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The VP Contest – Ramping Up!

October 9, 2010

I decided to take a break last night and relax with B.  I think it was the first home made meal we had made in almost 3 weeks.  She has been just as insanely busy as I have and we have definitely been neglecting a few life fundamentals.  We spent some time reflecting on how crazy the past month and a half has been and I was explaining to her how fortunate I am to not only be able to participate in such an experience, however, to have someone in my life that supported me without question through the whole process.  I unveil these things not in order to be sappy and mushy, but to bring it all back to the real world perspective.  There has been a relatively large sacrifice from many people in order for me to work as efficiently and to be as dedicated as I have been in this particular contest.

Therefore, as we sat back last night watching the new Karate Kid, with Jackie Chan & Jaden Smith, (although it was somewhat entertaining, it will never replace the original) there was a line in the movie that just seemed to strike a chord with me.  Jackie Chan is trying to get through to Jaden and he says: “Your Focus… Needs More Focus.”

This movie had a different effect on my from the original version.  When I was 7 years old and as I watched Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) rise to be a great karate champion, I was running around “Hi’ ya-ing”, kicking and karate chopping everything around me.  Last night made me realize that its really time to focus.  My focus needs more focus.  Although I feel  my efforts have been laser like, its time to ramp up even more.  Too many people have contributed to my efforts.  Too many people have supported me in this contest not to win.

Therefore, it’s all about bringing it home and taking everything I have done, turn the last corner of this marathon race and start sprinting.  The sprint begins today and I will do everything I can to power to next Friday, Oct. 15th.

From this point forward… Winning is everything.

The VP Contest – It’s All About the Sponsor’s

October 7, 2010

I am pretty convinced that 99% or more of the people out there have experienced some sort of economic hardship during the past couple of years and I am thoroughly convinced that 100% know someone close to them that has gone through some sort of economic collapse.  It truly has been a tough time for the vast majority of us and I think its necessary to take a moment to reflect and not forget our past as we move into the future.  I entered this contest for a number of reasons and those that are close to me probably understand this more than others.  I decided to invest my time and energies in a contest that I believed and still to this day believe can be a platform  that enables me to prove to myself that I have what it takes to compete, survive, thrive and excel in the business world.  Sounds pretty selfish, right?

During this painstaking and challenging journey that I have endured the past 6 weeks, I have met some truly incredible people that I would have not otherwise have met.  My friends, family and fiance have been incredibly supportive.  Julie, my machine behind the scenes and unruly supporter has devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy and talent to help drive projects forward.  The countless companies and new partnerships that I have built relationships with all on the faith of the future has been an incredible experience.  I did not anticipate the “human” factor that has slowly yet steadily seeped its way into this short yet cut throat competition.  Even though I still have a week left and I am working as hard as possible, some of the initial dust has settled and I have had some time to truly reflect on the chaos of the past month and a half.  From the start, I have always had nothing but the best intentions to perform for the sponsoring companies and I wish each and every one of them the best in the future.  However, I have grown fond and attached to the owners and staff of these businesses and wish to do more for them when I proceed away from this contest environment.  These small business owners, just like you and me, are fighting to build their dreams.  Fighting to stay alive and put money on the table to provide food and shelter, something that we seemingly take for granted during the best of times.

Therefore, I am more than ecstatic on the decision that I made today along with another contestant.  We have crossed the boundaries of the individual dual and have decided to join forces on a specific mission.  We both feel the same in regard to doing everything we possibly can to drive value to those that have put their faith in us.  Those that have paid hard to come by money in an effort to build their dream.  So as we enter the last week of the competition on Monday, I am excited to work alongside a final 10 contestant to work efficiently on our own individual strengths to make an impact for FitPass.

The VP Contest – Mid Week Grind

October 6, 2010

I don’t have much to blog about tonight other than the fact that I am hard at work trying to finalize a few opportunities as well as work on some infrastructure development.  Therefore, I figured I would share one of the more interesting online videos I have watched in the recent past.  The narrator is Dan Pink and he touches on some interesting findings in regard to Drive and Motivation.  Dan recently spoke at a TED Conference and the following is an animated version of his talk:

The VP Contest – Virtual Reality Day

October 6, 2010

The VP Contest – A Great Monday Start!

October 5, 2010

I have pushed myself to close out the dreary and typically dead Monday’s in the past and  I was fearing that today would mimic those that I have become accustomed too.  Today, however, was the type of Monday that I needed to build momentum towards a strong finish.  I want to first note that I had verbally closed a deal with a distributor that wanted to carry “Passion”, the drink provided by Club-Bev, a couple of weeks ago.  It was a dream deal for this company and I had my reservations whether it was going to actually go through.  However, after we delivered our first 30 cases this morning (appx. 1500 cans) at the distributors location, I realized it was a real deal and we were moving forward as planned.  This is a major victory, as Club-Bev is a new company with maybe a dozen accounts at the most, and this distributor is set to unleash upon the 1200 stores he has access too.  If we can successfully move these cases, we are poised to deliver him a palette, which consists of 82 cases.  I hope to put an even bigger smile on the owner of Club-Bev as he definitely deserves this to happen.

Currently, it is 2:30am.  I am tired and plan on waking up in a few hours as I have a very busy schedule planned for… I guess later today.  I have to travel to Hollywood which will eat up most of day, therefore, I must accomplish a full day of work by 2pm.  I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish, not only in regard to Club-Bev, however, it was all about FitPass Network.  FitPass is a company that has created a consolidated fitness  membership platform in the central San Diego area.  They have 30 different independent fitness location rolled up under one membership card.  Great company, great product and definitely a great value.  They are new, therefore, branding and trying to hit a concentrated target market is vitally important.  I will list out the connections I made today and should have answers by tomorrow for most:

  • I established a great relationship with Active.com, they are planning on helping roll out the FitPass Card to their network.
  • I was able to network my way up to the national buyer for Sports Chalet where they are considering placing FitPass within their local San Diego stores.
  • I was able to win the support of the owner of GoVavi.com, enough to have him email and introduce me to the CEO of his company in an effort to potentially utilize their network for distribution.
  • I am currently in negotiations with 2 different radio stations in San Diego to conduct a FitPass promo via their broadcast to help brand and sell the product.
  • I forged a relationship with an athletic apparel wholesaler who is working on coupling FitPass with a few of his products as well as introducing it to RoadRunner Sports.
  • I secured a relationship with the Health and Wellness department at the University of San Diego where they have agreed to promote FitPass to their students as well as introduce me to the head of the Human Resource department in an effort to provide the product to their employees.

I am excited with the numerous opportunities that I have brought to the table for the FitPass campaign.  I am certain that securing even one of the pending opportunities would be substantial for the company.  I will have to wait and see as to which deals I can close, however, at the moment they all look promising.  I have learned to not get too eagerly optimistic until the deals are closed, however, I feel the strategies that I have put into place have a strong synergy with the brand and the barriers of entry are low.  I will update on the results of these pending negotiations as they will either fizzle away or come to fruition through out the week.

In addition to my forward progress with FitPass and Club-Bev, I was asked to be part of a special assignment by Earth-List.  This means a great deal to me as I am greatly fond of their mission, brand, product as well as the members that drive their company forward.  It is rare to see such a passionate group work together incessantly to build their dream.  I am honored that they put such an important task in my hands and I will do my best work to help them succeed in this mission.

I eagerly away tomorrow as I have some very important meetings that can shift the landscape of my accomplishments even more so.  I have some exciting projects in the works and will go into more detail later this week.  Until then…Good Night!

What is The VP Contest?

October 3, 2010

As I utilized this past weekend to formulate new strategies that I plan on implementing over the course of the next few days, I realized that I have done little in regard to explaining to people what The VP Contest is and why I am passionate about my opportunity to be part of it.

The VP Contest is a business reality show/contest that will be traveling to 26 different cities throughout the US over the course of the next couple of years.  25 contestants are selected in each city and will be given the opportunity to work alongside 5 different companies in 5 different industries.  The contest is 7 weeks long and at the end of every week the contestants will be introduced to a new sponsoring company.  In addition, 3 contestants will be eliminated weekly based on their performance until the end of the 5th week, where 10 contestants will remain with an all out race to the finish. One winner will be declared at the conclusion and will be  presented with an opportunity to work with the production company or one of the sponsoring companies and obtain a base salary of at least $100k.

This sounded absolutely insane to me, however, I was enthusiastic to test my abilities against others that considered themselves to be professionals in business development and sales & marketing.  Therefore, I applied for the opportunity, was called in to do a filmed interview and was subsequently selected to be one of the 25 contestants.

Week after week we have been introduced to a new sponsoring company. In normal, real life situations, one would assume they would be allowed time to fully understand a company, its competitors, the nature of the industry and be given resources to launch a strategic campaign. This is not the case with The VP Contest. In order to be successful, I am required to learn and launch as quickly as possible with little to no marketing budget. This format has really forced me to think creatively and to utilize whatever available resource or connection I had to push my projects forward as quickly, cheaply and effectively as possible.

I have decided to publish my accomplishments in the achievements page of this blog as I think its important to stand behind the work that I have done.  It can be argued that it may provide insight to the remaining 9 other contestants, however, I feel confident that the work that has been accomplished would be close to impossible to replicate with the remaining time left in the contest. The items listed in the achievements page are the items that I have been working on or completed since Sept.1.

It would also be greatly appreciated for any of you to share your insight or introduce a lead that you feel fits with one of the sponsors:

I will share my daily experiences throughout the next two weeks and greatly appreciate all of those that care to take the time to read and follow along my journey to a new beginning.

The San Diego VP Contest – Final Weeks

October 1, 2010

Starting this weekend I will begin adding to my blog and during the course of the next 2 weeks I plan to document and share the final weeks of what has been a very long, challenging and tiresome adventure.

I decided to blog my experience as I feel there is much I can learn from this opportunity.  Your comments and support is greatly appreciated and I look forward to sharing the next couple of weeks with those that are interested.  For those of you whom are not familiar with what I am currently involved in, please visit:    http://www.thevpcontest.com.