading wealth to Entrepreneurs it multiplies to others.  The "giving pledge" is a variation of this but what is missing is the multiplier effect as it doesn't fully leverage the funds. We will explain it this way in using a rich versus poor example. If you give a "chunk" of money to a homeless (poor), they may buy something essential like food or waste it by buying something non-essential like liquor or lottery tickets. For the Entrepreneur (rich), you give him or her a "chunk" of money.  There is a pretty high possibility the Entrepreneur will use that to expand the business, hire employees, or buy equipment which all contributes to the local, national, and global economy.  This is not a political argument but a economic argument.

The two examples we gave you are great examples of the "pay it forward" theory which is diagrammed below. It is based on the movie with the same name "Pay It Forward."  The basic premise is if every person affects three other people positively it creates a multiplier effect until you are see massive positive change.  In our scenario, an Entrepreneur invests in three other Entrepreneurs and those three Entrepreneurs invest in three other Entrepreneurs until you see the wealth multiplier effect in action.  The two examples we gave above of the 14 millionaires created by Clooney or the $130,000 on average given to 550 workers by Kingston Technology creates a wealth multiplier effect. The multiplier effect happens as this "chunk" of money will be spent on cars, houses, education for the kids, or vacations.  More specifically, this would be $85.5 million multiplied by a 3X multiplier for a total of $256.5 million. The $85.5 million is calculated as [$14M + ($130K * 550)]. The wealth multiplier effect, in most cases, would support or help grow a business with the money invested.

For those successful Entrepreneurs, there is a responsibility to the employees, partners, vendors and the community who helped you become a successful Entrepreneur. The power is the Wealth Multiplier Effect and the great responsibility is to invest back generously to those who made you successful. Are you practicing the Wealth Multiplier Effect of Entrepreneurship?

Best Regards & Success in 2018,

Tony @FreeAgent#1

Follow us on Twitter @freeagentglobal

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2018 New Year Resolutions: Will you capitalize on your goals for the new year?

2018 is around the corner. Will you miss your opportunity in the NEW year?

Thanksgiving Day passed us in November.  Christmas Day passed us in December.  And New Year's Day is in a few days. The big question is how are you planning GREATNESS in 2018.  Or did you think I was going to ask you the same routine question of, "What is your New Year's resolution?"

We would not ask you this question because we really want you to achieve your goals not just talk about them. My favorite quote is below from Benjamin Franklin, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." It's one of my favorite quotes as it emphasizes the importance of planning. We believe this is why many New Year resolutions are not achieved.  Lack of planning and preparation. With this audience of Free Agents & Entrepreneurs, we are confident that the focus is getting results not making excuses.

We are not experts in psychology.  But we did find this INC. article on simple strategies to achieving your resolutions. For those of you too busy, we have the high-level talking points of the article below.  This is what Dan Scalco, Founder and Director of Growth at Digitalux, recommends you do in the new year to achieve your New Year's resolutions.  Here's how: You start by implementing the following strategies to craft New Year's resolutions that actually stick.

  1. Identify your motivations. It's very helpful to determine your motivation style before establishing any resolutions. ...

  2. Emphasize actions over results. ...

  3. Get real. ...

  4. Plan to succeed. ...

  5. Enlist support.

Now that you know these simple strategies. What is your excuse for not achieving GREATNESS in 2018? Our call to action is for you not to plan to fail.  ACHIEVE the greatness which is yours in 2018...

We wish you a Happy New Years and much SUCCESS in 2018 from the Team!  Follow us on Twitter @freeagentglobal for updates and launches in 2018.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Power of Positive Culture in your Business

What kind of culture do you have in your business?  Is it a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, and openness?  Or is a toxic culture?  The answer to this is important because it determines whether your company will be GREAT or MEDIOCRE.  For Free Agents and Entrepreneurs, culture should be the first thing you develop into your start-up not something done later. Company Culture once developed needs to be maintained and monitored towards greatness (SEE GRAPH). If you don't build a positive culture into your business, the inevitable consequences will greatly affect your business later.

SOURCE: Corporate Culture – Integrating Yourself – A study by Artur Victoria | Artur Victoria | Pulse | LinkedIn

Why worry about culture?  We would say the answer would be the same as in the question, "Why worry about strategy?" Because culture is just as important as strategy in having a competitive advantage in the MarketPlace.  Whether it is the Bro-Culture in Technology, Hollywood sexual harassment scandals or Venture Capitalists stepping down due to sexual harassment, the root cause of many of these issues we are seeing in the news is the failure to maintain and enforce a positive culture. In many of these cases, we doubt management or employees said one of our Corporate Values was sexual harassment. But the looming question is where was the leadership in these companies?  A couple of current head-lining examples are The Weinstein Company and Uber. It was known for decades that Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood had harassment issues but no one took a strong stance against him due to a culture of fear. I was moved and realized this culture of fear at The Weinstein Company when reading an article from Mira Sorvino on the current Weinstein Scandal. What are the risks of a toxic culture?  Scanning the news, Uber has been the posterboy for toxic cultures in technology. The management failures that occurred are too many to discuss in this article.  But to show you why Uber is a great current example of a toxic culture case study, we have included several links on the Uber scandal. It's something that is too lengthy to explain on this platform.
What are some of the easy signs you have a toxic culture?
  • your company is mired in political bureaucracy and infighting.
  • your employees leave early or run out the door when their shift ends.
  • your employees seem disengaged and don't give any feedback anymore.
  • your employees aren't having fun and don't believe you have an inclusive environment.
  • your managers are stuck in their offices and not practicing MBWA.
  • the favorite meeting place for employees is the Human Resource Department.
If you see any of these signs at your company, the writing is on the wall for a failing business.  Below are some resources on corporate culture and the bottom line on culture from several of the most well-known Business and Leadership Gurus.  The Bottom Line for Entrepreneurs and Free Agents:  Don't risk a scandal because you did not use the Power of Positive Culture in your Business!

Best Regards & Success,

Chief Free Agent #1

P.S.  Check out our new community!

MUST READ if you are in Technology or Hollywood, Entrepreneur, HR or VC!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

We are thankful for all the Free Agents and Entrepreneurs that build this economy! What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving Day?

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. I am grateful for what I am and have. Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude."

--William Arthur Ward--

As Thanksgiving Day approaches and Christmas follows soon after, it is a time for reflection and a time to give Thanks for all we have.  For some of us, this may be difficult.  2017 has turned out to be a year of World and Political chaos, mass shootings, economic uncertainty, and natural disasters never seen before. But in a great country like the U.S.A., we have learned to pick ourselves up and overcome insurmountable obstacles.

I would like to get the conversation going and share what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. Several major thanks are for a healthy Family, the opportunity to start a great business, thankful for my Team at, and for all the people who have supported us this year. This is important for me to say "Thank You" as a leader and servant of the community, the Nation, and the World. We sometimes forget to say this in the hustle and bustle of Life and Business. Especially during Thanksgiving, we have to be thankful for what we have.

Our Community of Free Agents and Entrepreneurs are important to us in our business and the economy. Did you know this statistic about this demographic group? Since the end of the Great Recession, small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) have created 62 percent (8.3 million) of the net new private-sector jobs (13.4 million), matching their historic rate over the last 25 years (Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics). This means small businesses create 2 out of 3 net new private-sector jobs. Based on this statistic, the importance of growing this demographic group is obvious.  At, we are passionate and focused on helping this important demographic group succeed through our global business platform. We will be expanding our business and our social media efforts in 2018 to develop and grow our Community of Free Agents and Entrepreneurs.  Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @freeagentglobal to get these major announcements first as followers. We sincerely appreciate and thank you!

Thank you again to all the Free Agents and Entrepreneurs growing our community and our economy.  This includes all the SMBs, freelancers, Mompreneurs, Solopreneurs, Olderpreneurs, Gig Economy workers, Contractors, Twitter Followers, Customers, financial Partners, Vendors, and Venture Capitalists.  Did we miss anyone?  We appreciate you too!!!  Let us know what you are thankful for?

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Day from the Team!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2017 "Best in the West" Venture Capital rankings

These are the results of's 2017 "Best in the West" Venture Capital rankings.  For more information on methodology, visit our community blog link at 2017 VC ranking blog.

The Social Capital Team beat out eight of their VC peers to achieve #1 ranking in OVM and QVM!

DISCLAIMER: has no investment in or from any of these venture capital firms in our annual rankings.

#1 in Portfolio Mindshare - Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)

"It's always about mindshare, not market share."

-Ron Johnson-

     #1 in Portfolio Growth - Social Capital     

"Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together."

-James Cash Penney-

#1 in Diversity Metric - KPCB

"Diversity: the art of thinking independently together."

-Malcolm Forbes-

#1 in Qualitative Values Metric (QVM) -  Social Capital     

“True leaders don't look at just the outward appearances in the selection of team members, they look at one's core values and heart.” 

-Farshad Asl-

#1 in Overall VC Metric (OVM) -  Social Capital     

"Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed."

-Mwai Kibaki-

NOTE: For inquiries or questions about the ranking methodology, please email our Engagement Team at Thank you for your business!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Is Social Media really that social? Social Media is killing our off-line relationships.

The Noise within Social Media - Can you hear yourself?

The SOCIAL in Social Media seems to have a positive connotation when you think about it. But are we really that social when we are on Social Media? Do you say hello to everyone or are you interacting with others offline? Isn't that what Social Media is about when we are on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn? For reference, I looked up the definition of social on an online dictionary.

Wikipedia defines social as "The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms as applied to populations of humans and other animals. It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary."

Interactions can be in many forms including selling, regular conversations, likes/dislikes or comments. The dark side of Social Media are people are more brash and they often lose sight of common sense and etiquette. Have you ever seen an episode of FLAME WARS happen before your eyes? 😆😇😈😍😼  Yeah, you know those posters with no common sense or decency. You can call them Trolls or Flamers.  Or you can look in the mirror and that might be you.  Psychologists call this occurrence as online disinhibition effect. The negative consequences of online disinhibition effect should not be ignored and is often a sign of a larger social issue.  It's a disturbing trend we see a lot more of in Social Media.

Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation in the world today.  But have you noticed the disturbing trend among Millennials when it comes to offline versus online relationships.  Go on a college campus and you will experience this disturbing trend.  Students are looking down at their smart phones or tablets. They most likely won't look up to acknowledge you or even say "Hello" when you past them.  But they might text you about the latest gadget or twitter about the latest fad or trend.  Millennials are replacing offline interactions with online interactions at a disturbing rate.

Some other funny social quirks of technology.  Have you ever got that automated DM on Twitter when you follow someone? But then no follow-up on a attempted social interaction.  I think in the age of Artificial Intelligence we could do a lot better. Classic example of high-tech with no high-touch.  Another example is when I go to the bank, I use the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and manage my accounts online.  But once in a while, I like to go inside the bank and say "Hello" to a human being to process a more difficult banking transaction.  We call it a mixed strategy of high-tech and high-touch. A strategy that is interdependent on one another and involves the human side of technology.

So what can we do to ensure Social Media does not kill our off-line relationships? Here are some of my suggestions and you may want to add a few of your own:

  • NEVER replace your offline relationships with your online relationships.  Reality will catch up to you inevitably in the end.

  • Be NICE to each other when we are on Social Media.  Realize we are all humans and we make mistakes online and offline.  If nothing else, agree to disagree.

  • LIVE for the moment!  When you are in Church, in a meeting, or on a date, TURN OFF all your gadgets and Social Media.  Nothing more annoying or damaging to a real relationship than to be ignored because of Social Media.

  • REALIZE that we live in reality and the need to interact with people in the real world is a basic skill and necessity. Social Media should be another tool and outlet for interaction.

  • PAUSE your Social Media for a moment when someone approaches you. Whether that someone is a strange, family or friend, look up and acknowledge them, then say "Hello" and smile.

I found a great YouTube video on Social Media which is a TEDx talk by Allison Graham. 😁  After watching it, go out and spend some time to ensure Social Media is not killing your off-line relationships.

Have a GREAT week from the Team!

How social media makes us unsocial | Allison Graham | TEDxSMU

Best Regards & Success,

Chief Free Agent #1

P.S.  Check out our new community!