Restart Loan / Investment Proposal
Thank you for the opportunity to prove my intention in asking for your financial help. I was able to work through the majority of your requests; Goals, Timeline, 5 Plans(ish), and 2 Exit Plans. Hosted in this unpublished environment of the Artifact Concept website is the essence of a new business plan that has been organized around your directions. Kinda jumbled, but the structure is there. I will continue to organize my thoughts over the holiday, but feel free to explore in the meantime.
Placing Context to Question : In response to your email
Brian I have started this reply a number of times and am very torn as to what to tell you. I don’t know you all that well, but like everything I see and both your dad and Nickie have nothing but great things to say about you. Here are my jumbled thoughts.
Let's start by easing your mind of those jumbled thoughts...
...ahhh nature. Feel better? Nope...neither do I, so let's dig into your questions...with a whole document full of my jumbled thoughts...
1. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of ……….
...stupid, stupid, stupid. And that makes sense. However we're not doing the same thing. What we are trying to do is new and the environment that we are doing it in is constantly evolving. We are a great team with an amazing roster that we are investing time and energy in. We have one of the world's most celebrated cellists in Ben Sollee. In Satsang we have one of the alternative scene's rising stars. King Cardinal has risen to the top of Denver's best band lists and is narrowing in on the Portland scene for a hipster explosion. And maybe most pertinent to you, The Last Revel provides local bragging rights for investing in the work that we're doing for these Minneapolis, MN based indie-folk band that is making huge national waves.
For the past year we have built the systems that manage the affairs of each of these artists and they are now operating with efficiency and evolving with each band's growth. The engineering is now mostly complete and now we just drive the ship, right it when it gets off track, and collect management commissions.
In the meantime, we haven't had the income to continue growing the branding (merchandise) side of the company. And as that passive income stream fell by the wayside, my cash flow decreased and before I knew it I also got behind on payments. Hence the intensified need for a consolidation loan to create a stable foundation, a restart. With the revitalization of merchandise operations, Artifact will see auxiliary income from the branding and graphic design work that it takes to produce the product.
2. You made $45K last year. That’s not a business it is a hobby.
I believe that I netted 60k last year...45k net is an estimate for this year. I'll find out when I get a bookkeeper on board and file for 2015.
2016 has been a transitional year with the nature of Artifact Concepts business structure. Leaving Yonder Mountain String Band to pursue the faith in our management roster was a difficult decision to make and was not prepared financially as I had thought. Also a transitional year for me within wealth but also with my health and that has been a debilitating factor on many fronts. My mantra for 2016 has been "take a few steps back for a giant leap forward".
3. To make 100K you need to sell at least $500k of product and services. More if all services
Reaching 500k in billing is possible with the financial safety net of an investment loan. We would have the financial resources and a bookkeeper to operate the merch production side of Artifact Concepts and could amp up production for clients & festivals three fold. Our artist gross income should double in 2017 with gig money, recording/publishing income, and tour & online merch sales all increasing exponentially with each clients' popularity. I will make a commitment to sourcing design/branding work and billing out at least $1000 of design work each month. We would also aggressively seek out licensing deals for each client by targeting the lifestyle brands of their fanbase demogrpahics.
Here is the quick math on how we do all of that:
Artist Tour income*: $297,595.42 @ .15 = $44,638.31 (this is projected to double in 2017)
Licensing Deals: $80,000 @. 15 = $12,000 (aggressively work licensing & sponsorship)
Merch Production*: $36,000 @.20 = $7,200 (would triple with financial resource and a bookkeeper)
Branding & Design: $1000 x 12 months = $12,000 (would triple with financial resource and a bookkeeper)
*based on 2016 numbers; either merch production invoicing or client tour gross income
4. The added risk to your long term wellbeing at such low returns is not a plus.
The added risk is a reality that I have to accept and face the challenge in order to prove my faith in my instincts to continue down this path.
5. Relying on partners to help you in your goals just sets you up for failure and disappointment. It’s too easy to blame others when it’s your plan that failed.
If anyone in this business is to blame, it is me. I could not blame Matthew as he has been supportive and patient and has held our day to day work together while I struggled to juggle the many elements of the big picture and those changing dynamics. I know that in 2017 and 2018 we will see the return of investment that we've already put into our clients. However, having an investment loan will allow us the resources ready to move forward with new vigor at a crucial turning point in our professional careers. I take on the burden of debt because I believe in Matthew & I as a team and I am committed to getting my personal finances and past due debt consolidated to have a foundation with Artifact Concepts that both Matthew & I can begin investing in, matching those investment dollars and moving forward.
6. You are a pride full young man and maybe you don’t think you would do well working for a boss
I know that I wouldn't do well. I haven't a traditional boss since 2002. And when it comes down to it, who is gonna hire a 38 year old with authority issues anyway?!
I have clients and when it comes down to it, they are my boss. But the real boss has always been my drive. I'm a workaholic with an awarded sense of quality and style that grows brands and bands. And the work that I've accomplished has given me plenty of reasons to be proud of this life. I've been lucky. I'm liked. I do good work. I've already accomplished a bunch of my dreams. I often seem to be in the right place at the right time and it has paid off into a very fulfilling life so far. And if my life were to end today, I'd be satisfied. But my family wouldn't. They'd be left with not only their grief, but my debt and that's not OK with me. I could drop it all and start new. Moving again; away from Montana, my family, my dreams, and all the reasons I moved here. But I don't see happiness and fulfillment down that road. I know what I am here to do and I know that this is the direction to move forward in. I have the knowledge, the network, the reputation, the team, the clients, and the will. I will succeed.
7. Here is a list of things I think you need if you choose to continue
a. A written list of attainable goals. You don’t know where you are if you don’t know where you came from
Where I come from is Montana. I am now back here and I am making my mark. I plan to build an empire with a head office in Red Lodge; a community that I want to help develop. I have no plan to depart from this dream. My work ethic and the experience I have gained from where I've been will take me where I want to go, with the last best place as my homebase.
b. A written time table to accomplish goals. Weekly, monthly, and quarterly
c. An written exit plan if a and b are not met.
I am not going to part with any of my money if I don’t think the plan has a good chance of success. I started my dream when others told me I wasn’t quite good enough to make it succeed. Part of my desire was to prove them wrong (pride) and part was just following what I thought God was telling me to do.
Well we definitely have that in common; our pride and the desire to prove ourselves. I won't let myself down...let alone the people I am building this empire alongside. Whether that means investors, partners, employees, business associates, friends, the fans...but let's not forget about the doubters. Fuck the doubters...nothing feels better than the look of surprise on their faces.
But above all, I now have the motivation to prove myself worthy of a wife. Because a year ago I met Sheena and in her I have finally found a woman who rocks my world...who I could marry and start a family with. And I want to give her everything and that drive is much greater than my pride.
I feel like I have always had the ability to read the signs that the universe is sending me. It's those little coincidences and connections that draw lines between the the things we know and the things we feel in our gut. Sheena is one of those paths that the universe is telling me to follow. And this business is one of those paths that the universe is telling me to follow. I have no doubt that these two paths will provide me the next stage in my life and I know that both will take massive amounts of work. I am ready for both the work and the blessings.
In two days I want 5 written plans on how you can save your business and work independently. As far as the debt goes, I think that we can talk about that after I see what you have. Good luck and I look forward to your response. r