Mr. Hobo Millionaire

Thoughts On Choosing A Business Name

For those of you looking to start a company, I’d like to share some advice that I missed and/or ignored early in my life. It’s this… when you name your company, make it as GENERIC as possible. Follow me on this…

 

My business naming mistake…

 

In short, I made the mistake early in my business of naming my company with a part of my name. This was around 1997. It started out because I was consulting, and there was nothing else for me to consider. I mean… it was just ME… doing technical consulting/programming. It was never going to be anyone else, but me, so no big deal. The internet was still relatively new. I wasn’t looking to build a “company”.

 

Fast forward 3 years or so, and I had had some small internet success consulting and training on a niche software product. Within that niche industry, I started selling software add-ons. This was the beginning of a 20 year company naming fiasco.

 

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Never Say No

If you want to be successful in business, never say no. Serve your customers. Your customers simply want to be helped.

This post is going to start off with a bit of a rant about a recent, negative, experience with American Airlines. I promise there is much more to this post than just this rant. I’ll share with you some key points on how I was successful with my software company by serving my customers and finding a way to say “yes”. This initial story about American Airlines will be an example of how NOT to handle customers.

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That Time… I Invested In A Three Piece Wheel Company

Today I’m starting a new series called “That Time”. With it, I will share some interesting stories (usually about entrepreneurship, failure, and what I learned from it). Without further ado…

Back around 2007, while still working on my yet-to-be-successful, one-man, small software company, I was still experimenting with a number of small business ideas and investments. I really couldn’t find enough ways to lose my money. Haha.

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Find Your Why… For FI

My pursuit of financial freedom started in my 20’s (30 years ago). I did not know anything back then about FI or FIRE, or one of the original books on all of this… “Your Money or Your Life”. I simply didn’t want to have to work and be controlled like my father was at his jobs. My father served in Vietnam in the 101st Airborne in his early 20’s. After that, with his jobs, he pretty much got up to an alarm at 5am for almost 50 years until he died. While I deeply respected my father’s hard work and sacrifices (I’ve never known anyone who worked harder), I wanted more, and I wanted to not be a slave to an alarm clock for the rest of my life.

Fast-forward to 2012, I was finally making some good money after 20+ years of hustle (200+K of profit). I was technically a millionaire on paper by then due to my software subscription business model (X multiplier of net profit with recurring revenue), but I certainly didn’t feel like it. Just a few years prior I was paying off IRS debt (that’s another long story), and I had zero savings. Yes, you read that correct, zero.

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Don’t Screw People Over

A lot of people will do anything, or more specifically, say anything to get a deal done. It doesn’t matter if it hurts the other party. As long as I get the sell or close the deal or win the negotiation… as long as I “win” that’s all that matters.

You reap what you sow.

God

Don’t screw people over. You’ll eventually get screwed over, and then you will know how bad it feels.

Mr. Hobo Millionaire

Have you ever been sold something you really didn’t need? Has a car salesman gotten you to do $2,000 in upgrades that you really had no business buying? I’ve had banks and other financial entities mess me over with fine print… sure it was my fault I didn’t read it closer, but I trusted them… and they betrayed that trust.

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