Ep265: Avelo Roy – Don’t Let Investors Force You Into Something You Don’t Believe In

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Guest profile

Avelo Roy is a serial tech entrepreneur, investor, and TV host, who started his first startup at the age of 19 around his patent-pending technology while still studying as a computer engineer at Illinois Institute of Technology. He built that company up to a multi-million dollar valuation by the age of 22.

Over the years, he has built eight businesses in the US and India with millions of dollars’ worth of products and services ranging from consumer electronics, artificial intelligence systems, healthcare process automation, food science, wireless communications, wearable technology, and graphical password applications.

As the great-great-grandson of the first female governor of India, a Gandhi-protégé (Sarojini Naidu), Avelo continues the legacy forward by tirelessly serving the Indian youth through entrepreneurship education using lean startup methodology and principles of Bhagavad Gita. His efforts through Kolkata Ventures in the past three years have resulted in 400+ revenue-generating startups responsible for around 4,500 new jobs created in 10 states of East India.

 

“Your investors should not have the right to tell you what to do, but they can advise.”

Avelo Roy

 

Worst investment ever

Avelo came across this fantastic well-respected venture capitalist who kept asking him to join a company that he wanted to buy from the current co-founders. The venture capitalist nagged Avelo for six months, but he kept saying no to his request. At the time, Avelo was running his business in Kolkata while the venture capitalist was in Delhi.

The venture capitalist was so interested in hiring Avelo that he flew down to Kolkata. He told Avelo in two hours, everything that he was doing wrong with Kolkata Ventures. The guy knew what he was talking about.

Getting a local mentor

Avelo grew quite interested in the venture capitalist, especially because he needed a mentor in India. At the end of their discussion, Avelo decided to take up his offer. So he flew down to Delhi. He looked at the team and the business to see what was possible.

The warning he should have heed

The founder of the company told Avelo not to take the deal. He said to him that he’d been unable to run the company. The venture capitalist told Avelo to ignore the founder. The reason why they were getting rid of him was that he was very arrogant.

He convinced Avelo to come on board and buy the founder out together. It took six months to get the papers in order and finally get access to the product.

Working with the best

The product the founder had built was the best in its category in the UK. But then the investors purposely let the founder “die”; they stopped investing. People came in with money and saw his arrogance, and would back off.

When Avelo got the product, it was just buggy, irrelevant, and had many problems. The biggest hurdle, though, was that the payment gateway was not working. There was no way for customers to pay for the product.

Trying to get things back on track

Once Avelo had the team ready, he proposed to rebuild the product to the investors. They refused and said that the product was known for its intelligence built with so many data sets, and had hundreds of thousands of users. He couldn’t get rid of it, create something in six months, and expect it to work. They insisted that Avelo work with the product as it was and make it work.

Avelo was getting quite frustrated with this decision. Having built eight businesses, gone through a product development life cycle over and over again, he knew that when you deal with somebody else’s code, it takes a long time to learn it. It is far easier and smarter to rebuild from scratch than take somebody else’s mess and try to make sense of it. But the investors disagreed with Avelo on that.

All gateways shut

The product was not making money as the payment gateway was still not working. To make matters worse, when the Cambridge Analytical scandal happened, Facebook shut the doors on small players. More than half of the product’s business was happening through its Facebook API, which got shut. Now he had a product that hardly worked. There was a lot of money going in, but no results were coming out.

Things just keep getting bad

As if all that was not enough, the venture capital firm that was supposed to put in the money ran out of funds, and they didn’t tell Avelo that. Now the whole project was on his shoulders, and for almost a year, Avelo had to fund it partially, putting in far more than he had wanted to do. His ego just wouldn’t let him allow the business to fail, but things kept getting more challenging as he still could not change the product. But he kept pushing it.

A ray of hope, perhaps?

After a while, Avelo managed to get back up to 100,000 users. They had gone down from 300,000 users to zero. From there, they went up to 100,000 users and kept going, but no transactions were happening. Money wasn’t going to come in without a working payment gateway.

Something interesting then happened. Out of the blue, two US magazines, Cosmopolitan, the number one magazine for women, and Seventeen, a top magazine for teenagers, ranked Avelo’s product as a top product for dating, something the company had never considered.

Hitting a wall yet again

After the review from the two magazines, Avelo realized that people were chatting with each other and finding friends through the product. He suggested to the investors to consider going in that direction. Again, the investors refused to listen to his suggestion claiming that they were conservative, tax-paying citizens, and such a product was unacceptable in India.

Counting his losses and letting go

A year into it and burning money every month, Avelo decided to add this investment to his list of bad investments, called it quits, packed his bags, and went back to Kolkata.

Avelo’s worst regret was not filing any paperwork for shareholding although they had agreed on shares and so he had no shares in the business. Avelo left with nothing even though he had invested his money into the business. His worst investment ever, though, was looking at this venture capitalist as a mentor.

Lessons learned

Don’t let your investors force you into business decisions

Don’t let your investors corner you into making business decisions that you disagree with, especially if you’re an expert. Don’t let them twist your arm. Be strong, explain to them that you know what you’re doing, and if they want to make money, you need to do what you know best.

Get your paperwork done

Don’t get into any deal without the proper documents. Make sure that you have contracts and agreements in place before you commit to anything.

Don’t treat your employees like family

Employees need to be treated as employees to be effective work relationships and establish boundaries.

Andrew’s takeaways

Be adaptable

If you want to do business outside of your home country, you’ve got to be able to break your frame of reference and be adaptable to different cultures and customs.

Do your due diligence first, not after

It’s important to remember that due diligence is done before you act. Some people either never do due diligence, or they do it after. You have to dig in because when you go into a small business or a startup, you’re talking about investing the next one to five years of your life, and you are going to be completely focused on that. So you’ve got to try to uncover anything before you get into it.

It is lonely at the top

It is very lonely at the top because you can’t talk about the pains and struggles that you’re personally going through with your team. It’s just not appropriate. You can’t talk about the financial or business challenges that you’re facing. You have to keep a brave face.

Businesses fail

It is normal for businesses to fail, so don’t be afraid to walk away. The reality is, the seeds of that pain and suffering are the ultimate seeds of your future success.

Actionable advice

Be as diligent as you can be with the people you work with. Cover everything that could go wrong. Make sure that your investors don’t have the right to tell you what to do, but they can advise. Ensure that you have that level of autonomy as an entrepreneur before you get into a startup.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Avelo’s number one goal for the next 12 months is just to survive 2020 and write. He is also looking at investing in a few startups that might be dealing with tomorrow’s technology.

Parting words

 

“Think big, start small, grow slowly, then grow fast.”

Avelo Roy

 

Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:05
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that to win an investing you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. This is Andrew Stotz have a Stotz Academy where we help people facing four different challenges. investors who want to better manage their stock portfolio, aspiring professionals who want to learn how to value any company in the world, business leaders who want to make their companies financially world class, and even beginners who just want to learn how to implement a simple lifetime investment plan. Join us for free at my worst investment ever.com slash Academy and get instant access to my short course on six ways to lose your money and six strategies to win. This course comes from what I've learned from all of these podcasts. And now on with the show again, this is your worst podcast hosts Andrew Stotz, and I'm here with featured guest Avella Roy, avello. Are you ready to rock?

Avelo Roy 01:06
Absolutely. Let's do it.

Andrew Stotz 01:09
All right, let's have some fun. Well, I'm gonna read your bio and I must say it's pretty amazing. So avello. Roy is a serial tech entrepreneur, investor and TV host, who started his first startup at the age of 19. around his patent pending technology, while still studying as a computer engineer at Illinois Institute of Technology. He built that company up to a multi million dollar valuation by the age of 22. We're all jealous of you. Now. I wish I had done that. Over the years, he has built eight businesses in the US and India with millions of dollars worth of products and services, ranging from customer or consumer electronics, artificial intelligence, healthcare process automation, food science, so many other things wearable technology, graphical password applications, and the rest. As the great great grandson of the first female governor of India. avello continues to legacy forward by tirelessly serving the Indian youth through entrepreneurship education, using Lean Startup methodology and principles of Bhagavad Gita. His efforts through Kolkata ventures in the past three years have resulted in 400 plus revenue generating startups responsible for around 4500 new jobs created in 10, states of East India Abella, please take a minute and filling for the tidbits about your amazing life.

Avelo Roy 02:41
I mean, you you cover it all, I do have a strong passion for for serving people. So I do that through entrepreneurship education. And we need that because it's important that we learn how to do business, but do it ethically. One of the things that I really appreciate Warren Buffett says is that when you hire somebody, there's three things he looks for one is energy, ethics, and intelligence, right. And without ethics data two can be very, very scary, can be misused, and can cause a lot of damage. So So my goal is to create a whole generation of ethical, well charactered entrepreneurs in the Indian ecosystem, because as you know, in India has been gone through after independence, a lot of corruption, a lot of things and, and even in schools people actually grow up. It's okay to cheat. And the whole idea about plagiarism is not shut down as much as in the US. So my goal is because when that happens in school, in the education system, that you grew up to be a doctor, an engineer, or entrepreneur or a politician, who has the same principles within them. So that would be that really helps you understand why you should be ethical, why you should be a good person, why you should be compassionate, what is the need for all of this, and the long term goal, long term success, that's what we need to look at. Because today with social media and everything, it's all about short term, it's about filters. It's about looking good, that feeling good, though, so kind of getting a little deeper into people's consciousness and helping them create a wholesome life that is successful outside and

Andrew Stotz 04:14
inside. It's interesting because I also teach ethics, I teach ethics for CFA for Chartered Financial Analysts. And I've taught that now for more than 10 years. And I in the beginning, I decided to create my presentation about ethics, my whole course, around something different because ethics is usually taught in a negative way. Do this, you know, and you can ruin your reputation. You know, Warren Buffett says, you can ruin your reputation in a minute, you know, and all that. I just felt like for young people, you didn't they didn't necessarily relate to that. Or they said, that's not going to be me. Mm hmm. So I decided to teach ethics in an in a positive light. And I talk, I talk about what I call 10 ways ethics adds value to you and I weave it into my course. But basically what What I try to do is to help people understand that ethics in your interactions with others. And in the way that you do your work are the two main areas that I focus on and in the way that you interact with others being trustworthy, being confidential about information, particularly relating to work. And then also when we look at how you do your work, being diligent, being thorough and continually improving, and I explained to young people that in this day and age, building those 10 elements into your character and into your behavior, you will be extremely rare. And in the world of finance, rare is valuable. So, right, I mean, ethics from, you know, from maybe two different directions, but I think we have the same goal, and that is to help young people to, you know, particularly in the world of finance, what I often talk about is that when students are in school, and they see cheating, students never reported because Okay, what's, what's the gain, you're not going to gain from that and all that they're never going to say, teacher, you know, so and so's cheating. But in real life, particularly in the world of finance, that's the rule. The SEC, the regulator, the laws here, as well as your employer are going to say, if you see wrongdoing, you have to report it. And when I tried to explain to young people about that, it said, Who is the ultimate loser of that the ultimate loser is the client. And I think about my mother who's 82. And hearing her my father, build a retirement nest egg by carefully being carefully advised by advisors, and if somebody with some young person with no ethics, messing around my parents money, imagine, imagine the impact that would have. And so if we, I have a whole nother lecture, I call careful your client as you would your mother, wow, a that I try to teach young people to put it in real terms, you know, when when you're messing around with other people's money in particular, you know, you really are putting other people at risk. So I love it. I love what you're what you're teaching and infusing that into, you know, into the startup world. so fantastic.

Avelo Roy 07:04
Thank you so much. I'm gonna write that dog care for your mother like your

Andrew Stotz 07:09
mother would your mother?

Avelo Roy 07:12
Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah. Okay.

Andrew Stotz 07:14
So now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment, thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story.

Avelo Roy 07:27
So, so I was still pretty new to the Indian ecosystem, I came down from us, after living there for 12 years building businesses raising money, investing in all that. And and the ecosystem in two places are a little different. Where there with investment come said you feel, you know, it's the company's money, and I should preserve it as much and put it into the company like me and my co founder, we had one phone, we call it the refund, and some iPhone. We had one car, we had one apartment live, we always saving money, even though we had raised a lot of our money, you know, and that was all for the company, when it came to India, the processes is a little different, where people are like, oh, investors, given the money. So now I can fly business class and buy a gift for my girlfriend and all of that. And so I was kind of learning the ecosystem. And you want me to talk about only one story. So I'll just pick one story. Right? So I came across this amazing person who's an amazing venture capitalist, and well repeted. And so he was asking me for six months to join a company that he wants to buy out from the current co founders. And I said, I'm not sure and he's in Delhi, I'm in Calcutta. I'm like, I'm not sure I'm gonna do anything in Delhi, as you saw yesterday with my focus, but he flew down to Calcutta. And he told me in two hours, everything that I was doing wrong with Kolkata ventures, and like, this guy really knows what he's talking about. Because obviously, I needed a mentor in Indian us I had a lot of mentors. So I have like, you know what, I really like you and let me give it a try. So I flew down to Delhi. I looked at the team I looked at what was possible. The the founder told me don't do it. I couldn't do it. What How can you and the founder was the reason why that's why they were actually getting rid of him because he's very arrogant because he is from the some of the best institutions MIT and whatnot. Right? So he was like, I couldn't do it and you're much younger than me and you know, how could you even think of doing anything with this company is Okay, so, so the venture capitalist man, we spoke when he said, Don't listen to him, you know, this is why we are just getting rid of them. So come on board, let's buy it out together. took six months to get the papers in order, you know, six months of lot of back and forth. Anyway, long story short, we go through and then we finally get access to the product. Now this product I'm talking about was the best in its category number one in UK for four Weak it was number one, in a lot of parts of Europe, in this category, it was the one of the best products in the world in terms of what it was. And I'm not giving details, because then it'd be very easy to identify who I'm talking about. Oh, so, so all that was good history. But then the investors purposely let this guy kind of die, they stopped investing, people came in with money and looked at the arrogance, and like, backed off. And so now that these guys were off, sold out the product that we got it, it was just buggy, it was irrelevant, because it was three years old. And it had a lot of problems. I mean, it just couldn't accept money. So I mean, how can you generate revenue with the product, that payment gateway doesn't work? Right? It was that bad. And once I had the team, the CTO and everything, and I propose to the investors that you know what, we have to rebuild this product. And they're like, This product is known for its intelligence that has been built with so much data sets, with, you know, hundreds and thousands of hundreds of thousands of users, you cannot just get rid of it and build something in six months, and expect that to work. So you've got to work with this, and make it work, you know. And having built eight businesses, you know, gone through product development life cycle over and over and over and over again, I know, when you deal with somebody else's code, right, it takes a long time for the new guys to learn that code. And after they learn the code to find the bugs, you know, it takes longer. And then if technology has already changed or become obsolete, then you know, it's far easier and far, smarter to rebuild from scratch, then take somebody else's mess and try to make sense of it. But the investors did not agree with me on that. And what happens to the whole Cambridge analytical process happened with Facebook shut down doors on small players and 60% of our business was happening through our Facebook API, which got shut, right now I have a product that hardly works. Facebook, shut it down, you know, in terms of giving us any data whatsoever, because of Cambridge analytical issue. And, you know, I'm trying to make sense of this, there's a lot of money going in, but no results are coming out. And to make things worse, the VC firm that was supposed to put in the money, they ran out of funds. And they didn't tell me that, you know, six months into this, and we're gonna run out of the funds. So the whole thing came on my shoulders, and almost for a year, I had to fund it partially, of course, partially, they did put in some funding, but not to the extent they were supposed to do, and I put in far more than I had wanted to do. And so it became like a, you know, reputation factor, because I'm a public person. And everybody knows I'm in this company, and I cannot let it fail. So my ego was, you know, fighting with me, and I was like, I cannot let it fail, I have to make this work. But then I cannot change the product. So let me just do my best to make this product work. And we had an army of interns, you know, so basically, in India, human in HR is cheaper than AI. Right? So it's not having a lot of technology. We had army of interns to manipulate from the back end and keep it running. And we got back up to 100,000. So we went from 300,000 users to zero. From there, we went up to 100,000 users and and keep going. But no transactions were happening, money wasn't going to be with a payment gateway just wouldn't work. And no matter what you do, and there was some internal glitches, wallet system, and although they complicated the hell out of it, the point is, it just the product just wouldn't work. And still, now what what happened was there was a angle Cosmopolitan magazine in the US, which is known with number one for women and 17, which is again, a top magazine for teenagers. Both of them ranked us as a top product for something else that we were going in this direction. They said, Oh, but these this is a great product for dating, dating, like really. But it was at we realized that it was actually people were chatting with each other and finding friends and all of that, at that. Now, again, the investors were like, No, we don't go in that direction. We are conservative. We are, you know, taxpaying citizens. We don't. So you know how India can be sometimes.

Andrew Stotz 14:30
Yeah, conservative.

Avelo Roy 14:31
And then all these other people saying dating, dating, dating and then finding investors like, okay, but we don't have money. You know, I had, I have like looking at myself, but I'm like a year into it and burning money every month. I'm like, What do I do? So long story short, to add to my buy list of stupidity that I've done with this specific my worst investing is because I've looked at this venture capitalist as a mentor. I didn't actually file the paperwork for shareholding although we agreed on shares. My, we did not do the paperwork for the transition process from the past founders to me, right, and all of that. But when it came to shareholding, we actually didn't file for the shareholding. So I had zero shares, I've all the liability. And I was just burning money every month, my reputation was at stake. And I was just dying every moment. And so then one of my mentors, who had actually vouched for the venture capital firm, and say that you should go to Delhi. He and I met for breakfast. And he said, Well, what's happening is cheating. You know, it's very crude terms. And there has been, I have found that there has been a history of similar thing that had happened to other people. And you are being taken for a ride. Now, I'm not saying anybody's a cheater. I'm not saying you know, I have a lot of respect for these venture capitalists and investors and whatnot. But apparently, this is this has happened in the past. And so yeah, if I gave a deadline, I said, Look, this cannot go on forever. Because they're like, oh, we're raising money for our fun. So as soon as it comes, you know, you're gonna get reimbursed for all the things and that never happened till date, it has not happened. And long story short, I just decided that enough was enough. And after a whole year, of waiting, I finally told you know, by this date, I'm going to just fight everyone. I'm just going to, you know, get out of this pack my bags, go back to Calcutta. And I did. So then

Andrew Stotz 16:45
what was that plane ride back? Like

Avelo Roy 16:49
a crappy? Yeah, I cried a lot. I, because this was supposed to be a unicorn, you know, this was my, that was like, I'm gonna look back at this. And this is gonna be a billion dollar company and all of that a lot of expectations. put my heart into it. But yeah, I did. Actually not just a plane ride back, just that evening, when I vacated my office, and it came back to my apartment. I have this little plant, I just have that plant. And I just cried profusely, because I had nobody else I could talk to, you know, it was so bad because I'm looked up as the guy who helps others with their startups. And here I was failing with my own you know, I was so stupid that I didn't even sign a proper shareholders agreement and whatnot. So yeah, it was quite embarrassing. It was quiet and people did go public with comments about me You know, people did not shy away from bad mouthing me and saying, haha, look at you talking all this big stuff, not even videos that look at you now. You know, so of course that was that was painful. But turn around that focus back and call that the ventures and and we have grown 400 to 500%. During the lockdown in the whole disco, nothing happened. So it's all good. I have no regrets. So the point is that going through it was very difficult. And I now I don't do that anymore. I do paperworks I, you know,

Andrew Stotz 18:09
yeah. And you obviously help other people who are in the process of their startups doing it right. So what lessons did you learn from this experience?

Avelo Roy 18:17
Don't let your investors force you into business decisions, especially if you're an expert, and universal is not made. That's what one thing because in my case, I was I have built and launched products successfully over and over again. So I know product, even though I'm younger, far younger than them far less rigid than them are. But still, I know product development. I know market. I know how this whole thing works. They don't. And when they said, No, we don't recommend you doing it. For their pleasure. I tried to do it their way, knowing full well in past this has not work, but hoping some of this will be different in the future, which didn't. My boss was right. And so that's one of the things when it when you invested, twist your arm, you know, be strong, explained to them that you know better than them. Although it might be difficult to say given they're writing the checks, right? But be strong and tell them that you know what, you know what you're doing, and if their money needs to come back to them, you need to do what you know, best. Right? hold strong in your area. That's one is don't let you investors aren't trust you. Number two is get your paperwork done. Right. Right. Number three is this is something that didn't talk in the story part, but don't treat your employees like family. treat them like employees. Hmm.

Andrew Stotz 19:41
Is that a common thing in India? What's the perspective on how you should treat your employees?

Avelo Roy 19:47
It's a common thing in India. What happens is people are not used to freedom people are not used to being treated nicely. The people are used to good bosses, right? You know, they get treated like shit sorry. swear word, but they get they get treated like cats and dogs. And they get treated like that in their schools, they get treated like that in their offices. And when a guy comes and says, yo, my family, my brother, my sister, they suddenly think I can do whatever I want. I can play video games, while the boss is not around, I can be on WhatsApp. And that's the worst thing. You know, it's like when you let them feel like your family, and then bring them down to I'm going to fire you, you know, you don't find your family members, right. But you know, you have that that transition that kind of you love it. So they're like, you treated us like kings. And now suddenly, you're saying we have to do our work? What are you talking about? So it was I say, It's my mistake, it's not their mistake. But from then onwards, I have kept whoever I hire, I keep a distance. I make sure there's only a few people I talk to the leadership. And below them, I don't interact with them at all, if I interact with them, they're not serious. Right, right. I kind of injected fear, healthy fear and people. Because seems like that's how people work. Unfortunately, yeah. It works for for people who are in the lower level, not so much people who are high, well, high skill with them, you want to give them as much freedom and deadlines and within a framework, and they work well. But a lot of the folks who are lower paid employees, they need to be treated with a little bit of fear, they should feel like I'm being watched.

Andrew Stotz 21:20
Um, so let me share a few things that I take away from your experience. You know, one of the things that as you mentioned, this last point, for the typical American listener, they would be like, none of the way you treat people is the, you know, the American way, trust them, let them do but what you realize is that, after living around, you know, in Asia and traveling around a lot over the years, I realized that every country is different, every culture is different. If you think that you can take, let's say, a Chinese mentality and run Americans by it isn't gonna work. And if you think you're going to take American mentality and run Indians by it, it isn't going to work. And so part of it is being adaptable. And I think that a good example of that, to some extent in Thailand is Japanese companies. And a lot of American companies come to Thailand, and then they basically will try to say, like, let's do an American style, you know, we want you to run this factory, and we want you to, you know, feel like you own it and feel like you know you and and and that is not what a lot of Thai employees really want. And the Japanese came in, and they that what the time employees wanted was to be trained, to be coached. And, and to be led to some extent, and that's part of why the Japanese factories are so successful in Thailand, their culture match, it wasn't, the Japanese didn't say, you know, we want you to run our factory, they said, We know how to run this. But you know, if you take that mentality, and you bring it to India you bring into China is not going to work. And so I think the lesson that that you remind me of is in my own business experience, you know, if you want to do business outside of your home country, you've got to be able to break your frame of reference. And that's hard. That's hard. So that's the first, that's the first thing I'd take away. The second thing is, you know, I was just meeting with a client today, and we were talking about due diligence and how something was missed in a due diligence process. And what I what I after some good questioning about it, you know, it really made me think and it made me think when I was listening to your story, like, it's important to remember that due diligence is done before you act. Some people, you know, they either they never do due diligence, or they do it after, but you have to really, really dig in, because when you go into a small business, or a startup or something, you're talking about investing the next one to five years of your life, you know, on devoted, you know, on an uninterrupted you know, you are going to be completely focused on that. And so you've got to try to uncover anything before you get into it. And that also reminds me of one last thing that I remember from, you know, that it makes me think about a lot from what you discuss is that the saying it's lonely at the top. That's the saying, you say when you're young, and you're like, yeah, it's lonely at the top, and it says it in some movie. But the reality is, it is very lonely at the top, because you can't talk about the pains and struggles that you're personally going through with your team. It's just not appropriate. And you can't talk about the financial challenges that you're facing or the business challenges facing. You got to keep a brave face. And that's one of the reasons why it is when you go into the world of of entrepreneurship, you got to know that and that's where I'm going to wrap up my last comment, which is for the listener out there, who's struggling in a situation right now that they know, it's just not gonna work. You know, it's not easy to find somebody to talk about, you know, listen to a velhos story and take some comfort there, that even people who are successful, you know, fail and struggle, and it's okay to give up on an idea that just not Working. Obviously, you want to fight hard for the ideas you believe in. But it's okay. In fact, as I often say, except in most most countries, you can say that this is correct. Felt business failure is not a crime. It sucks. It's painful. It, you know, really hurts. And you'll find yourself hugging your plant in the middle of the night. Right? But it's not illegal fraud, lying, cheating, stealing, that's illegal. Make sure you don't do that. But you know, businesses fail. So don't be afraid to walk away. Because the reality is, is the seeds of you know that that pain and suffering is the ultimate seeds of your future? success. Anything that you would add to that?

Avelo Roy 25:43
No, I think you covered it beautifully. I think that that sums it up. Thank you very much. Yep.

Andrew Stotz 25:47
All right. So based upon what you learned from this story, and what you continue to learn what one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering, the same fate.

Avelo Roy 26:00
Be as diligent as you can be with the people works, right, cover all your aspects, cover everything that could go wrong, and make sure that's there and have if you're entrepreneur, definitely makes sure that your investor doesn't have the right to tell you what to do, but they can advise, right? And that freedom is there. Otherwise, let me tell you over and over I've seen not only in my life, but other people's also where investors take over and they tell you what to do, even though they have no experience in your industry, your market, right? It is absolute guaranteed failure. If an investor tells you what to do, and you do it, right, rather than have to be healthy balance between their advice and your ground experience. And covered that in your contracts. Make sure you have that level of autonomy as entrepreneur before you get into a startup.

Andrew Stotz 26:53
Great, great advice. Great advice. Well, last question. What's your number one goal for the next 12 months

Avelo Roy 27:00
2020, survive, write, survive. And if possible, then try then the team right now. I am looking at at investing in a few startups that might be dealing with tomorrow's technology. So whether it's 5g or whether it's extended reality, whether it's dealing with mental health because more with more automation, more lonely people more sadness. So I'm looking at investing in a few startups, high growth startups. So so about, that's pretty much fantastic, survive, thrive and invest.

Andrew Stotz 27:32
I can't wait to hear in 12 months where you're at with that. And for the audience out there. You know, I'll have every all the links in the show notes. So if you got a new investment idea, you got something good that you want to share. Get in touch. All right. So listeners there you have it another story of laws to keep you winning. Remember to go to my worst investment ever.com slash Academy to get access to my short course six ways to lose your money and six strategies to win. As we conclude avello, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Avelo Roy 28:19
Think Big, start small, grow slow, then grow really, really fast. Beautiful,

Andrew Stotz 28:25
beautiful. All right. That's a wrap. On another great story to help us create, grow and most importantly protect our wealth fellow risk takers. This is Andrew Stotz, your worst podcast host saying I'll see you on the upside.

 

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Dr. Andrew Stotz, CFA is the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research, a company that provides institutional and high net worth investors with ready-to-invest stock portfolios that aim to beat the benchmark through superior stock selection.

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