On Thursday, August 3, YEC members gathered to discuss personal and professional goals over dinner at a mystery location in Los Angeles. The event was co-hosted by Prudential and our friends at PlaceInvaders.
Prudential is a proud supporter of YEC. They were present to recognize member achievements, fuel ambitions and offer financial solutions. Many natural-born entrepreneurs are self-sufficient drivers of innovation and new business growth, but even the best and brightest often need guidance with their financial future. This dinner focused on how to alleviate this need.
PlaceInvaders provides a pop-up dining experience in other people's unique homes — while they're away. Dinner was hosted in a beautiful private residence that boasted an extensive outdoor patio space overlooking the Echo Park neighborhood of L.A. The lush greenery and candlelit table settings fostered a relaxed, intimate setting for members to share ideas and goals.
Members in attendance included Antonio Neves of www.theAntonioNeves.com, Andrew Kucheriavy of Intechnic, Beth Doane of Main & Rose, Michael Fishman of Pure Cycles, Simon Casuto of eLearning Mind, Brad Yasar of Yasar Corp., Cam Kashani of COACCEL: The Human Accelerator, Spectacular Smith of Adwizar, Inc, Michael Shen of SkillSuccess.com, Kumar Arora of Aroridex, Ltd., Richard Fong of Bliss Drive, Ian Blair of BuildFire, Alvaro Chacon of Stateside Co, Russell Tuchman of BashPros, and Jeff Cherkassky of Box Boulevard, Inc.
With Prudential as co-host and sponsor, the conversation revolved around the members' financial health. Founders in attendance answered various questions about both personal and business goals and plans, including: "What are some of the biggest pitfalls that entrepreneurs face as we invest in our passions but don’t plan for the future?"
"You risk losing doing what you love and hating what used to be your passion," answered Michael Fishman. "It is important to balance short-term and long-term thinking."
When asked, "What are those tough financial questions that don't help you see ahead or don't allow you to move forward? How did you overcome that?" Russell Tuchman shared: "I always look for help wherever I can get it. Determining CAC and LTV are critical but tough to answer early on. Comparing to other companies helps with that."
Another question posed was: "What are some of the tools that you’ve found helpful as you begin to grow financially and want to protect your family finances while growing your business?"
"Bank loans for a safety net and mentors for knowledge. Online courses, books and conventions for networking," said Spectacular Smith.
Founders also discussed having budgets for personal and business expenses, with most agreeing that they keep these budgets separate. Retirement planning insights differed, with some members sharing that their companies are their retirement plans, while others are focusing on their 401(k) and real estate investments. The conversation ended with a discussion on the risks of running a business and how to manage them.
All this financial talk meant members worked up a hearty appetite, so it's a good thing the conversation happened over a delicious dinner. To start, an appetizer of crab on brioche toast with avocado and green apple was passed around. Attendees then sat down and enjoyed two more appetizers of red snapper with sweet potato foam and heirloom tomato with prosciutto. The main course was seared duck breast with charred pear, choy sum and sesame-turnip puree. The meal ended on a refreshing note with a dessert of prickly pear sorbet, thai iced tea, dragon fruit and strawberries.
Photography for the event was provided by Pretty Instant. YEC members can see the full collection of photos from the event, here. You can also learn more about upcoming events in your city at events.yec.co.