I've been working a lot, and foresee some crazy hours ahead in April. - This is ok, it's also good. I'm part of something I'm happy to be a part of. That being said, for the days I'm missed, I'm throwing in memories I have, things that are important to me, that I hope are useful to reflect on later.
Day #38 - Wednesday
Squat 5x5 - 185
OHP 5x5 - 105
Deadlift 1x5 - 205
Day #39 - Thursday
Climbing over lunch - About 2 hours. Climb was absolute garbage. Fell off 5.10d's I normally send no problem. Couldn't focus, mental space was a disaster.
GF sent the 5.11c project again. She's climbing amazing.
We had a nice chat til about midnight about housing. - Our life in this mountain town is pretty awesome, except the fact we don't have a million dollars kicking around to buy a house. Even a condo is $400,000+ ... and I never want to live in a condo again. The stress is real, but the conversation... mitigated it.
Day #40 - Friday
Felt run down at work today. I've been trying to clean up a valuation that's just been an enormous strain on me mentally, and it's been rough. Made "some" progress, but not enough for the time I've put into it.
Over dinner we had an interesting conversation: I'd done some reading on LuLuLemon's 10-k filing to compare to a "start-up" apparel company operating in Vancouver. Bear with me through the simplified financial information - TLDR conclusion right under this:
LuLu made $303 million dollars after tax last year. They had operating cash flows of $383 million which is basically best reflects how much they'll make next year and going forward, supposing nothing changes.They generate $1,251 dollars in revenue on every square foot of retail space they have. - They have 406 stores located in the United States, Canada, Austrailia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, Hong King, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Peurto Rico and Switzerland.Their margin is roughly 51% - Which means if they sold a pair of LuLu pants for $100, it would have cost them $49 in materials and workers time to make them. ((100-49)/100)They have 138 MILLION shares issued and outstanding.(all available off their latest 10-k filing - http://investor.lululemon.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1397187-17-8#LULU-20170129X10K_HTM_SC38814ADB414B9987171185152D22E0E)
This "start-up" has 2 stores open:
Startup lost $6 million dollars last year. They had operating losses of $7 million which is basically best reflects how much they'll make next year and going forward, supposing nothing changes.They generate $250 dollars in revenue on every square foot of retail space they have. - They have 2 stores in Vancouver with 2 more scheduled to open soon and 1 scheduled to open in Toronto.Their margin is roughly 46% - The most positive aspect.They have 107 MILLION shares issued and outstanding, with outstanding warrants available for another 106 million shares. Warrants being an option that give the holder the ability to purchase shares for a certain price for a certain length of time. - Warrant holders are not forced to buy the shares, but if the company does well, they will.(all available on www.sedar.com - even if the web-site looks straight out of 1995 and more likely to give you a virus than contain all TSX regulatory filings...)
TLDR, WHY IS THIS SO FASCINATING? - You never see a small clothing company structured this way. - Hell, you would be hard pressed to find another company PERIOD with revenues less than 2 million that's structured this way. It has the same number of shares issued as a company with 100x it's revenue. - If you took a company like this without any of the shares taken into consideration into DRAGON'S DEN or THE SHARK TANK, they'd still laugh you off the stage.
Back of the napkin math assuming all their new retail space came online Jan 1 (It didn't) means they generate 3.3M in revenue this year. - Meaning best best case they generate 1.5M in cash this year. - So they need to raise another 6.5 - 8 million to continue operations just this year. More back of the napkin math shows they need to hit 20M in sales to have a chance at being profitable. Based on their current operations, that's 80,000 square feet of active retail - vs. the 13,000 or so they expect by the end of the year. 32 stores. vs the 2 that are actually open, and 3 additional to open shortly. If this CEO manages to get this to profitability before it all comes apart, I think it would be one of the most impressive business stories ever told.
Comparable companies doing < $300 per square foot of retail space (http://f.tlcollect.com/fr2/315/37573/MarketFlash_MoneyTalks_July13.pdf):
Canadian TirePetsmartDollarama Inc.SearsNRDC Equity (Hudson's Bay, Home Outfitters, Zellers)TargetNotice anything interesting about that list? - Petsmart, Zellers, and Target have all ceased operations and exited the market. - Sears is on it's way out and Home Outfitters is restructuring under bankruptcy laws. - Dollarama is an entirely different business model and I can only assume Hudson's Bay was being dragged down by Home Outfitters and Zellers. Makes me a little concerned for Canadian Tire... Also - Random aside - LuLu is way up at the top of the linked PDF, and their sales per square foot have come way down, yet they're still good enough for 2nd overall.
When LuLuLemon had it's IPO, shares were offered for $18 in 2007 - There was a rollercoaster when the markets imploded in 2008, and I'm sure a lot of people were considering jumping out the window when they hit a low of $2.25 in 2009. Then things turned around... in a huge way - July 2011 there was a 2 for 1 share split, and the stock reached a high of $80.65. if you'd invested $10,000 at the low point and sold at the high point you'd have made a profit of $706,888.88.
So... will this startup be another LuLu or will it go the way of Target? - I watch eagerly.
No workout. Went to bed at 10 and ended up staying up til 2:30am just chatting. It's been a long time since we really just chatted for hours. - Sometimes I forget we've been together close to 8 years now. Had a frank and open chat about what it was that made us happy to be with each other... and it lead down a road of "what if's", all the people who've come through our lives and what makes each a dealbreaker. So many of them are married / in long-term relationships already and it's fun to roll eyes over other people perceived faults or the quirks of their personality that would drive either of us crazy in a relationship.
In some ways it felt like a dangerous conversation to be having. While we don't have much in the way of trust / jealousy issues - shining a spotlight on the area can bring to light issues that may have been festering. - With the whole quitting games, I feel like we're communicating more overall, and having these more challenging conversations is possible without any additional baggage jumping on board... it felt more rewarding and I feel closer for it.
Recently Mike Pence (Vice-President of the United States) said something along the line's of: [He won't go out for dinner alone with a woman other than his wife.] - It has sparked 100's of news articles and angry tweets left and right all over the internet. I'd broached the subject on Thursday to my GF and she hadn't heard about it at the time, so I just left it alone... apparently she did some reading up on Friday and it turned into a heated discussion. I think all the positions possible have been talked to death, so I just want to try and gather my takeaways:
The comment tangled up two hugely important issues to Americans, Career and Relationships:
Problematic with the articles written on the internet is groups that value either career or relationships more will dismiss articles focusing on the other issue out of hand.Taking stances that put a particular group of people at a disadvantage require cultural norms to be acceptable. IE: Conservative leaning people tend to support that going for dinner alone with a member of the opposite sex can create the perception of impropriety, even when there is none.As a Chartered Accountant I can't accept gifts from clients, dinners, etc. even when it won't influence my decision making, because there could be a perception of independence breach.If the cultural norm is accepting of the rule, there must be "perceived" value of the stance, even if the evidence does not support that. When examining the group of people that support the rule, evidence based approaches do not hold much value. - Therefore to have any productive discussion it must explore the belief system that supports the perceived value of the stance.So the belief is, by not being alone with a woman, there is no potential to build a physical / emotional connection. - The logic behind it, while very old school to me seems sound. - Unfortunately, it dismisses the reality of the modern workplace, recreational activities, and living a full fulfilling life.It's easy for me to say that taking a rigid, rules based stance, does not eliminate a problem. - People will cheat. If you want to cheat, you're going to sneak around behind your partner's back. It doesn't need to be dinner...The world outlook I have is that - I will be attracted to people. - I appreciate seeing a fit, active woman. I appreciate having a stimulating conversation with intelligent women at work. - I'm not always going to be attracted to these people, - and even if I am, I'm not going to act on it. Because I'm a adult, and part of being an adult is not acting on every urge that pops into my head.To convince someone that believes that a "rule-based approach" is better than a "decision making based approach" may simply be a waste of time. The way we perceive the world is simply too different. Presenting the idea in a respectful manner, and respecting their approach... that may be a path towards increased understanding.If a boss has longstanding traditions of taking only a certain group out for dinners, and it furthers career progression, there is unfairness, but...It is not the be all, end all. - A determined, career minded person will explore alternatives. - They will go for lunch. They will invite the husband and wife combination over for a dinner party, they will find an alternative decision maker.We are a generation of second jobs and side-hustles. I have no respect for a person who sees the boss won't go out for dinner with them, and that's the end of their effort. They spend the rest of their time complaining about the unfairness of it all. Be better than that.At the same time I acknowledge that if the boss refuses to do anything and continuously favors one group over all others, it's a problem. That's a problem with the PERSON, and possibly the company. And honestly, with career turnover the way it is, you're better off packing up and leaving that terrible "leader" behind.
The Pence conversation weighed on me a lot. - I don't know where my political leanings are anymore. I hate the term LGBTQQIP2SAA - not because of any stance on LGBT issues, but because it's ridiculous and it seems to be catching on in media. I'm not a big fan of high tax rates, I think they're very harmful to business. - At the same time there's literally a case study of Left vs. Right going on in Alberta and Saskatchewan right now where Alberta has a Left government and Sask has a Right government. - Both provinces are suffering because of the oil prices being in the gutter, yet Alberta is doing better because of the huge deficits the government is running. Will it work in the long term? Who will be better off? I can't answer that.
The other thing to bother me about the "Pence question" is - after talking about it for an hour, I didn't feel any better about it. We'd explored the issue from many different angles. I accept all of the reasons it's harmful. I also still support the idea around why he said it: to support and strengthen a relationship within the context of his belief system. Is it simply the "idea" is so broad that coming to a satisfying conclusion isn't possible? It feels like more information won't be helpful... and there's so many issues like this floating around.