Nathan Sykes

March 29, 2021

Philosophy 2 of 3: Expand Horizontally

This is post two of three in our company's philosophy. Yesterday, I realized that our philosophy was not available on our rebranded website, so I wanted to throw it up on HEY World for prosperity. These philosophies are really what help guide us as a company. Above all, it's important for us to understand - it's just money! We're buyin...
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March 28, 2021

Philosophy 1 of 3: Profit First

I just realized that with our new website at Howdy Interactive, we're removed the page that lists our core philosophies of business. Over the next three days, I'm going to store them here in HEY World for prosperity. These philosophies are really what help guide us as a company. Above all, it's important for us to understand - it's jus...
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March 27, 2021

The Race To Validate In 5 Days

I'm sure everyone and their mother has heard the traditional Silicon Valley jargon, usually a quote like "move fast and break things", signifying that the way a startup is to succeed is by trying new things and validating at the speed of light. At first, I was all over doing stuff like that. I like to break things! Show me where to bre...
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March 26, 2021

My Attempt To Have All Meetings One Day Per Week

I've been doing an experiment over the last few months, since about November, trying to schedule all of my work-related meetings on one specific day - Thursday. I'd still have normal phone calls and unscheduled check-ups, but if you wanted a slice of my time, you had to carve out a chunk of your Thursday to make it happen. I quickly ra...
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March 25, 2021

We Reimburse Our Employees' Opera Tickets

I'm a huge fan of the opera. I was dragged to the opera as a kid, and really hated it, but I started appreciating it more these past few years. I've started listening to it as I work, and have found that it really allows me to zero in and focus for long periods of time. As I'm writing this piece, I'm listening to the first act of Carme...
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March 24, 2021

My Thoughts On College Admissions

Last week marked an important milestone for me - I got rejected from my first college! Up until that point, I'd received a fair mix of acceptances and waitlists. My rejection, however, coincided with the release of the new Netflix documentary on the college admissions scandal, Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal. I ...
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March 23, 2021

Amazon Is A Horrible Private Equity Investment

And I don't mean the company itself. It's a publicly traded security and most likely outside of the purview of a lot of private equity investors. I mean Amazon merchants. The 'Fulfilled by Amazon' folks. I did not know this until I started looking into it to write this piece - did you know that entire private equity firms exist exclusi...
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March 22, 2021

The Howdy Interactive Standard Deal

It's no secret that I prefer acquiring micro-companies rather than starting them. Acquiring companies that are already profitable over starting new ones is an excellent strategic play. Gone are the woes of having to create an offer, validate it, and scale it up - somebody else is doing that for you. You just step in to take over steeri...
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March 21, 2021

Incentivizing Your Team With Performance Based Pay

I hold a lot of beliefs related to private equity, but one that I've come to hold pretty highly is the importance of retaining great people who do great work at all levels of an organization, from data entry, to middle management, to the folks helping me in my head office. I wrote a little bit on how you can make that process easier on...
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March 20, 2021

Higher Margin Businesses Will Always Win

Russell Brunson has a saying, "The company that can spend the most to acquire a customer will always win.", and I believe in that saying whole heartedly. It's given way to one of the core pillars of what we look for in a business at Howdy Interactive - we look for businesses with high margins. (Side note: I'm sure someone said it befor...
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March 19, 2021

Trust Based Due Diligence Rocks

One of the most boring parts (in my opinion) of working in private equity is due diligence. If you're not 'hip' to the PE 'jive', due diligence is when you confirm the value of a company you're looking to acquire by verifying their financials, growth, payroll, customer base, cash flow, credit lines, assets, liabilities, etc. Public sec...
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March 18, 2021

Optimal Anxiety Helps You Perform Better

One of the last 'normal' things I did before we all started lockdown in March of 2020 was give a TEDx talk in Miami on creating perfect environments for teen entrepreneurs. In addition to a TEDx talk being a rather prestigious talk to give, I had another layer of complexity - my speech disfluency. I've had a significant speech disfluen...
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March 17, 2021

Finding & Interviewing Excellent Virtual Assistants

We're currently working on a new micro-company here at Howdy Interactive, and a big part of that is putting together our virtual team. The assistants that help us run the day-to-day of our micro-companies are extraordinarily good at what they do. We specifically hire folks who can thrive as a manager of one - people who can recognize w...
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March 16, 2021

Businesses Are Made Of Hundreds Of Recurring Tasks

Every business on Planet Earth is made up of recurring tasks. There are no exceptions. It doesn't matter what kind of business you run, the customers you serve, or the way that you accept money. Every business is made up of recurring tasks. As such, parts of every business can be automated, outsourced, and systematized. (If you're new ...
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March 15, 2021

Writing Standard Operating Procedures With Clarity

Today's post is a continuation of my writing on how to outsource effectively. On Sunday, I wrote about a simple exercise you can take yourself through to figure out an action plan of exactly what to outsource. On Saturday, I wrote about rationalizing outsourcing, and why you can't outsource every single task in your company (especially...
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March 14, 2021

Becoming The Outsourcing Hub

When I wrote yesterday's blog post on outsourcing being a hub-and-spoke system, I did not anticipate the number of responses I'd receive, all saying something to the effect of "I don't outsource at all". So for today, I'd like to take the opportunity to walk you through how to outsource some of the day-to-day operations of your company...
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March 13, 2021

You Can't Outsource Everything

Anyone who works with me can say that one of my strengths is being able to outsource tasks. (As a side note, is talking about your strengths considered pretentious?) In fact, it's one of the key operating functions of Howdy Interactive, my private equity firm. We automate, outsource, and systematize different operations of micro-compan...
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March 12, 2021

Kill The Buzzwords, Clarity Is King

I was procrastinating yesterday and I found something cool - it's called the 'Corporate Bullshit Generator'. You hit the button, and fun phrases like these are appropriately dispensed for your viewing pleasure: • distinctively evolve backward-compatible content • competently impact impactful innovation • dynamically foster standards co...
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March 11, 2021

Revenue - Profit = Expenses

Mike Michalowicz is one of my favorite business authors. He approaches entrepreneurship in a way that makes sense to people like you and me, drawing stories and inspiration from small business owners around the country. He's one of the rare people in business who talks more about his mistakes, his ego, and his losses than he does about...
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March 10, 2021

There Is No Better Way To Learn Than To Teach

Since the release of HEY World, I've committed to writing one blog post per day. When Jason first announced HEY World was coming to all HEY customers, I made a mental pact to do so, and I've moved a lot of things into place to hold myself accountable. I've abandoned my personal website at https://nathan-sykes.com, opting to redirect al...
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March 9, 2021

Buying A Company For $0 Upfront

Allow me to make a quick analogy to the real estate market. Folks who make money in real estate by renting residential/commercial space most often do so like this: • Person A finds a building they really like • Person A start negotiations with Person B, who owns the building • At some point, Person A loops in their bank to arrange fina...
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March 8, 2021

Andrew Wilkinson's $110,000,000 Acquisition

When I had to shift to private equity in March of 2020, there were three people that I really took inspiration from on a day-to-day basis. I'll write about the other two some other time, but I would really like to talk about just one today - Andrew Wilkinson. I had kept up with him somewhat when I was in the marketing world, mostly bec...
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March 7, 2021

It Was All Started By A Mouse

I love theme parks. Unapologetically. They're so cool! For an entire week, I get to leave Maine behind and travel to an intriguing, immersive world that's been carefully designed, down to every detail. I get to commandeer a ship for Ohnaka Transport Solutions, trying to steal Coaxium from the First Order. The day after that, I'm on the...
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March 6, 2021

Adventures In Miscommunication

My micro private equity philosophy is to automate, systematize, and outsource. It's the only way to truly free yourself from one of your profitable projects. For the outsourcing bit, we tend to hire business development firms in India, like AskSunday, Outsource2India, or MyTasker. Their teams complete small, specific tasks on a recurri...
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March 5, 2021

Making Software Less Annoying

I'm a huge fan of Basecamp - the fact that I'm writing this on HEY's new blogging platform should point that out. I love their philosophy, their software, and the people who work there. I've read every single book they've ever written, even though I've never coded more than a day in my life. My wardrobe has seven Basecamp shirts. Basec...
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March 4, 2021

The Five Commandments Of Automated “Micro-Companies”

This is an internal document originally created for my team on how to create and run micro-companies — simple, low-maintenance, one-man companies that can be run by virtual assistants and serve as passive income for you — whether it’s to live off of, or just to boost your income as you pursue a larger goal. Let’s get started: #1 - It H...
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