Ep622: Cesar Hasselmann – Work Today on the Things You Want to See Happen

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Quick take

BIO: Cesar Hasselmann is an author, mentor, coach, and business consultant.

STORY: Cesar started a very successful gas and supermarket distribution network when he was only 16 years old. Unfortunately, about three years later, his country’s president stole public funds and caused most businesses, including Cesar’s, to suddenly collapse.

LEARNING: Challenges make you a better entrepreneur. Everything has a time. Understand the macro environment.


“Make your business and life work for you, not the other way around.”

Cesar Hasselmann


Guest profile

Cesar Hasselmann is an author, mentor, coach, and business consultant. After helping multinational and international companies adjust and succeed in their projects, he began to branch out and help small to medium business owners achieve success and founded AMH Consultancy.

Worst investment ever

When Cesar was 16, he started his first distribution business in Brazil. His family knew some business people who owned industries, and he got to distribute their products through different channels. One of the most successful channels was a small gas station he’d started.

Later, Cesar opened several gas stations and now had a successful network. This opened more opportunities for him, and he started selling for all the big gas station brands, like Shell. Cesar asked his brother to join him in the business as a partner. His brother left his job at Coca-Cola and joined him. The brother took over the supermarket distribution channel.

The business grew, and they started adding more products. The two brothers were experiencing great success until the president stole public funds with the excuse of paying the country’s debt. Everything started to collapse, and the whole country was scrambling. The only money businesses could hold was the new money coming in because the money they had saved was gone—this crippled Cesar’s business.

Lessons learned

  • Challenges make you a better entrepreneur.
  • Everything has a time—be mindful of making decisions too late or too early in the process.
  • Don’t start a business if you don’t know where you’ll end up or how it will impact your life in the next 20 years.
  • Work today on the things you want to see happen. Don’t wait for tomorrow. It’s too expensive, time-consuming, and stressful.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Understand the macro environment.
  • Understand the currency you’re using and what’s going on with it.
  • Investing is about risk, and sometimes bad things happen without warning.

Actionable advice

Know your magic numbers. Also, have your plan in place. So if you have a family business, you must have a succession, acquisition, or sales plan. You need to be ready to sell every day.

Cesar’s recommended resources

Cesa recommends reading his upcoming book, The Life Break Through (available in the next 30 days). This book is about business, family, and personal cycles. Cesar broke down these cycles to allow people to understand their different emotions and their impact on their businesses.

No.1 goal for the next 12 months

Cesar’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to have two properties—100% percent paid out—and $1 million in his bank account.

Parting words


“Make the best use of my experience to put yourself in the place where you’re fulfilled and have a better life.”

Cesar Hasselmann


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
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 in investing, you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. And that mission has led me to create the become a better investor community. In it you get access to the tools you need to create, grow and protect your wealth go to my worst investment ever.com right now to claim your spot. Fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast hosts Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guest, Cesar Hassan, Cesar, are you ready to join the mission?

Cesar Hasselmann 00:46
Bring it on, take me in, I would love to

Andrew Stotz 00:50
bring it on? Well, I, you win the award for the most shortest and most powerful bio, which I'm going to read to the audience, make your business and life work for you, not the other way around. And that is what Caesar is all about. Caesar take a minute, and tell us about the unique value that you bring to this wonderful world.

Cesar Hasselmann 01:19
Oh, cool. Thank you. Thank you very much, guys, for having me. Thank you, Andrew, to invite me in. Yeah, I'm going to start in try to make people understand where I come from first. So I was raised for with a beautiful family, a very ambitious and present dad and mums. And my dad dream was to be very good pianist player, because his mom was a pianist teacher. And she teach a lot of the great pianist in our country to became great pianist. So my dad used to have that avenue but because he needs to start to work very early, with his 1415 years old. He went to executive line and he was very successful with that. But that didn't brought him the love and passion that he has towards to the piano, but he also have passion in improving people's. And he became a very high level executive in multinational companies and very successful, but the pain that he pays to be in that position, to be able to supply to us a good education and good support was something that always hurts me. And as I'm growing and getting older, that's something that I choose to not be was an executive. And I choose to be I interpret you, that can make life better for dead people who wants to became an executive in better company structures. And, and I start very early, with 13 years old, I start to have my first business and since then, I've been growing different places, in different industries. Until 20 years ago, almost 25 years ago, I had, I create a company from my living area with three people that became 120 employees company with over $25 million turnover. And, and what I have understood is big companies, they have the resource to do things and spend the money and make the ego fight works. But family business, independently of the size, they cannot, in different ways, they're going to be heard in different in different ways. So I took all that knowledge. And I start to put this in place for intrepid news in family business, to make their life work balance or tours to themself not to be in a marriage or jail obligation with the family business or the person or business working towards to their own potential wants and needs to have a better life because at the end of the day, we take the biggest risk that somebody else can have, it's fair enough for us to take the best outcome to

Andrew Stotz 04:15
write well, that's interesting and now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment thinking it will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it and then tell us your story.

Cesar Hasselmann 04:29
Okay, so let's go down for my probably between 1617 years old when they start to do my first distribution center and I start to work selling for gas station in supermarkets. So we have an opportunity to know some people in my country who own some business some industries, and I got their product to sell in different channels. Right so Then one of the channels that I have a very good entrance was gas station that I start from, from the little gas stations, one, one business owner with only one gas station. And from there, I opened different ones and I start to have a network of gas stations, to be able to sell gas station products, right. So, and this opened up a big opportunity for me because I start to sell for all the big brands too. And they start to sell for all shell, all Texaco, all that the international business you in the gas station. And in some stage, I started to sell more with the gas station network that I was creating and growing nationally in my country, that allows me to bring my brother from working to call a call to became a business partner, and you start to say supermarket because that's what he used to do for Coca Cola. So and then we start to get more products, we try to add value with products with the channel that we have connections to sell more, and you start to do a distribution and rep represent products with two completely different negotiations. One, you make commission, you just sell. And the other one, you make the gap in between the buying price and the sales price, which is a much better fit for you to do that. So that was between my 1617 years old and to my probably 19 to 20 when our government our president, with the excuse to paint into national debt, he steal the money of savings from all the companies, all citizens, and then from one day to the other. Everything start to collapse. So

Andrew Stotz 06:54
what does that mean that he stole the money? What is that? What do you mean by that?

Cesar Hasselmann 06:58
He just use his power to tell all to tell everyone the country that all the money that we're having savings, and all the money that you have in the banks will be confiscated. So what's frozen, and what's happening is because of that, in being a kid playing the game of, of having a big business and start to make very, very distant money, very much more money than all my teachers, which was making me hard to finish my university. Because I could not believe that they can teach me things that they cannot apply themselves, right. So I start to not believe in the system. But but some teachers, they just awesome, they just give you a lot of content, a lot of knowledge and the respect to but others, they try to use what they know against you to show a kind of power, which is not the ideal word to get someone to help you to finish whatever they need to write. But in saying that, what's happening is in Australia, we cannot you don't have much invoicing sales, right? We don't have much trades in finance in Australia is very rigid, you do can do that today. But it's completely different that you can trade in South America, North America. So what's happening is the companies that are used to rep or to do a distribution, because they don't have money enough to keep putting products out. What they have done is they create fake invoices for my clients, because they are good clients, to be able to trade those invoices with the bank, to be able to have cash flow to keep the industry running. Right. So imagine you creating a relationship with all your clients and they allow you to go in the stock and make dash talk for themselves. Because that was the my focus every time that I have a new client, I educate them with the product that I have to give them the most return and then this allows me space to be able to put more products but not just that allows me space to audit their stock. Right? So imagine all my clients who start to call me when they receive the invoice from the bank to pay something that they never order. Right so I know that I believe I believe that from from a kid playing to have a business seriously to became a man was less than six month because we need to sit down with the banks to negotiate the whole structure that we have. We have 20 Something employees because in that stage we had nationally we have people changing our products on our clients every day to be able to make If the product runs quicker, runs out quicker. So I start to need to negotiate with the bank and I start to understand what's dead and what what means get broke. And all the continents about not believing on the teachers start to hit me back with me it is more towards than just the money and the easygoing life. And plus the people that you love to deal with, you start to hang on you or didn't open the door, because they don't believe in you anymore. It's nothing that you can do to say that it's not your fault. So that was for me. The challenge of my life, that was the worst, best investment for myself, because was in an age that the knowledge helps me to be here today. In what happened,

Andrew Stotz 10:55
what happened when this move happened by the government? So did your business shut down? Or all of a sudden everybody was scrambling to get cash? Or how did it go?

Cesar Hasselmann 11:06
Yes. So yeah, the whole country was scribbling. The only money that you could hold was the new money coming in, because the money that you have saved in cash flow was gone. You have a limited access?

Andrew Stotz 11:21
It reverses. Brazil, Brazil, okay.

Cesar Hasselmann 11:24
Yeah, Fernando cola was the president. And you have the same happen. Then after that you have the same history going on with Argentina or the countries in the past in America, I was reading an article the other day, not that long ago, that was actually putting that in a kind of journey since the 1900s. What some president has done with the excuse to take the savings out of us, because that's something that might could happen. Now, I don't know what's going on, but that they tried to use the history to show a bit what the President could be, you know, I'm not here to give any kind of political kind of thing, or I'm just saying, that's the reason why I know that the timeframe, but what what gave to me was, was more value to us to the process more value to us to the way you you manage yourself to understand situations. So maturity is a key point that comes with that. But

Andrew Stotz 12:31
what so let's talk about the lessons that you learn. So the first one is it just forced you to grow up and face a very tough situation? How else has it shaped you? What are the other lessons you got from him?

Cesar Hasselmann 12:43
Oh, respect a lot. The other because I took my brother from a good employment to come with me in that journey that we are laughing at. But at the end of the day, he was older than me, and he was more in sync to start to think about getting married and, and have babies. And at the same time that I was proud that we start something as abroad is we very good family, I have a very good, I'm blessed. My brother has everything for me. And that the thing that hurts me the most in that point, because I know that I'm simple. I'm just a kid living in the family house yet. So my risk can be shrunk to zero almost. But he was in a different part of his life journey that I believe was the biggest impact for personally. And but dealing with banks understand the whole economy laws, all those things that you need to go through. makes you a much better enterpreneur. Right? It's just a tough gig when you used to young used to think as a kid, right? So

Andrew Stotz 13:56
imagine what happens as a kid, you know that something like that could happen?

Cesar Hasselmann 14:01
Yeah, it's a very good thing to happen to a kid because you still have the time to change, right? It's better happen as a kid and better I happened with my next car. 50 years old. I'm very blessed. I'm very grateful that I have so many different hard core histories that I went through in business and personal life that made me today. Do these that you're doing and be part now want to be part of your process? Because without paying, we can save so many people from their future paying? That's not even funny to start to talk about.

Andrew Stotz 14:39
Yep. So maybe I'll just share a couple of things. One of the things that you remind me is, you know, there's, you know, you got to understand the macro environment. When we're young we don't really understand that. I started a business with my best friend in 2000 in 1995. We started in Thailand, and in 1997 we had the bot collapse. I wasn't really even though I was an analyst, I didn't get the big macro picture of what was happening. And therefore I got hit pretty hard. The second thing is, you know, also understanding currency and what's going on with the currency is another key thing that a lot of times we don't think about. But it can be a very important factor. And then the final thing that I was thinking about is that, you know, investing in anything is risk, you know, that it's about risk. And sometimes just bad things happen. And it's hard to necessarily anticipate, and you just have to get through it. And so those are the things that I would say anything you would add to that from the what you learn,

Cesar Hasselmann 15:47
oh, I believe time exactly what he's saying. But a little bit more focused on it. I believe everything has a time. And if you don't know how to sync your clock, to the real time, your mind gonna get lazy or your mind gonna make decisions in a too late or too early in the process. And the other thing that I have learned is, you're not supposed to have a business or start a business, if you don't know how you're gonna ended up, or how that gonna be impacting your life in the next 20 years. I'm not, I'm not asking you to do a kind of ABC very restrict black and white plan, but worth two days on the things that you'd like to see happen tomorrow. Don't wait for tomorrow is too expensive and too time consuming, and too stressful.

Andrew Stotz 16:42
So based upon what you learned from this experience, this story and what you continue to learn, what one action would you recommend that our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate?

Cesar Hasselmann 16:54
Planning? So it you need to do you need to know two things. You need to know your numbers, I have a process that I call I make magic numbers, right? I don't, I don't believe in balance sheets, I don't believe in p&l 100%. Right, I use them as a reference because they were created for you to pay tax. So this is based on the financial system is not based in helping business, right. So I believe that you're supposed to have something that I do for my clients that I call magic numbers, we need to discover and usually they are between three to five magic numbers from the start and ended up in the first 12 to 24 month in one magic number. And then everything that's happened with that number moves your profit up or down. Makes sense. If you're not, if you know that you're going to be able to make decisions in the month that you need to be for that became profit and loss, negative impact. So that's one thing that I believe you need to do. The second thing is have your plan in place. So if you have a family business, you need to have a succession plan in place or you need to have acquisition plan in place, you need to have a sales process in place, you need to be ready to sell every day if you don't have a business that you can get up off your your your your business and say I want to sell tomorrow and you're not ready is not a real business.

Andrew Stotz 18:32
Sales is the key. i What is a resource that you would recommend for our listeners.

Cesar Hasselmann 18:38
Oh, they I have a book coming out soon that calls the life of breakthrough. And actually a lot of the bad impact on business, they are the emotional executions of our needs on that specific time. So I wrote a book about cycles, business cycles, family cycles, personal cycles, I broke down these to allow people to understand the emotions involved on that and the impact on that on the business. So I believe is everyone's supposed to know that to be able to understand when they need to have a break before they open the mouth, or when they need to open the mouth before they have a break.

Andrew Stotz 19:21
Okay, that's good. And what's the best where Will people be able to get that book in the future? So

Cesar Hasselmann 19:27
I got are going to be launching soon they can come to my website sees a hustle mn.com.

Andrew Stotz 19:32
Okay. And you will have in the show notes.

Cesar Hasselmann 19:35
Yes. And in there, they're going to be able to have access to the book in the proper probably in the next 30 days.

Andrew Stotz 19:43
Fantastic. Fantastic. Last question. What is your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Cesar Hasselmann 19:49
Oh, I have started a little development business. And my goal for that is have two properties on a percent paid out in $1 million in the bank account. I love it. Well, so let's see. Let's see very clear,

Andrew Stotz 20:05
very clear. listeners. There you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. If you haven't yet joined the become a better investor community just go to my worst investment ever.com right now to clean your spot. As we conclude, Cesar, I want to thank you again for joining our mission 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?

Cesar Hasselmann 20:33
The parting words so I made my words yours. You know, make the best you can do for all this to keep you in the place that you fulfill yourself and have a better life.

Andrew Stotz 20:48
Perfect. And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. Let's celebrate that today. We added one more person to our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. This is your worst podcast hose Andrew Stotz saying I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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