Old Yankee Sensibilities ....

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I was born and raised most of my life in the cradle of New England, New Canaan, Connecticut. I summered on Nantucket Island, an enclave of the planet's most established Yankee forebears and which at the age of 19 became the home of my first "official" business. While still in my 20s, I attended Harvard Business School's elite OPM Program. You can say that I truly am a "Connecticut Yankee in the Entrepreneur's Court" a knock off of the classic Bing Crosby musical production from the fabled humorist and writer Mark Twain.

Being a long time (since age 9) summer resident of Nantucket Island, a world onto itself 30 miles off the shore of Cape Cod, complete with cobblestone streets (formerly whaling ships ballast) and homes dating back to the 1700s, still in pristine shape -"Oh Whale" my own former cottage there was built in 1760- was a fabulous experience with many lessons learned. For instance, I learned about "reverse chic," well before that saying was even coined. Nantucket Yankees never broadcast their wealth, often extreme in many cases, and indeed wearing the faded "Nantucket Reds" from Murray's Toggery on Main Street with the resolute long-tailed Izod Polo (the more well worn the better) with sockless Topsiders was the "uniform." Think "The Preppy Handbook" a campy best seller hit from the 80s and that is Nantucket...then and now.

One could share Cape Codders (Cranberry juice and vodka) elbow to elbow with the likes of the Kennedy progeny, titans of industry like members of the Soros family and heirs to great established fortunes and philanthropists like the Beinecke clan. As time and fortunes moved on...the "new money" of Wall Street wunderkinds and billionaire entrepreneurs made their debuts but...the intrinsic flavor of the Island and its old Yankee influence remain...for the most part.

So...what is an example of "Yankee Sensibilities," you ask? Well, not wasting money is surely one of those tenets hammered into our New England newborn skulls. In my current endeavor of "luxury travel for less," I have been made aware of the the literally hundreds of millions of wasted money that we consumers spend on travel. One of our travel industry experts has prepared an eBook that shows you step-by-step how to "never pay retail for travel again." It's worth the read and here it is on the link below. Enjoy saving money and you too can act like a Yankee! lol


Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Pedigree of An Entrepreneur 2.0

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The following blog was written 11 years ago but I like it so much, I decided to republish it today in this forum with updates over the past decade. I hope that you enjoy it.

Growing up in New Canaan, Connecticut., the “Land of the Fortune 100 CEO” was not exactly conducive to becoming an entrepreneur. Yet, even at the tender age of 7, I was out by one of the local country club’s water holes, ostensibly peddling lemonade but really wading into the water and then selling the duffers’ balls back to them.

The enterprise ended abruptly when the club’s manager called my father, one of their members, and asked to have me removed from the course.

“Peter is just a child,” my mother said to my father. “Don’t worry, he’ll be like the other children.”

Numerous other entrepreneurial ventures sprang up over the years. “Boogie at the Beach” became an annual summer event where I rented out the beach club where our family belonged, throwing a huge keg party with hamburgers and hot dogs galore and even a live rock band – all for an admission price to my “thousand closest friends.” I learned about supply and demand, inventory control and the pluses and minuses of an all-cash business.

“He’s just trying to find his place in the world,” my mom told my dad.

Meanwhile, I barely made it out of high school. And when one of my “sure thing” business deals soured and my dad couldn’t take it anymore, I found myself with the unenviable choice of paying for college myself or joining the Army.

Off to basic training I went, and after four months in the swamps of Ft. Polk, La. (the only "hole above ground"), I found myself the proud and somewhat surprised recipient of a Secretary of the Army Appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Since the Academy had started for the year, I was placed at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS), where I met another Cadet Candidate whose father was the Colonel in charge of the Army ROTC Scholarship Program. I had quickly surmised that it was much better to be an officer than an enlisted man, and I reasoned that going to a civilian school and coming out the identical full-fledged officer would be more fun than matriculating to "The Point." I was Regular Army and the ROTC program was for civilians. Still, I persisted and to everyone’s surprise, I won a spot.

I started at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1976. I relinquished my West Point Appointment to some deserving alternate, and off to college I went. The University was great fun. I spied a second semester course that really caught my interest – entrepreneurship. The challenge this time was that I was a freshman and the course was a senior elective. After filing my petition with the professor at the business school, I was forced to verbally defend myself in front of the entire class with why a “lowly first year student felt that he merited the honor of being in a fourth-year course.” I was admitted into the class, where I seemed to fit in as I had never before.

The course required us to come up with a potentially viable idea and draft a business plan to make its case for funding. I had a cool idea and convinced a couple of the business school nerds to help draft the pro formas and put the plan together. That brainstorm – the importation of mopeds from Europe to the United States, with the plan of establishing rental operations at select resorts – became the subject of my class project.

I got an “A” and decided to go for it in the real world.

In May 1977, I rented a dirt lot in downtown Nantucket Island, bought a folding table and cash box from the local thrift shop for 50 cents, unloaded my 15 new mopeds and started my first official business. I quickly threw away the class business plan, since nothing we researched and forecasted had any resemblance to the “rough and tumble” world of real life business ownership. I learned many invaluable lessons that summer and after counting my pennies ($55,000) at the summer’s end, I tendered back the three remaining years on my ROTC scholarship, wrote my professor to tell him that he’d been right about me, and set about on my expansion plans for world domination in the recreational rental industry.

Thirty years later – and 100 businesses, from renting mopeds and exotic cars to e-mail marketing, cost segregation, dining cards, destination clubs, magazines and more – my parents were still wondering when I was ever going to get a real job.

I managed to return to the University of Virginia each of the next 10 years to lecture in that same professor’s class until he retired from academia. Along the way, at the age of 29 I was accepted to Harvard Business School’s Owners and Presidents Program, the youngest member in its history. That same year, I became one of the original members of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (now called EO), a collection of independent business owners that could be considered the world’s 52nd-largest economy with $100 billion in annual sales among 6,500 entrepreneurs in 40 countries.

I then found myself in the “Wild West” and in the first 12 years, I had been involved with a dozen different enterprises – some good, some bad and some great. In that time, I had undertaken one of the greatest challenges in my career and entered into the world of entrepreneurial education. After a one-year pro bono stint at ASU’s Barrett Honors College teaching some “Entrepreneurship 101” courses, I decided to start the country’s first “pure blood” college of entrepreneurship. Grand Canyon University had stepped up to the plate. In January 2007, we began offering a combination of fantastic courses taught by “entrepreneur-teachers,” offering startup capital to select student businesses and granting the first-ever Bachelor of Entrepreneurship degree from the first-ever fully accredited College of Entrepreneurship in the country.

That effort in academia resulted in a very successful enterprise. Within a year of its launch, the College of Entrepreneurship at Grand Canyon University was named #2 out of the top 5 Online Entrepreneurship Schools in the United States by Fortune Small Business Magazine. Not too bad for a UVa. dropout with the remarkably "un-remarkable" 0.5 GPA. lol

Maybe I’d even finally get my diploma and my mom (God rest her soul) and dad could be proud of me. :)


So....11 years later is a lifetime for all of us, especially a diehard entrepreneur and I will try to capsulize this here now:

I lost my dear father 5 years ago, who died in my arms. I wrote a tribute to him on one of my blogs here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/my-dad-hero-peter-burns/edit

Both of my beautiful daughters married and I am the proud grandfather of 5, soon to be 6 beautiful grandbabies. Each daughter gave birth to twins so remarkably, I will soon have 6 grandbabies under the age of 3! Here is my tribute to my family: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/happy-fathers-day-my-fellow-out-peter-burns?trk=mp-reader-card

After the College of Entrepreneurship at Grand Canyon University merged into their School of Business, my days of entrepreneurship education ended. I was able to renew my teaching for 6 months on a stint as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence for an international NGO when I volunteered for helping out in Ethiopia. Along the way there, I couldn't help myself and began working on literally 42 separate business ideas in that newly Capitalistic country. See my blog here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140522182702-82332-experiences-of-a-humanitarian-entrepreneur?trk=mp-reader-card

In 1987 I was one of the original members of YEO (www.eonetwork.org) which grew to the largest entrepreneurial organization in the world. Ten years ago, I started a 2.0 version called Club Entrepreneur (www.clubeintl.com) and ran it in Phoenix for 5 years, growing to 10,000 members.

From starting Club E, I pioneered the "collaborative workspace" movement by starting the eFactory in Phoenix, housing 2 dozen start-ups with a huge space for monthly gatherings of up to 200 fellow entrepreneurs. A partner and I bought and refurbished a state-of-the-art 100 year old building in College Park, (outside of Atlanta) and today it is one of the most successful incubators and entrepreneurial spaces in the country. www.clubeatlanta.com.

Taking my experience of literally meeting with 1000 of my Club E members in Phoenix for a one-on-one session of an hour each over and 8 month period...I started a capital raising business and successfully funded dozens of fellow entrepreneurs for millions of debt and equity raises. At one time we had offices in California and Arizona.

Then, as one of the early adopters (1999) as a member of the first Destination Club, I consulted for a second generation version of the concept, came up with 31 individual business opportunities for that Club and when they could barely act on 2 of them, I saw the chance for yet another start-up in the luxury vacation villa space...where I am right now at www.theassetexchangecollection.com.

Oh yeah...don't let me forget the latest venture of flying pets by private jet...which I stumbled into and just started marketing for at http://www.flyjsa.com.

And...then there is adopting the little known engineering application of cost segregation, (which I explored in starting a marketing company for commercial property owners some 12 years ago while teaching as a pro bono Adjunct teaching entrepreneurship at ASU's Honors College) for our multi-million dollar villa owners... See https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/blending-old-ideas-new-profits-peter-burns?trk=mp-reader-card

I think that's it for now. Check back with me in 10 more years and see what I've been up to! :)

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Our beloved pets deserve to be spoiled!

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So...recently, I became involved with a unique pet-related business venture called that flies the pets of the "1 percenters" in private jets from place to place. We wanted to provide this to our luxury villa clientele. We are now working in tandem with Jet Senters Aviation.

According to the CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), we Americans spent an astounding $60 billion on our pets last year! Doesn't it stand to reason that the "1 percenters" of the pet-loving world both want (and can afford) to make sure their loving pets are transported by air safely as well as bringing these members of their families on vacation with them?

The picture above is of Hercules, a long-haired Chihuahua, formerly my youngest daughter's beloved companion and for the past 8 years, my former wife's best friend. When he was a tiny baby, Hercules traveled the country in my daughter's purse when she visited her former boyfriend who was a professional baseball player. As Hercules grew to his "formidable?!" 10 lbs, he could no longer be brought aboard commercial airlines and sit with his family. No way was Hercules being subjected to the uncomfortable and often dangerous cargo transport of pets on commercial airlines. So...Hercules was relegated to staying behind during family vacations that required air transport.

Until now that is...Hercules' "step-daddy" can now bring our little friend to visit our pet-friendly villas and be whisked by private jet to get there.

I'm determined to come back as a "pampered pet" in my next life! 

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

"Turning Lemons into Lemonade" for the Vacation Rental Industry...

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By keeping one's eyes open to even seemingly unrelated events in one's industry, there may well be opportunities that manifest to the "quick and nimble." One such opportunity recently presented itself to us that we are rapidly acting upon.

We are in the luxury vacation rental space and recently, there have been some well publicized failures in the booking and payments sector of vacation rentals, leaving many property management companies in the lurch with frozen funds, lost deposits and basically a whole lot of lost revenue and services. By reaching out through our own resources, we have put together a program that may well assist these suffering property management companies to recover from their unfortunate temporary financial situation.

Over the past 18 months, our unique luxury villa company has assembled a very strong management team, along with creating significant strategic relationships in a number of related sectors like private aviation providers, massive distribution channels and financing resources. One particular financing resource, utilizing only non-bank providers, lends itself quite well to the current debacle caused in the property management company payables vertical.

With the high profile bankruptcy of Leisurelink (and many more to follow suit) the opportunity to assist those most affected by this "cash crunch," the property management companies, may well be addressed by our company's financing arm...http://theassetexchangecollection.com/financing/

The lifeblood of every business is cash flow and when that is interrupted by an occurrence such as the bankruptcy of a key supplier or worse yet, the failure of a fiduciary partner like Leisurelink, catastrophe can follow. The Asset Exchange Collection's financing arm can assist with multiple short-term financing options, all from non-bank sources, for those property management companies that need to recover from lost revenues and to stabilize their companies with much needed interim financing.

As the old saying goes..."Luck is when Opportunity meets Preparedness" and that "Opportunity" occurred when we realized that the unfortunate occurrence of a vacation rental industry provider's failure (Leisurelink) could be offset by our "Preparedness" in utilizing an already established financing resource for the purpose of assisting affected by this event.

We all make our own "Luck" and hopefully ours will rub off on those property management companies that we may be able to help.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Higher Education and Entrepreneurship...an Oxymoron or Not?

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I am the first to admit that traditional education and I are like "two ships passing in the night." Secondary School in New Canaan, Connecticut was simply not a priority to me...and my mediocre grades reflected that. I did, however, polish my entrepreneurial skills in a number of ventures and my golf game improved...academic achievements-not so much. lol.

A stint in the U.S. Army as an Infantry soldier, 40 years ago now, followed by a surprising West Point Appointment and attendance at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School started me on a whole new path, academically. I managed to actually win a 4 Year ROTC Scholarship while at USMAPS too and returning my West Point Appointment to a grateful Alternate, I matriculated to the venerable University of Virginia, courtesy of the United States Army.

UVa. was a fabulous place, started in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson and was both an academic powerhouse as well as a bastion of old Southern Aristocracy. The University of Virginia's Law School, was one of the Nation's finest and housed the Judge Advocate General's School, which educated all of the Armed Forces legal branches. I had always favored "The Law" as a potential future profession but my lackluster secondary school performance didn't portend well for that. However, in light of my military fostered academic success so far... that opportunity might actually become a possibility now.

As a 1st year student at Virginia, I was allowed to take the LSATs and aced them. I was permitted to actually join the Officers Club at The JAG School and interacted with assorted Captains, Majors and above who were fellow members. Slowly but surely I was fashioning a potential legal career in the military as a JAG Officer. Alas, that was never to be...

My disinterest for traditional education manifested again with the droll required courses in history, Latin etc. I searched the Registry of Course Curriculum and spied a very interesting course, entitled simply "Entrepreneurship." Despite the fact that the course was open as a highly desired elective for 4th Year students who were enrolled in the prestigious McIntire School of Commerce, I promptly made my way to the office of the professor that taught the course.

I shared my desire to enter into the course of "Entrepreneurship," despite all of the impediments (1st year student, not enrolled in the McIntire School of Commerce -3rd and 4th Year students only) and was initially rebuffed, as I expected. However, I never let little things like rejection dissuade me so the professor offered to let me state my "case" to the class of enrolled students and if accepted by them...I was "in."

My enrollment in McIntire's "Entrepreneurship" class the second semester of my very short college career (1 year) changed my life. My business plan of "moped rentals" created in that class started me on my path of entrepreneurship and the summer following my first year of school yielded a resounding success in the business on my summer home of Nantucket Island. That initial business success sounded the "death knell" of my academic future, I gave back the remaining 3 years on my ROTC Scholarship to a deserving Alternate (just like the former West Point Appointment) and I took a "leave of absence" from UVa...going on 40 years now. :)

I moved my little fleet of rental mopeds from Nantucket to Sanibel Island, Florida, which became my Winter home and the 2nd of over 100 eventual rental locales for my burgeoning recreational rental "empire." My former professor invited me back to guest lecture each Semester he taught "Entrepreneurship," until he retired 10 years later. I was hooked on "entrepreneurship education" and vowed to continue on this path.

Along the way, I re-entered academia of a sort and was proud to be the youngest ever selected (since 1972) into Harvard Business School's Owners and Presidents Management Program (OPM). After a divorce and re-location from Florida to Arizona, I enrolled my youngest daughter in ASU's Barrett Honors College, met the Dean and convinced him to let me teach as a pro bono Adjunct teaching a one hour course that I appropriately named "Ready, Fire, Aim." Nineteen students produced 13 business plans and I launched 5 companies, donating thousands of dollars to a scholarship fund at Barrett Honors from one of the funded businesses.

The second semester found me invited back and the curriculum expanded to 4 classes with 94 students. Our little entrepreneurial movement as ASU generated a lot of positive press as well as the ire of the entrenched small-minded academics at ASU's Business School, including that of the pompous president of the university. I was "uninvited" to return for a second year of teaching at Barrett's but by that time, another local university, Grand Canyon University, invited me to bring my entire program over to them, where we fashioned and launched the first accredited College of Entrepreneurship in the United States. A scant 6 months later, GCU's CoE was named the 2nd best entrepreneurial program in the US by FORTUNE SMALL BUSINESS MAGAZINE.

My erstwhile dreams of merging true entrepreneurship with academia abruptly ended when Grand Canyon University became the only IPO in 2009 and left me and my Program at the altar, merging the CoE into their traditional Business School. They simply didn't need the great press I had generated any longer. Oh well...

In 2013, I entered service with a well known NGO where for 6 months, I became their de facto Entrepreneur-In-Residence in Ethiopia. I had the distinct pleasure of guest lecturing at two Ethiopian universities to classrooms full of budding entrepreneurs. That experience sparked my desire to return in some manner to "entrepreneurship education" and knowing myself pretty well by now...I will certainly figure out how to do so again in these next chapters of my life. :)

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Success is the best revenge...start your own business

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So...my last blog (see below) reflects my efforts to fill numerous projects with a talent pool of former "wage slaves" and "cubicle dwellers" who have embarked on the path to self-determination through entrepreneurship.


That effort is going extraordinarily well and my calendar is filled with interviews to explore the synergy between "would-be" employee... turned profit generating entrepreneur to the benefit of the job seeker and my ever-growing project roster.

During the course of these interviews, I realized that what comes quite naturally to me (it better after over 40 years!) of establishing a corporate entity for each venture is not the normal course of business for the former "cubicle dweller" and now fledgling entrepreneur. To that end, I unearthed an interview that I did with a business reporter some three years ago, which happens to be pretty timely for this latest page in my ongoing path of self-reliance of business start-ups.

 To that end, please read this interesting (I hope) interview...

Entrepreneur has solution for businesses squeezed by government 


Listen | Print By Cadie Carroll     Apr 2, 2013 In Business It’s safe to say that most people dread that letter from the IRS that suggests auditors would like to take a closer look at their books.

That trepidation is increasingly being felt by small business owners, too. Specifically, the IRS has honed in on how business owners are classifying workers -- independent contractors or full-time employees. The Wall Street Journal recently took a look at this trend in a story that served as a call to action for serial entrepreneur Peter J. Burns III. Burns, who started his first business at age 19, suggests a unique solution for small business owners -- or any business owner, for that matter -- facing this type of problem. Burns suggestion: make the employee a small company. “Rather than hire the individual as an employee, the entrepreneur explains to the individual what the benefits would be if they were to incorporate by obtaining the necessary EIN number, bank account, and business license to establish a consulting business in their specialty field,” Burns told the Digital Journal. “The consulting business would then contract with the small business for this service.” That’s right. Burns suggests that instead of hiring on full-time employees to work for your small business, why not have that individual create their own start-up consulting firm, which would then contract with your small business for work. No catches. No hoops to jump through. It would function as any other business-to-business interaction would, and you would not be faced with the difficult task of categorizing a worker as an independent contractor or full-timer. And as of this point in time, and according to Burns’ knowledge, this is 100 percent completely legal and within all IRS rules, regulations and guidelines. In fact, Burns has employed the model with his company Financedebtandequity.com, which serves as a portal, or conduit, between small and medium-sized businesses in need of capital and willing lenders. In an exclusive, in-depth interview, Burns discussed how he came up with this idea, what it means for the IRS and most importantly, what does it mean for you and your business. Here’s what he had to say:

CC: How did you come up with this idea? PB: I look at it from a purely business stance. The government is jamming us [small businesses] right now trying to make it to where if you have 50 employees or more, they’re trying to force you to have ObamaCare. They are taxing us into nonexistence… So I said let me take a look at how I can solve one big problem: I’ve got a business and I’m growing, and I need help, but if I bring people on I have all of the restrictions of having to worry about unemployment insurance, withholding taxes, benefits… And then I said, "What if the individual became a business themselves and simply had their services exchanged for full compensation from the company?" It wasn’t the half-solution of being an independent contractor… That is so restrictive on all of the elements you have to prove, and then the IRS will slam you and fine you, both the individual and the employer, if they disallow that. But they can’t do anything about incorporating and starting a business because that’s IRS guidelines and if you adhere to exactly what they require (EIN number, bank account, contractor services), then you’ve come up with a solution using their own legislature against them. I’m not trying to say we’re anti-government. I’m saying if they want us to play by the rules, then they have to obey the rules too. I see it as a really good solution; I see it as a way to hire yourself. You create a little company – you get to offset all of the other expenses you can’t do as an individual. The company itself that needs those services pays a simple gross amount which is up to the client company… if they don’t perform correctly then you sever the contract – you don’t have unemployment insurance, you don’t have to worry about them filing for unemployment, you don’t have any of the headaches…

CC: What are the benefits of doing this? PB: The top benefits are that it is a simple transaction between business to newly created business without any of the hair of reporting and withholding taxes, or with social security and health care et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It streamlined what was the relationship between the employer and employee – it streamlined it into a very efficient business model, which is what capitalism is supposed to be all about anyway. You don’t have to worry about hiring them [independent contractors] and making them an employee and towing the line for all of the things you have to do that the government requires. It is a simple exchange of services for money for an actual service performed, agreed to and paid for. In this case the IRS code doesn’t have anything to do with it. It is a “pay-for-services to an actual company to company transaction.” Period. You agree on a payment amount, service is rendered, you pay it and it’s a straight deal. I don’t see the negatives in this…except the IRS can’t grab a bunch of money from people and there’s no way to actually screw the individual or the company if you use my process. I can’t see the negatives, honestly.

CC: What did your lawyers and accountants have to say about this? What is the IRS going to think? PB: I do not believe the IRS is going to like me talking about this but guess what, I don’t really care. I’m the advocate for small business. I’ve been doing this since I was 19 years old… I’m their friend – government is not so I’m going to do whatever I can to help. My CPA is a principal at one of the largest accounting firms in the country, my lawyer has been practicing for 25 years. I went to them and I said ‘Punch holes in it, tell me… is this right or wrong?’ They both looked at me and said it is completely within the realm of the current law. My accountant didn’t think it was sustainable, he thought companies are going to have to hire people, and I said of course they are – but what if you can exchange the bulk of, or at least some of your would-be employees with this concept. My lawyer said technically it’s completely correct.

CC: So what made you want to help out fellow small business owners so much? Where is this creativity and passion coming from? PB: We’ve got to do something to help our small business population; nobody’s helping us so we’ve got to help ourselves. When you involve government with capitalism, it’s a cluster. It always has been and it always will be. It’s just like how government is interfering with crowd-funding right now. What was a great idea and was actually passed is now mired in controversy and legislation… it’s just a mess. Let business people stay with business people, let government stay with government. Do not mix the two – it is a recipe for disaster. I’m just another entrepreneur out there just trying to help my fellow entrepreneurs. I am not a lawyer, I am not an accountant, I am just a fellow businessman who may have come up with a way to save a lot of time and trouble, and not to mention money, for my fellow entrepreneurs. 
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/347056#ixzz4K3VeeDAr

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

An "entrepreneurial twist" to service providers...

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First off, let me state unequivocally that I totally respect talented "creatives" that ostensibly produce all of the beautiful graphics, web design, collateral material, lead generation campaigns and anything else that drives and supports business enterprises. I simply don't enjoy paying for these services.

The "nature of the beast" is that you never know exactly what you are going to end up with and there's nothing you can do about it... having already committed time and financial resources to undertake each service product before actual delivery. What's more is that you never know who you are hiring, with literally scores of providers specializing in each bit of marketing minutia, all declaring they are the "best," the "cheapest" or even the "best and the cheapest" yada, yada, yada...

What is particularly frustrating is that these so-called service providers shroud what they are actually doing with the same type of legalese that lawyers use to confuse we mere mortals. And the biggest rub...you really never know if a $100 a week Filipino is actually doing the work that you are paying 10 times that (or much more) to the US-based service provider.

Six weeks ago, I put the word out here on Linked In, their LinkedIn Pro Service and a couple of other freelancing sites with the basic messaging outlined on the blog below:


The response was nothing less that paralyzing: 1st offer-76 applicants, 2nd offer-91 applicants and finally, my ad two weeks ago for a Personal Assistant has yielded 80 responses and counting. That is, nearly 250 qualified, intelligent and eager to work professionals were all vying for a handful of positions to provide services for our modest start-up enterprise. Even by sifting through the sheer volume of applicants, contacting those I'm interested in via email, and subsequently following up with a call to those that make it that far...I have still personally interviewed invited two dozen individuals who met me in person, which equates to a full couple of weeks of meeting 2 or more service providers nearly every day.

Here's what I learned and what I just came up with....the job market in Southern California (where I am now) is overrun with qualified and in most cases seriously overqualified professionals, who have traded nice weather and a relaxing lifestyle for a severely reduced compensation opportunity. The competition to finding well paying and challenging jobs is staggering. As a result, an employer can retain the services of well-honed professionals in virtually any field for a fraction of the going rate elsewhere in the country.

In interview after interview, I discovered the old axiom - "People are like onions...you have to peel the layers to see what they have to offer." I met people who could not only do the service that I had originally reached out for but could do so much more...even better and faster than I had hoped. This created a sort of cross-pollination opportunity...an applicant, who was more interested in the "30,000' view" of working for a wage or vendor payment could actually be recruited into one of my many enterprises that were propped up and ready to go, contributing the necessary support and implementation to make it so.  

Of course, everyone is different and in truth, only a certain percentage of applicants were able to consider the opportunity of a revenue share or even equity on a new venture. Their main business had to be stable enough to pay their bills and could only support an effort that represented the time that they could commit to "spec." That is, the applicant must either have extra time or bandwidth, free from obligations to take a "flyer" to engage in the possibility of starting a brand new business with me or aiding an existing one that needed their horsepower and degree of expertise.

Happily, this new revelation of channeling certain job/service applicants has already started to bear fruit. In only a couple or three weeks, I have channeled the following job/service applicants into the following opportunities:

Two independent lead generation experts have partnered up with me on a $5 per phone call lead generation program for an airline ticketing partner, splitting the take 50/50 with me from their efforts. One such marketing partner of my airline ticketing contact earns $35,000 per week from his efforts...so the upside to my lead gen partners is pretty exciting.

One web designer/programmer, able to commit 10 hours per week for 2-3 weeks is busy delivering a brand new web site that is dedicated to an exciting new opportunity involving cost segregation studies for multi-million dollar vacation villas recruited to our Program. He will glean a return that is a multiple of his stated cost of time spent from a % of the revenue earned from the new enterprise. Should this arrangement prove successful for him, the web designer will commit his extra time to ongoing projects like this that I bring to him.

Another web designer has received both a stated commission on leads turning to sales from his lead generation efforts as well as an equity stake in the business of flying pets and their owners by private jets. His contribution is creating the brand new web site with all of the "bells and whistles," marketing the unique enterprise and both maintaining and improving the site for the life of the business.

A Personal Assistant recruit, who happens to have both graphics arts skills, professional writing skills as well as a Real Estate sales background is now earning commissions from booking trips from leads of luxury travelers to our web site as well as securing new villa inventory into our Program. Those efforts which are non-commissionable, like graphics work and professional writing assignments, earn her market hourly rate which is added to her commissionable sales at a higher rate to compensate for her hourly work earnings.

Yet another web designer is updating some of our older web sites and creating a brand new one for another "bookshelf" enterprise that was researched and deemed a profitable opportunity...yet needed the web site, SEO and all of the infrastructure in place to launch. This web designer earns an equity stake in the enterprise, which encompasses his technical skills to re-purpose my old sites and offer ongoing tech advice and solutions for my myriad of projects. 

Another Personal Assistant applicant, who happens to possess a resume' of impressive skill sets in media, professional writing and corporate organization and I are busy working our a formula of mutual profit through various assignments. We aren't there yet but I'm confident we will be shortly.

Yet another Personal Assistant applicant with an Industrial Engineering background is meeting me tomorrow morning to discuss his particular application for participating in one of my engineering marketing niches that I've recently re-introduced. His talents fit in perfectly. Now, we simply have to determine his motivation for my unique style of compensation...or not. 

Finally, at least for today, I just got off a very enlightening phone conversation with a younger version of myself, who will meet with me next week, along with a very bright technical colleague to discuss any number of verticals that I've created and that they hope to manage on my behalf and for a piece of each deal that they can assist me with.

I've always said that the success you gain in business is directly proportional to the success you have with people. Looking at the traditional process of interviewing job applicants and service providers for tasks needing completion...by instead seeing these people as valued collaborators and partners is very exciting and is expected to be very profitable...for all parties.

Another day...another opportunity!

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Calling all luxury vacation villa owners...we offer you hundreds of thousands of tax benefits that you never knew you had coming to you...

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Our villa marketing company, having developed a steady stream of luxury travelers through several significant channels, is actively seeking villa inventory for its portfolio. For instance, we have recently negotiated an exclusive relationship to offer our villa inventory through our new marketing partner, one of the world's largest travel aggregators, doing $1.3B in sales through its nearly 800,000 accommodations offered to its 1000 corporate clients representing 120mm individuals (3mm active travelers). We will provide the only luxury villa product to their clientele...

This one resource may well be the sole marketing resource our company will need to fill the empty time in as many luxury villas that we can place into our offering. To this end, we are actively searching for luxury villa inventory partners and below is one of our latest villa acquisition strategies.

Quite by chance, we recently came upon a unique benefit to the luxury villa owner who rents out their property. Back in 2006, I created a marketing company that specialized in the little-known but very powerful tax saving engineering process of Cost Segregation. Recently, I introduced this engineering process to the luxury vacation villa business and secured the services of one of the finest firms in the Nation, offering this service.

 This brand new company, providing cost segregation studies for multi-million dollar vacation villas is known as HL Cost Segregation (www.hlcostseg.com)

I wrote a recent blog on my LinkedIn profile that shares exactly how I came upon this strategy:


Below is an overview of how cost segregation studies may be used to enhance the cash flow of the owner of a rental villa, which was prepared by our provider. In addition, please find the link of the summary of results with actual figures from a cost segregation study provided on an $8mm rental villa in Colorado. (identity protected). See example at www.hlcostseg.com.

Since our methodology of acquiring blocks of unused time in luxury villas is to "exchange" luxury goods for the villa  (www.luxuryproductplacement.com), we are willing to cover the cost of the cost segregation study for select villa owners in exchange for a negotiated block of unused time for us to re-market.

In this way, the villa rental owner will reap the literally hundreds of thousands of tax benefits resulting from the study....at zero cost.

I welcome the opportunity of discussing this unique strategy of monetizing your empty villa time. Please connect with me at peter@hlcostseg.com, if interested...and who wouldn't be?!


                           COST SEGREGATION SIMPLIFIED

 Cost Segregation is the IRS guide-lined method of re-classifying components and improvements of commercial and residential rental, real estate resulting in reduced tax liability and increased cash flow.

Applicable to both owners and lessees.

A third party, certified study identifies, values and separates 5, 7 and 15 year, depreciable life personal property from 39 or 27.5 year, depreciable life real property.The net result creates significant acceleration of available tax deductions.

IRS guidelines allow this technique to be applied to newly built and existing buildings, irrespective of age. However, the building must have been placed in service no earlier than 1987. Number of years owned by current owner, prior renovations and future renovation plans are just some of the considerations used to determine whether a cost segregation study makes economic sense.

The technique has been widely used since 1997 as a result of two landmark tax court cases in which both Walgreen’s and Hospital Corp of America prevailed against the IRS. Traditionally, Big 4 CPA firms engineering departments have used cost segregation with their large clients. Cost Segregation Initiatives now cost effectively delivers this service to the middle and smaller markets as well.

Properties may be owned in a variety of entities. Most common are LLC’s and S-Corps. If an owner of an LLC which holds the property leases it to an operating entity typically an S-Corp which they also own, losses and gains are all active, because for tax purposes these common owned entities may be grouped.

If an individual owns a single vacation villa and rents it out, typically the losses are considered passive. However, passive losses from real estate may be an offset to passive gains from other types of investments. Also if an owner is classified as a real estate professional, which is a legal definition for tax purposes, all gains and losses are considered active.

The engineering company completes a no cost estimate that usually is within 15% of the results of a certified study. The client will always be presented with a fixed, flat fee bid prior to engagement. This fee is based on size and complexity of the project. Net Present Value analysis usually shows benefits to cost ratios ranging from 10:1 to 30:1, based upon asset value and type. Half of the fee is collected upon engagement and half of the fee is paid at the time the study is delivered, usually about six weeks later.

  Visit www.hlcostseg.com

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

A Lesson in Luxury Bartering...

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Bartering goods and services predates the creation of money. One is only limited by one's imagination when considering new ways to conduct barter. Take the relatively new innovation of exchanging empty time in multi-million dollar vacation villas for its equivalent value in luxury goods for the villa.

The fact is that industry statistics prove that the luxury vacation villa is occupied only 26% of the time. No matter how compelling the owner's own VRBO ad or even the often 5 separate luxury vacation listing sites "hawking" the same property at the same price with the same amenities are...the fact remains that this often multi-million dollar valued asset remains empty and non-income producing nearly 3/4 of the time.

Enter the world of Luxury Barter and its alternate currency. By lining up the BAR (Best Available Rate) of the villa's empty time for a specific block of desired time, one can offset this exact same value with an equal value of say the finest linens for the bedroom or even a wine cellar full of the finest vintages. What is more, the villa owner may exchange a block of their unused time for an equal value of someone else's own (and unoccupied) vacation villa in another resort locale...all on an even exchange and for zero cash outlay.

It turns out that this same methodology may be utilized for other high value assets that are simply not being enjoyed by their owners or guests as often as they could be. Again, these very expensive "toys" remain idle most of the time. It has been cited that private jets are used only some 600 hours per year. Who knows how often the spectacular mega yachts out there, those proverbial "holes in the water" in which cash is thrown into, are used by their owners or are even chartered out?

An interesting option to increase the use and offset the cost may be to use the "Luxury Barter" concept outlined in this article. The asset owner has everything to gain and virtually nothing to lose by exploring this unique way to maximize otherwise unused time.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Success is measured in never giving up...

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Which of us hasn't faced adversity...numerous times?

The true "test" of one's character is his or hers response to adversity. Life events simply happen to us all.... some good, some bad.

I have been an entrepreneur for over forty years. That is, I've never actually had a job or a career path other than starting my own businesses. Despite all the optimistic drivel promoted by so-called experts...starting and running your own business is by far, the hardest career choice you will ever make.

At the oh-so-young age of 19, I launched my first "official" business, moped rentals, at my summer home (since age 9) of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. I set up my little rental business with 15 shiny red Puch mopeds (imported from Austria) in a dirt lot with a popcorn stand in front. There, with a fold up card table and cash box bought from the local thrift shop for 50 cents, I set about on my first enterprise.

Within days, my little fleet was sold out and I also faced my first of many challenges to the survival of that business. The Mayor of Nantucket (actually the head of the Board of Selectmen) unilaterally ordered a "Cease and Desist" of my business of renting mopeds. There was zero legitimate reasoning behind this, of course, ( I had done my homework before setting up shop) except for the fact that the Mayor also happened to own the largest bicycle rental shop on the island. I was cutting into his business as an upstart competitor.

I went to my landlord and was referred to the top attorney for fighting the Town. Due to this kind and capable man's taking my case for a fraction of the true cost, we fought back and in a series of Court decisions, beat the Board of Selectman into the ground. I actually won $1 million in judgments against the Town and against each of the corrupt Selectmen as individuals. It took years but I won. I never did collect on my judgments but my little rental business survived and thrived for 20 years there.

That first summer I earned $55,000 in only ten weeks and I was off to the races and never looked back.

This was an invaluable lesson learned...there really is "no free lunch." As an entrepreneur, you not only have to create the opportunity, you have to capitalize on it as well as sustain it through the inevitable trials and tribulations. Many times, when faced with nearly insurmountable odds, I really wanted to throw in the towel....but I did not. To me, the greatest failure would have been to give up my dream.

Over the last four decades of entrepreneurship, I could fill several books on the challenges faced and overcome. Many of these challenges weren't just about business, there were many personal sacrifices made also. In all candor, those were always the hardest to bear.

I am 60 years "young" now and haven't slowed down much at all since those heady days of a teenage entrepreneur. I'm now on an epic venture in the luxury field, which involves travel and multi-million dollar assets. I think I have the "formula" down for this latest venture, or nearly so and win or lose...I will never stop swinging for the fence.

Perseverance and ultimately overcoming adversity really is its own reward. Wish me luck as I wish all of my fellow entrepreneurs out there.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Using Tech and the Sharing Economy Model to Expand the Luxury Villa Rental Market...

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Recently, I came across a couple of very smart young men who had developed an extraordinary software that allowed them to offer individuals the opportunity to book multi-million dollar vacation villas...one room at a time. This unique methodology allowed those individuals (or couples) the opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle afforded of vacationing in a "full service" luxury villa, often renting for thousands of dollars per night...at the comparable rate of a fine hotel room.

This software, developed for tens of thousands of dollars and mercilessly beta tested over a variety of platforms and scenarios...makes its debut this month and as soon as next week, our own company (HL Villas) will be offered the chance to beta test it ourselves with our first offering together.

In the proverbial "Sharing Economy" of Uber, AirBNB and even our own start-up of HL Villas with its "Villa Express" innovation...it seems that everyone from Millennials to everyone else is all about sharing assets and saving money...while enjoying the camaraderie that our ever disconnected society has been thrust into for way too long.

The boys from Very.Us operate a platform that seamlessly takes in individual renters interested in staying in a large, well-appointed villa to attend specific events (a la Cochella, The Grand Prix, Masters, et al). The renter is offered a suite in the villa, which is often larger (and certainly more well appointed) than many people's entire homes(!) at a rate which is comparable or less pricey than the local 5 Star Hotel. The individual shares the often 7 bedroom plus villa with other like-minded individuals, all interested in the concept of "living large for less," accomplished through this unique offering.

HL Villas has expanded this new tech offering to our own fabulous villas, allowing individuals interested in staying with us to book by the room...even when there is not a big event occurring but just for their own vacation needs. We believe that this alternative will greatly increase the flexibility of booking our villas and open up the rental market to an entirely new demographic of luxury-minded vacationers. 

Reach back to me to learn more of this exciting new opportunity.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

How quickly we forget the challenges of a Start-Up!

how quickly....jpeg

It's been a month since the launch of The Exchange Collection website (www.theexchangecollection.net) with its radical premise that you can monetize underutilized luxury assets (think vacation villas, jets, yachts) with the alternate currency of our Patent Pending "Exchange Points."

As for Start-Ups...I've been at it for coming on four decades and believe me...it never gets any easier. However, the thrill of the "Ah Ha" moment when you come up with the original idea, moving on to the tangible reality of a web presence with real offerings and of course, the thrill of booking your first sale...simply cannot be matched by much else.

The site, like the new business, is a living, breathing and evolving effort. Each day, there are new ideas to hash out, improvements to be made and actual steps taken to see what works and what does not. It is exhausting but exciting, nevertheless.

As of today, we have inputted the first $1mm of inventory available for our Asset providers to trade their unused time in their multi-million dollar villas for luxury goods and services, offered at fair retail rates for their "Exchange Points."

I just learned that our exclusive jet charter offering at 50% Cash/50% Exchange Points may become "live" in days...and we can now compete with any in the crowded jet charter field at half the retail pricing (cash component) and our "Exchange Points" for the balance. What is more, our new jet charter provider patented the only "real time" jet booking application on the planet and our Exchange Collection members will become "early adopter" beneficiaries.

On another exciting front, we just received our very own branded Discover Debit Card, with its unique application of holding both cash balances plus our Exchange Points. This one innovation alone puts our brand new Start-Up into the fast track with such advanced technology. (see bottom of Home Page at www.theexchangecollection.net)

In other words, so much to do and so little time and... I LOVE IT!

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

My favorite villa locales...

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As a principal (and co-founder) of a luxury villa business, I have the good fortune to select and stay at fabulous multi-million dollar villas around the word as part of my job description.

Below are a few my favorite places to stay:

For the late summer months, hands down, I choose La Jolla, California. Who can argue with 72 degree weather, a quaint downtown with a myriad of bistros and coffee shops where one doesn't even need a car? What's more, how does it get any better than to be right on the gorgeous Pacific Ocean!?

My pick of the villa to spend my time while in La Jolla is on the link below:



In my younger days, I loved to ski and while I was never a Black Diamond kind of guy, I can tough my way down most ski trails and I am absolutely at my finest by the fire in one the great lodges that dot Lake Tahoe.

During the ski season I hang my hat on this recent addition to our villa inventory...where I can even include my 40 best friends (should I ever want to, lol).



For Springtime, I take off to the charming hidden Mexican treasure of The Riviera Nayarit. There I visit any or all of the 16 little towns that make up the area, each with its individual flavor.

However, the place I stay, "hands down" is in the villa at Punta De Mita, that enjoys all of the privileges of the nearby Four Seasons and St. Regis.



Finally, for early Summer, how can one ever beat a private Greek island with accommodations designed to mirror a typical whitewashed village, complete with two award-winning restaurants and a 5 Star Spa?

My villa pick is one of the exquisite villas on the little known island of Amorgos.


Posted on March 21, 2018 .

"You Can Have Your Cake...and Eat it Too"

you can have your....jpeg

So...I'm basically a "Lifestyle Entrepreneur," that is, I have picked a certain way that I like to live and then figured out a way to pay for it. I was fortunate to have had a rather privileged background growing up and yes, that spoiled me but it also pushed me to seek the same for myself when I went out on my own. This was accomplished by starting my first business at an early age (19) which afforded me both the lifestyle I aspired to as well as placed me in the environment I chose to live in.

I chose to live my life in beautiful resort locales. My first business, moped rentals, allowed me to live in such fabulous places as Nantucket, Sanibel Island and many other vacation islands over the years. Today, following that same path, I make my home in both New England in the Hamptons for part of the year and Southern California for the rest. The "bonus" of my current endeavor, luxury vacation villas, (www.hilvillas.com) is that I now get to visit literally dozens of exquisite multi-million dollar villas as a key component of my work.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I celebrated a milestone birthday (I am 60) and as a birthday present to myself, I have an October trip scheduled to a stunning private island in Greece to visit a recent addition to our inventory. A special treat will be being whisked there by private jet, from one of our villa business's marketing partners who is in the private aviation charter field.

There is much to be said about being able to make one's living doing what you love to do. Having created a unique vertical in the luxury villa space allows me the chance to travel the world..."on business," vetting each new property for inclusion into our vacation rental inventory. Each spectacular villa features every imaginable amenity and each being "full service," (in-house staff of concierge, private chef, etc.) one's every need while on vacation is met.

In a stint a couple of years ago,consulting with a renowned Destination Club prior to starting the villa business, I came up with a new "product" for that Club's consideration. I actually envisioned the new offering to be called, the "World Citizen" membership.... as a product I fancied for myself but reckoned that a select few might have taken a fancy to it also. In effect, I proposed a membership that allowed one to be "stylishly homeless" by traveling to different Club properties around the world, a couple or three months at a time...continuously. One could, conceivably, pack a couple of suitcases, close up one's primary home and simply become a "World Citizen."

Since that Destination Club possessed 120 "assets" around the world, that is...120 multi-million dollar, exceptionally well-appointed villas in the finest resorts on the planet, the "World Citizen" could simply choose from the "menu" of properties, selecting the best times of year to take up residence for 2-3 months in each and sample new areas on a rotating basis....one year (or many) at a time. Since one's every need is taken care of by the house staff and the member may actually establish "roots" of a sort in each area due to the length of each stay...it is likely that the individual would make many more friends in multiple ports of call over their extended travels.

Anyway, the Destination Club in which I consulted never quite saw the unique benefit of offering such a membership niche and now, I'm actually in a position to someday making this happen for myself. After all, we have many more exceptional properties in even more locations around the world than the Destination Club did and part of my "job description" is to travel to each to approve of its place in our inventory.

By actually becoming a "World Citizen" myself, I really can "have my cake and eat it too." We will simply have to see about that. :)

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Blending Old Ideas For New Profits

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Cost Segregation holds great interest for me. I am a "tried and true" entrepreneur who has been involved in well over 100 businesses over my 40 year career. I stumbled upon cost segregation years ago, 2005, quite by accident. I was being interviewed by a magazine publisher in Scottsdale, Arizona, where I used to live and the Publisher's husband, a civil engineer who designed and built restaurants, was in the same office. I noticed how busy he seemed to be and the Publisher said that her husband was very active in preparing cost segregation studies and was one of only 100 engineers in the whole country that specialized in this niche.

She went on to tell me that his phone never stopped ringing and that he could not keep up with the demand. That piqued my interest, so I corralled her husband and learned enough to do deep research on the Net about cost segregation studies and spoke with others in the commercial real estate field about the subject over the next couple of days. I soon realized what an untapped gold mine preparing cost segregation studies could be..both for the engineer preparing the studies and the person that brought in the clients...soon to be yours truly!

At the time, I was teaching entrepreneurship at the Barrett Honors College at ASU in Tempe, Arizona as a pro bono Adjunct. I tasked a bright student to do the research and develop the business plan on creating a marketing company for cost segregation studies and based upon that effort, I secured fee sharing agreements from 6 well respected cost segregation engineers that I had vetted. Amazingly, I proceeded to make over $180,000 in net profits during the first three months in this brand new business.

I was hooked. I had big plans for expansion but the student who prepared the business plan in my class bailed on me to go to law school and I put my cost segregation business to the side while I focused on other projects...of which there were always many. I did revisit the business of cost segregation studies doing an occasional study for a commercial property owning friend but I was not active in the business.

I was, however, fascinated with some of the derivations of the benefits of the amazing (and virtually unknown) cost segregation process. So with one of my really smart IP lawyers, I was able to actually file sweeping Provisional Patent Pending filings on several unique uses of this invaluable tool. These Patent Pending filings are located on the Information Tab of the site below:

In the world of entrepreneurship, the blending of old ideas with new uses often manifests in powerful results. That appears to be the case in using cost segregation studies for luxury vacation rental villas. The same techniques that the engineer uses to realize significant tax savings for the traditional commercial building by performing a cost segregation study also works for the vacation villa. In reaching out to a local cost segregation provider only yesterday, I learned of his performing such a study on an $8 million rental villa which resulted in an astounding $625,000 tax benefit to the owner.

Realizing that I was really on to something, I am now setting up meetings with several cost segregation study providers so that I may offer this unique service to our own villa clients as a "value added" service. Over 11 years ago I "stumbled" upon this unique engineering application and this time I am taking what I learned then and applying it now to my new business...a unique blending of unrelated businesses for mutual profits.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

"Work" is where the heart is..

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Nearly every day, I make the short trek from my new California summer residence to my favorite spot for morning latte, catching up on the daily newspapers (WSJ, NY Times and USA Today) and to settle in for the "workday."

As one of those die-hard entrepreneurs, who loathes the traditional work space and God-forbid  "Cubicle Hell," I've always preferred the comfort and camaraderie of the informal and well-appointed (daily papers, fast speed Internet, nice background music, a talented barista and congenial help) cafe. While I'm often the anomaly here, speaking on my cell (bluetooth firmly implanted in my ear) and hosting strategic meetings nearly every hour on the hour with various new and old business colleagues...I am beginning to notice other fellow entrepreneurs here following my lead. 

Honestly, how does it get any better than sipping your morning latte while catching up on the World news with good old fashioned newspapers and then lining up calls and meetings in year round 72-75 degree temperatures on an open air porch with your favorite barista 30' away?!


As a "for instance" of a near daily occurrence of events here...I just got off a call with a Seattle-based professional writer and negotiated her contract to write our travel blogs, villa and resort descriptions and even publish stories on our company's behalf, took a call from one of the leading luxury "Flash Sale" companies wanting to work with us, answered a follow-up email from the CEO of one of the world's largest travel aggregators (who met with me here in person only two days ago) and spoke with my business partner who is 3000 miles away back in our office in New England. It is not yet 10 AM and I now await a team of web designers who are meeting with me to coordinate an update and launch of a half a dozen much needed professional web sites for our growing enterprise.

In the perfect blending of high tech communication and the convivial atmosphere of the open air cafe on the California Coast... business and of course life..is grand! :)

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

A Call to Action for Service Entrepreneurs

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My current focus is on a sweeping new business that is an "innovative disruptor" in the luxury villa rental business. Specifically, we have engineered a methodology to acquire blocks of unused time in luxury vacation villas around the world through a unique "exchange" program (www.luxuryproductplacement.com) and then to re-market these blocks of time at significant discounts to individuals and affiliate groups seeking "luxury for less." (www.hlvillas.com). We arbitrage the difference to earn our profits.

Below are 8 specific projects within our new venture, as outlined in recent blogs from my Linked In profile. What I seek to do in this communication is to "fast track" each project with either the same or different teams of professionals that tasks may be delegated to and who are interested in participating as joint venture partners for either equity participation or shared revenue. In effect, each of the 8 projects presented here can and should be independent businesses with separate ownership that fall under the "umbrella" of the new villa business.

To that end, we are looking for:

Web Designer(s) to create an attractive and informational template for each project with top SEO strategies built-in.

Professional content writer(s)/copywriter(s) to produce web content, blogs, email blasts, auto-responder replies and other communications like banner ads.

Lead generation experts to develop email campaigns, online key word marketing, retargeting campaigns, 

Graphics artist(s) to coordinate the "look" for each campaign, design logos, work with the web designer(s) banner ad development.

Research and Development experts to assemble key lists of specific targets to contact in select marketing campaigns and to develop vendor suppliers with favorable price points for the Company.

Business plan/financing plan writer(s) to prepare initial and ongoing plans, complete with spreadsheets and financial planning included.

Professional sales team to "close" luxury villa vacation leads and to acquire additional client inventory. These "clients" include villa inventory, affiliate groups, luxury manufacturers and vendors, bespoke tour operators, event planners, luxury real estate brokers, incentive group tour operators, luxury goods and services with compatible client lists.

Project Manager(s) to oversee and direct personnel to execute required tasks for each project from inception to conclusion.

Compensation to those professionals accepted for these projects will be through hourly or project charges and/or bonuses through shared revenue or split equity per project. Each case will be different.

The 8 Projects that require assembling a Team are below:

Luxury Realtors Using Villa Stays as "Bait"

Jets and Villas as Model for New Combinations

Luxury Pet Transport

Event Mansion Rentals "by the room"

Inventive Group Travel-Switching Villas for 5 Star Hotels

Cross-Marketing to Complementary Client Bases

Luxury Good Product Placement Model


Bespoke Tours Switching Villas for 5 Star Hotels

The villa company has been in existence since April 2015 and been in beta since then. With only a rudimentary web site and the two founders as staff...this business generated nearly $500k in sales, posted a net in the 20%-30% range and has recently negotiated significant exclusive agreements for world class inventories and marketing partnerships.

It is believed that the Company will take its place as one of the largest and certainly the most profitable villa marketing companies in the world within the next 18 months and we are looking for our Team to start growing with us...right now.

Contact me directly and include your CV if interested in any of the aforementioned opportunities. Please be specific in identifying each Project and skill set you offer.


Thank you,

Peter Burns

Business Development

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Coffee...The Entrepreneur's "Drug of Choice"


What entrepreneur doesn't relish that first sip of delicious coffee in the morning as they sit down and contemplate where their day will take them? The smell of brewing coffee and that very first taste... seems to energize every cell in your body and gives each of us (that drink coffee, of course) that first boost of the day.

No matter what the day's challenges hold in store for us, sitting down to our morning coffee is an intrinsic part of nearly every entrepreneur's day. To that end, my partner in Atlanta and I even figured out how to profit from this. In Phoenix, I put together the first entrepreneurial-based community Co-Working Space. The first was named the eFactory and subsequently, the next two were called Club E Office. If the collection of entrepreneurs officing, meeting and working out of our facility wanted a cup of coffee, they had to leave the premises in search of a Starbucks.

Well, in the Co-working facility my partner and I started in a little town outside of Atlanta, it turned out that there wasn't a convenient coffee shop around. So, being good entrepreneurs that we are, we put in our own coffee shop and viola(!) Club E Cafe continues to be a resounding success and profit center as well as part of the new model for future Co-working facilities in our future.

My love of morning coffee continued during my recent tenure as a Volunteer for an NGO in Ethiopia. Each morning I would share macchiatos with a group of local businessmen on the porch of a boutique hotel near my NGO office. I can honestly say that my morning could not begin on a good note until that first sip of my macchiato, followed by stimulating conversation with my new Ethiopian friends. I even learned something fascinating from my new friends about my "drug" of choice...coffee actually originated right there in Ethiopia.

It seems that long ago, thousands of years, in fact, an Ethiopian goat herder observed that when his goats ate the berries from a certain bush, they became very frisky and jumped all over the place. The herder experimented with the beans and ended up making a hot drink from them. He discovered that this drink was energizing and soon he was drinking it himself and sharing with his workers, who became that much more productive in the fields. The region in Ethiopia in which this began was called Kaffa and forever more, this new drink became known as coffee.

My interest in Ethiopian coffee expanded as I explored different opportunities available to an American entrepreneur in Ethiopia. Soon, I came up with taking my love of coffee and going into the business, so to speak. I learned that despite having originated the wonderful product, consumed the world over, Ethiopia never truly benefited from the the branding and recognition of this contribution. Ethiopian coffee was exported across the world but the recognition of other country brands from Columbia and Brazil, not to mention the prized Kona Coffee from Hawaii and the Jamaican Blue Mountain Blue from Jamaica were all well known to consumers...but not the original coffee from Ethiopia.

I decided that I would help to define the first premium Ethiopian coffee. Taking the story of coffee's origin (Kaffa, Ethiopia) combined with the 3000 year old dynastic history of Ethiopia's Emperors and Kings, I would start my own coffee company from Ethiopia called Imperial Coffee. I am busy working on that project right now...


Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Stay on us on a luxurious villa vacation...when you list your property for sale with our brokerage

stay on us....jpeg

I am going to be the first to state here that I did not come up with this terrific way of renting our multi-million dollar vacation villas (www.hlvillas.com) by obtaining real estate listings for luxury brokers. A couple of bright young men, one a luxury broker and the other a lead tech expert ran the idea by me over a week ago. Here's the problem...they never did anything but talk about it.

Well, that is simply not my style...just talking about it. I decided to take the proverbial "bull by the horns" and at 7 AM in my first coffee meeting today, I structured a deal for implementing this idea. I met with my own web master and lead generation colleague to sketch out a strategy of creating the "offer" to luxury real estate brokers. We now have a web site in process, the nomenclature of the lead gen campaign and the appropriate language being run by two separate luxury real estate brokers who will likely become early adopters.

Putting deals together is just what I do. All of the pieces were already in place: our inventory of exquisite vacation villas, the price points necessary to incentivize the real estate property owner to list their property with a confident broker and a very, very competitive market (luxury real estate sales) whose brokers need every edge to compete in these "shark infested waters."

Our villas give the luxury brokers that edge. With an average price point of $5k-$10k per vacation and the average brokerage commission of 3% (split) to 6% on a minimum of a $2 million listing ($60k to $120k net), the $5k-$10k paid to send the property lister on a spectacular villa vacation is, quite frankly, chump change.

What's the risk to the broker who receives the listing (expected to be a year in this example) you say? The risk is that the luxury broker and everyone else pushing to close the sale of the property fails and the property lister travels on them for free. Oh well...that luxury broker should start selling used cars then and get out of the luxury real estate field. However, we all know that a real pro in luxury real estate won't take a listing that they or others cannot move so...their only risk is not jumping on board.

Over the years, I have had countless "wannabe" entrepreneurs talk a good game about what they would do...but more often than not..they never, ever get off the dime. Oh well, their loss is my gain. :)

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

Connecting the dots...for fun and profit

connecting the dots for fun....jpeg

Less than 8 weeks ago, I wrote the blog on the link below outlining my intention to leverage seemingly unrelated products and services with each other and today that plan manifested.

I am proud to say that a response to this Linked In blog above brought the largest (7000 jets) and longest lasting (26 years) private aviation company to me to begin talks about a joint venturing marketing effort. Only today, I received the first effort in this exciting new Program, which will generate great business for both unrelated entities. Please check out today's first joint blog:

The "math" is pretty compelling between us...our average villa ticket for properties meriting private travel is $10,000. We offer our marketing partners 15% for bringing us our clients. The average ticket for a private jet charter is a cool $50,000 and we receive 3% for bringing them the customer. Ironically, each "payday" of $1500 to the other is exactly the same.

Both parties are now marketing this heady combination of services to our combined clientele. It is a natural and now...I am on the hunt for more partnerships that offer the same opportunities for mutual benefit.

Posted on March 21, 2018 .