How can you associate with Ștefan Mandachi?
Over the last four years, I have received around 1500 proposals to associate with different partners in various businesses. For sure, the Romanian people are very creative, and they have ideas with really huge potential. Over time, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and even employees wrote to me passionately: ” I have a phenomenal idea, I want a partnership with you“, “If you finance my idea, I’ll give you 70% of a million-dollar deal”, “I have an absolutely brilliant idea, just give me 30 minutes to talk about it”, “I guarantee we’ll get rich, I have a gold mine in my brain, if you invest, you will not regret it for the rest of your life!”, “I only want 15 minutes of your time. Am I asking for too much?”.
Well, out of 1500 people who wanted to convince me, only one succeeded. So, the odds you’ll get to be my partner are 0.066%.
I’ll admit it, I have never been clear about it, and I never explained which are the conditions for me to invest in a business, but I’ll do it now, and maybe we can write history together.
I respectfully ask you to read the following paragraphs until the end! If you don’t pay attention to what I’m about to explain, you have a better than 99% chance of being ignored and blocked if you text me saying you have a unique idea that you want me to invest in.
First, let me warn you: I also have a lot of new ideas that shine just as brightly as yours, and I have kept them in incubation for years.
On the other hand, I am currently engaged in many projects that will keep me busy for at least the next 25 years, so I have enough money and enough businesses that vitally need my presence or coordination. I have no desire to invest my money with my eyes closed. I don’t exactly need partners, although in the right circumstances I’ll say yes.
But let’s get back on topic! How did my current associate convince me? What was special about him? How was he able to get my funding (250,000 euros in the first phase and up to 1,000,000 in phase 4)? After all, he was just a stranger I hadn’t seen before. A human like any other. Did he convince me with the brilliant idea? With his fascinating story? With his energy or his overflowing ambition? With his sparkly personality? No way!
Let’s take it one step at a time:
1. To me, the brilliant idea is worth zero if the plan behind it is superficial. When an entrepreneur warns me that he is the unique owner of a precious idea, I become skeptical. I am reticent if I see a dreamer who lacks pragmatism, and is disconnected from reality, lacks any financial education, and has childish enthusiasm instead.
2. The story? I have very little interest in the story. As engaging as it could be, I feel bored. I prefer stories for kids; they are much more honest and captivating. The world is full of talented storytellers, but not all of them are talented entrepreneurs.
Some of them suddenly change the narrative when things become complicated: they become lazy, they are searching for excuses, they victimize themselves, and this is not at all how a good entrepreneur should be. Romania is full of such storytellers, but after they enter the business jungle, they curse their entrepreneurial genes.
3. Did he manage to convince me with his energy, with his magic aura, or with his ambition? Not by a long shot! I know many special individuals with magical auras and huge ambitions who, at the first sign of struggle, change their minds and give up.
My current associate convinced me with a STRATEGY. That’s it, nothing more: a clear and complete strategy oriented towards numbers, actions, objectives, and concrete responsibilities. He convinced me through logic, mathematics, and statistical facts.
The man convinced me to be his partner with a business plan, not with stories, not with gossip, not with his beauty or his personality, not with his alpha male attitude, not even with his talent. He won me over by telling me the details and explaining to me each plan of each business stage, describing each step. By slicing everything into small pieces, these pieces into even smaller pieces, the smaller pieces into cells, and the cells into atoms. (By the way: on the cover of his plan, he quoted me: “No strategy only means a bunch of noise.”)
My current associate (we share 50%-50% of a new company) worked for 7 (seven) months on his plan. The plan wasn’t as large or parabolic as the Bible, but it was written concisely and strait to the point. And he did well! I don’t need wastepaper, I’m not interested in huge reports, I’m not impressed by the no. of pages, but by how easily you can make it happen.
My associate put it like this: What does our business stand on? It stands on the following pillars: x, y, z! As such, he took each pillar, analyzed the composition, split it molecule by molecule, and unfolded it like onion leaves. Then he explained everything so even a 10-year-old could understand it.
At one point, I asked him:
– Man, do you believe what you’re telling me?
– I don’t have to believe it, the numbers speak more accurately, he answered.
Numbers! Numbers and again numbers! His plan is full of numbers (all explained).
– Look at the worst-case scenario section: we could fail, he said.
And he unapologetically developed and discarded my assumptions. Realistically. Looking straight into my eyes! Risking, I’ll say no to him. He explained to me, in about four pages, while highlighting the sections, how high the chances are that I will never see a penny again.
– How can we get out of this? How can we survive? Are we going to sink? I asked him rather skeptically.
– Yes, we can! If the wind blows from the north, south, west or east with this strength at this altitude and intensity.
A business plan is not a pitch. It’s not dust in the wind. It is not a report to pass the exam. It’s a map that guides you through the labyrinth.
Do you need teams to work with? Do you have a vision? Does the Company have one? Could our employees share the company’s vision? How can we mobilize people? Our teammates will be part of the business? Will we share percentages with the team? How much does the food cost? How about labor costs? EBITDA?
Does the company have guidelines, a doctrine? Will our people believe in our doctrine? Who is more important: the customer or the product? The client or the employee? Do we have a strategy?
Do we have a sustainable marketing plan? How many grams of toilet paper are to be consumed per day? A lot, a little bit? Translate “a little bit.” In 10 years, how much will this “little bit” be?
How many bars of soap will the employees need? Will we use liquid or solid soap? In five years, how many tons of unused soap will we throw away? How much will the deodorant for customer interaction employees cost us? Will our employees have uniforms? How much will it cost us to clean those uniforms? How many bulbs will we change each year?
From where will we buy these bulbs? Who will buy them, and how much does it cost us? Who will install the bulbs in the chandeliers? A licensed company or a local electrician?
How much will the online server cost? What is the forecast for methane gas for the 3rd semester of the 4th year of operation? If a new pandemic strikes, will our plan still stand?
What if the Government does not provide predictability (as usual)? Assuming we will have a lawsuit, who will stand up for us in court, a lawyer or legal counsel?
When will we be creditable? How will the brand manual look? Which are the approved fonts? Good copywriting costs money. Who will write our stories? Will we have an English website? Who will translate it for us, Google Translate? If we had to turn everything into percentages, how would the overall prediction table look?
Do we have a customer robot portrait? Is it thin or is it chubby? How much would our customer spend at our shop? Is he orthodox, is he atheist, is he friendly, is he rigid, is he corporate employee, is he elitist, is he greedy? How much time does he spend on social media? Can we attract the 14-year-old generation as customers in 6 years?
Those who are now 10 years old will be 18. Will they still choose us in the future? If a war starts, will we seek an anti-atomic bunker for the business or will we move our business to other markets? Do we reinvest the profits, or do we withdraw dividends and go to Greece or Hawaii? Will we do charity work? Who are we sponsoring?
By the way, what if you die tomorrow? What will happen to our plan? If I die, or if we both go crazy, who will replace us? How do we make sure the business will function without us at some point?
My associate knows how to spell, he is not illiterate, he writes, reads, and speaks the Romanian language correctly. He didn’t ask me, “Can I ask you something?” while I was waiting to greet him with enthusiasm: “Yes, welcome please, tell me how I can help you!”, instead he wrote straight forward, with substance, and coherently.
He didn’t DM me on Facebook, “How much does the Spartan franchise cost? I want to open a restaurant in Italy,” instead he went to the website and filled out the official form after reviewing all of the information. I’m not with the Customer Relations Call Center.
He read all my posts, watched without exception the entire content of my YouTube channel, read my published anthology of Aphorisms, he read the Dream Notebook and the Strategy Notebook.
He knows what I’m passionate about, he knows the basic rules that guide me, he’s eaten almost all Spartan products, slept two nights at Mandachi Hotel & Spa, trained at my gym, swam in my pool, he knows I protect animals, and he helped me (I didn’t know him back then) find an adoptive family for two puppies. He is also aware of all my charity campaigns and has donated a modest amount to “Jeni Mandachi” Foundation.
He knows who he’s talking to, I don’t have to educate him, I don’t have to take him to kindergarten, I don’t have to give him information available on all my channels to inspire others.
Conclusion: I am willing to make partners with anyone under the conditions mentioned above. If you didn’t understand anything I’ve said in this section, there’s no point in moving forward. We can discuss any other topics, except those related to “associating with Stefan Mandachi.”
Don’t steal my time! Please don’t waste your time either. Don’t be an energy vampire. Time is the only limited resource we have, don’t take it for granted and disrespect the lives of others.
In fact, respect yourself! So, be your own teacher before you look for teachers. If you want to take the elevator and step over the essential steps, you will be condemned to return to the first step. Success is not reachable this way, you have to climb step by step! By walking!
Work, educate yourself, learn, and study obsessively! When you’re ready, look for me, partner!