Startup and Bootstrapping ideas from Tim Ferriss

As I keep consuming podcasts, one of my favourite show's is Tim Ferriss' interviews. 

And for a change, he got interviewed :)

Tim shares some interesting ideas about startups, from his experience in starting his own businesses, and investing in others from the Silicon Valley, like twitter and uber.

He also talks about deal making, and was asked - for the first time - if he actually works only 4 hours a week. . .

You can hear the podcast here.  I highly recommend it!

My interview on Expresso Morning TV Show

Here's the clip of my interview with Katlego Maboe last Monday, 19th October, on Expresso:

It was fun reminiscing about all my trades, and trying to explain how I find people to trade with.

Just wish I had had a few more minutes to explain my latest item, as it's such a fun item!  

It's all about a lifestyle change, to get you out of the office or house, and help you work as you go, and explore this wonderful world of ours (check out the details here).

As seen on Expresso Morning TV Show

I was invited to chat about bartering and my onematchstick project on the Expresso Morning Show on SABC 3 today!  

Luckily I was down in Cape Town also visiting Strandveld Vineyards (in my next post I'll share an update!) and my family, so I could pop into the studio at the break of day.

it was a very quick and fun chat with Katlego Maboe, and I was hoping they'd ask me about bartering in today's world, and I could share how it's happening now in Greece quite a bit.  

With their financial crisis that broke out in 2010, hundreds of barter communities have materialised and people have started informally bartering more seriously about three years ago.

And it seems to have become even more popular this year, since the banks were closed and bank controls restricting money withdrawals have been put in place since June this year.

Although this alternative economy is not mainstream, it is interesting to watch the likes of butchers swapping a month's worth of meat for tyres for their vans.

Greece is an example of using bartering when times are tough, by finding alternative ways to trade that still allow us to do what we need to do, to get by.

I'm just trying to trade an ordinary little matchstick up into office space, to help startup entrepreneurs. :)

Thanks Katlego and the Expresso Morning Show Team for having me on your show!!

Looking for the "Casey Gerald's" of South Africa

As I work on getting clearer on the onematchstick office, and what we can do with the space once I've traded up to it, I'm staring to think of the start-up entrepreneurs I hope to help.

And if any of them are like this rebel, Casey Gerald, I will be S-O  E-X-C-I-T-E-D!

He believes that if he is out of business in a years time, then he's been successful!  

I'm wondering how this idea fits in as a new business model, that would help my objective of creating more jobs in South Africa by helping more aspiring entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground... but it sure makes you think about existing paradigms of doing business and contributing to making the world a better place.

Here he talks about us needing a new field manual for business, and here he shares "The Essential To Do list for the Aspiring Entrepreneur".

Markets where money is not allowed or doesn’t work

Thanks to one of my favourite podcasts, Freakonomics Radio, I was introduced to Al Roth’s work.  He’s a professor of economics at Stanford, and also the Nobel Prize winner in economics in 2012.

Prof Roth takes what I am doing with my bartering project, to a whole other level.

He develops markets where money is either not allowed to play a role (like organ donation) or doesn’t work in that market (like job markets).  

He has developed algorithms that lead to people being chosen, due to certain criteria, for a match where there is a need.

It’s very interesting to see that money can actually limit needs being met, and that there are ways around using a money system for exchange.  

Examples are what Prof Roth and his colleagues have found – exchange systems that help the supply of goods or services being matched with the best possible needs with no cash involved at all.

I might only have one match...

If there were to be a theme song for where I am with my onematchstick journey, this would be it:

Rachel Platten's Fight song:

and I specifically love this line:
"I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion".
It reflects a sentiment and invitation I often share with my audiences, when I give talks about my journey to date.

This line also sums up the impact I am trying to create as I work on my business plan for what I want to do during my time in the onematchstick office (when I get it, of course!), besides sharing the space with some startup entrepreneurs.  

Slow work, lots of thinking, and researching... but one step at a time and I am progressing.

(PS- Thank you Carey for introducing me to this song!)

July 2015 - Confessions of the ‘matchstick girl

12 June 2006 I started with a single matchstick and now, eleven trades later, I have a Mobile Lifestyle Makeover to trade on... What a journey the last 9 years have been.

Some things I have learnt (and am still learning) about are the attributes of persistence, the line between working hard and burnout, and how to bounce back.

And I confess: the last few months have so exercised my resilience muscle.

Towards the end of 2014, and the beginning of this year, I could see the path from my current item to an office space in Braamfontein. There were a number of pieces in the puzzle all in place – and just one piece missing, being how to link the offer made by Alan Hilburg to the offer of office space from the possible future Landlord that I had...

And then that path fell apart. So the feeling of being so close to my goal became overcome with such disappointment... and with that disappointment, exhaustion set in.

The last time I “burnout” was after the 2 years of trading the T-shirts. And if there is anything I know about applying resilience that I learnt from that time, it was to take some time out, and then go back to my vision, and take it one step forward from there.

And so this is where I find myself now: Re-connecting to the vision of onematchstick and seeing what the opportunities are from this point forward to get to my office space, and help some start-up entrepreneurs.
My view from my temporary
 "office" in Switzerland

The opportunities that have and are presenting themselves now, as I bounce back, are: 
  • A working sabbatical in Switzerland (lucky me!) for this month of July, where I will be coaching from and also working more on defining the plan for onematchstick.
  • Another possible future landlord, in the team from Publicis Machine with their search for someone to share their offices with (thanks to Ray and Jade for alerting me to this opportunity!) 
  • An idea I’ve had for a while to trade on the Mobile Lifestyle Makeover for something even more adventurous – I need to work on that proposal and negotiation.

So if you have any tips on how to bounce back and can teach me more about resilience, please do share!

And for now, here’s more of my view from Switzerland as I re-connect to my vision, and fine tune my action plan for my next step for onematchstick!

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