Mastering the Art of Failing
Mastering the Art of Failing Podcast
A Journey of Pivots: From Corporate to CFO Guy

A Journey of Pivots: From Corporate to CFO Guy

Season One, Episode Two: We chat with Mayur Vyas, a CFO who has built a bold and entertaining personal brand that goes against corporate norms.

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Think back to when you first started your career. Did you think it would be filled with suits and ties (or other standard business attire), excessive meetings and spreadsheets, and chatting around the coffee machine? Or, did you feel that these environments, somewhat devoid of energy and creativity, should mirror life outside of the office?

This week, we chatted with Mayur Vyas, the CFO for Finconoso, who is better known as The CFO Guy. He, too, was met with this all-too-common scenario but decided to go against the grain. After spending at a Big Four accounting firm, Mayur initially envisioned creating an exemplary professional services firm.

However, through various pivots, Mayur has embraced his unique persona, The CFO Guy, and found success in his own authentic way.

While his spirit and persona may not mesh with everyone in the financial world, he continues to carve out his own niche and change what executive-level finance looks like today.

Producer’s Note

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Thanks again for being here on day one.

Key Takeaways

  • Mayur Vyas, also known as The CFO Guy, embraced his unique persona and found success in his own authentic way.

  • Mayur transitioned from a corporate environment to starting his own business, offering CFO-type services to startups and small businesses.

  • By embracing authenticity and injecting humor into his interactions, Mayur built stronger connections with his clients.

  • Mayur's personal branding and unique approach, combining financial expertise with humor, set him apart in the industry.

  • Mayur's journey highlights the importance of staying true to oneself, embracing authenticity, and finding joy in the work we do.

The Genesis of the Entrepreneurial Journey

Mayur's entrepreneurial journey began seven years ago after spending 15 years working in engineering companies and a Big Four accounting firm. Seeing many of his friends and colleagues venture into their own businesses, Mayur started offering CFO-type services to startups and small businesses in the DC area. Balancing consulting work and his own business became challenging, leading him to take the leap and fully commit to his entrepreneurial pursuit.

Embracing Authenticity and Humor

As Mayur transitioned into his own business, he realized the importance of being true to himself and not conforming to a corporate persona. He discovered that working with entrepreneurs required a different approach—one that involved being more real and relatable, and injecting humor into his interactions. By embracing his natural comedic style, Mayur found that it not only made his work more enjoyable but also fostered stronger connections with his clients.

The Power of Personal Branding

Mayur's journey took an unexpected turn during the pandemic when he started recording videos and sharing them on social media. Initially focused on technical topics, he eventually let his humorous side shine through, resulting in increased engagement and a growing following. Mayur realized the importance of personal branding and authenticity, which opened doors for new opportunities and connections. His unique approach to combining financial expertise with humor has set him apart in the industry.

Mayur's journey as the CFO Guy is a testament to the power of staying true to oneself, embracing authenticity, and finding joy in the work we do. By stepping away from the corporate mold and infusing his own personality into his brand, he has created a path that resonates with others and continues to evolve as he explores new avenues in the world of venture capital and fundraising.

Show Transcript

Mastering Failing uses automated tools to create a transcript of our show. Please excuse any typos and hallucinations that we’ve come to love from our new AI overlords.

Mayur: my name is Mayer vs. I'm the CFO of Fin Kenso. when I first started my business, I had this vision of having a exemplar professional services firm. And seven years later, I am not known for that, but known for many other crazy things. And those who know me well have seen me pivot.

Lord knows how many times in this journey. Seven years later, I can say that. Many pitfalls along the way.

Now I'm known as many other things in addition to that, as well as the hashtag the CFO guy and an investor an entrepreneur, a activist, a all around crazy person, you'll find me on the socials.

Alex Love: Awesome. So let's dig into that. And I think we can start with how we met because it's definitely worlds colliding. So was, I don't remember. Correct me pre pandemic or post pandemic the club.

Mayur: was, yeah, it was during the pandemic. Yeah. I think it was 2020 itself.

Alex Love: Yeah. So our love of testing startups, is, is kind of how we got together in the first place. And Early pandemic when you can't go out and have all of these lunch meetings and, meet people and things. I guess someone started up a company called Lunch Club and it was intended to bring together people who had common interests and random pairings just to have cool conversations.

And so I did it a couple times. Maybe two or three and, and randomly we were, we were matched together. So we had a conversation a couple of years ago and then fast forward, you walked into one of my events, um, and I was like, Hey, hold on, you look really familiar. So it was cool to see that come together and maybe we should contact the people at lunch club for an episode.

Cause I, I don't know that they are around anymore. Has anyone heard from them in a while?

Mayur: Yeah, I don't think so. That's a good, that's a good point too. I think I also had about, I think I did five max of those. And yeah, I mean, I guess they thought this was going to be the next thing. We're all going to be at home together be at home forever. But yeah, I know small world turns out like, the people, your, your colleagues at your company, like I know a lot of them already.

And I was like wow, geez, this is, this is awesome. Yeah.

Alex Love: Super small world. Awesome. Anyway, so let's dig into your intro, right? And where you started. You said seven years ago, you wanted to start out, your entrepreneur journey. What were you doing? And sort of, what was the genesis of deciding I'm going to go off and do this on my own?

Mayur: So I spent 15 years before that working in a mix of engineering companies and most of it at a big four accounting firm for 10 years there. And while I was there, I had a lot of friends and even colleagues, even some clients went off and did their own businesses, a lot of them in the tech sector in startups and, really small businesses.

And here in the DC area, there wasn't much of a, let's say ecosystem for. Let's say the professional services other than maybe law you might have tech people. It's not mature, like Bay Area or even New York at that time. I'm talking like 10 years ago. So I kind of started being that type CFO type role for them kind of as a side hustle.

Wasn't it was just, it was just something I was kind of helping with. But then became to a point where I actually. There was a lot of things going on in my personal life, family stuff going on. So I just figured, okay, let me just go ahead and make the pivot and see, cause I couldn't balance both working in consulting and, and this was still kind of taking off.

So it wasn't really much anything. So I went all in on this, the, the business that I learned pretty quickly that startups don't pay the mortgage. So that's when I pivoted to more small businesses, even a few midsize businesses when, just kind of like a strategic advisor role.

And and that's where, that's where it started. The original vision was to, in a way, it was ironic. I was leaving a consulting type world. Thinking I'm going to do something completely different when is I started to realize that I actually basically doing the same thing that I left So I was like, why did I leave in the first place?

I'm doing the same stuff for far less pay and I have to do everything I was like, oh Yeah

Alex Love: sounds good on the, on the front end, right?

Mayur: exactly

Elliot: Yeah, I mean, if I could jump in there, but I mean, when you take something and you shape it, mold it, I mean, it gives you more control over the outcomes and the experience of it. I mean, obviously in a large thing, you have the brand name recognition, which will bring everyone in the door. And that's obviously a bit of a struggle, but, you, you wanted to create something and, you created that spark.

So might not pay as well. But, was that some of the mentality? Was that the approach? Maybe I can do this a little bit different, a little bit better.

Mayur: Yeah, I think it was also a lot of it goes to what you just the having some control over your own situation. Like I picked on clients on work with and all that stuff, but that's all well and dandy. But then I think my approach was, I mean, it's almost like Stockholm children, maybe not the right word, but you kind of get stuck into sounding like a corporate person.

When I'm doing outreach to people, I would sound very generic. I would very sound very Corporate, and like anything, but if anything, if anything, I'm working with entrepreneurs who don't care about white papers or my thoughts on whatever, yada, yada, they, they want to just, they just want stuff to happen.

They want to, and when they're like small companies, everything passes through to them. It's not like working with a multinational and the people you're working with. When you're, when you're consulting, you're working with maybe people who report to the CFO or report to a C suite person.

So they're just like, they're just representing the company. Then they go home to their own families, their own lives. But when you're working with a small business owner, entrepreneurs, everything, everything's one of the same. Like their business is their baby, and often, sometimes their spouse or children will be in those meetings with them or their cousins or something.

It's it gets more personal. Yeah, sticking to that corporate corporate speak just doesn't work. I found it did not work and actually slowed down my business in the beginning.

Alex Love: How did you go ahead and pivot that right? Because again, today we know you, or I know you as a CFO guy, right? You've got a ton of hilarious content out there on social media. How do you get from coming from a big four, very serious sort of consulting side to where we are today?

Mayur: Yeah great question and thank you for following my shenanigans online. The, yeah, that was, so I was always like silly and like that in, even at work. I mean, when I was at PwC, PwC, that was where I worked. I would be the Funny guy in the meeting like, we were sitting in the meeting.

I just make like my there's like an awkward silence I would make my comedic asides and stuff and then it took me a while to realize that I'm not like I was No, there was no punishment for anything. It's just like that's not their brand Nor should it be and I was like, okay This is the things that, I mean, when I presented to clients, my own clients, that I didn't have to worry about superiors or a partner or something sitting in a meeting oh, I can just say whatever the heck I wanted to say.

Yeah, I mean, I have a business partner and I have a staff and everything. Now, and we'd all, and I'm still, to this day, would just make those jokes. This, what happened is I just started going all out being myself. There's no beating around the bush, I don't have to worry about making the perfect presentation to walk a client through something.

Not, not the font doesn't have to be a cohesive, like we're working, we're, we're working with numbers. And I had to realize that, that they don't, like these kind of clients, they just don't care. about all the fluff. So I just started being real, and I I, by nature, I tend to make comedic asides as I talk. So I'll just go through it and make my asides and then they're all, they're all happy.

Even if it's bad news, we're all kind of laughing about okay, these projections aren't showing everything bad, but, huh, okay I think there's a, there's a vibe, and there's energy in those meetings. That I think they picked up on. In one of these instances afterwards okay, why don't you guys come to our little company happy hour?

And, and, just meet some people. So obviously I got there late and then they're already several beers and everything, and then I walk up and say, Hey, come here, come here, come here. And it's I want you to meet this guy. This is, this is my CFO guy. This is my CFO guy. And then that's, that's where that took off.

And, so that's where the title came. The rest of the branding and everything came later during the pandemic, which I can get into in a second.

Alex Love: how dId you evolve it from kind of a nickname at happy hour into some of your core branding now,

Mayur: So what happened? Yeah, so during the pandemic, like just Lunch Club and everything, we're all kind of stuck at home. I mean, I still have my office here. I have a co working space here that we work. These places were empty, and I just was getting antsy sitting at home all day. And I love networking.

I love being out and about. So how do I kind of replicate that by doing something? So literally, I just started practicing by setting up a camera and just getting a tripod and just sitting up here in the office and just start recording


way I see things. I would really just talk about in the beginning, it was very technical.

It took me a while. I was still very okay, here's the new, what was it? The all those what do you call it? The CARES Act and everything that was passed. I'd talk about technical stuff like that and, and what's going to happen with the economy. I'd just talk yada yada, nothing, nothing exciting.

And I'd be over engineered and over everything. But I got into the hang of doing this over and over again. And then over time, maybe towards the earlier or halfway through 2021, I just started like saying, you know what, screw it. I started watching the people, what, making silly videos and stuff.

And I was like, this looks like fun. What, as opposed to spending like an hour trying to perfect like my analysis of the, some tax credits, I was like, okay, let me just make, spend. 10 minutes to make something dumb. So I started recording those and that's, that's what got all the engagement. So first I just leave it on like Instagram or something or, or tick talk.

And then I started putting it on LinkedIn. So then because of that, people started following me. People started engaging with me more often. I was like, okay, I'll just, I'll just do this consistently. So I'll start it with one video a week to like. Three videos a week to nothing. I'm up to four ish, five now.

A lot of that stuff is produced long in advance and I just kind of repurpose it. But I always try to make, try to put at least, it's not planned. I try to do funny video Fridays, but I just Be the consistent as I can. I found by being myself in that manner got me more attention. Like now, when I, when I reached out to people before doing that, I most never got a response on LinkedIn or email.

But now when I respond, when I reach out to them, Hey, I saw you do the idea. I want to chat about that. I almost always get a response actually. So it's as people look at my profile, I might be, I might be infesting their feeds with my silliness. So now they're kind of like, okay, this guy is. He has a personality.

He might be crazy, but he still has a personality, so I'll talk to this guy. Yeah.

Alex Love: any funny stories about when that did not work, like totally fell flat. Not interested.

Mayur: exactly, because, I do want to talk about the failure part of it. There's something, what's it called? Influencer. These people who make money from selling other people's products. I was, I wasn't, I never intended to do that. But there's several opportunities came up in that process to possibly work with some companies to do that.

Some of these are like companies that have an FP& A product or they have their own service line kind of competing with us. But in a way, they're doing it for much larger enterprise companies. So there's opportunities to I was, reached out to, they reached out to me to talk about referral or commission type arrangement.

And then. I proposed to them like why don't I have all this big reach and everything? Why don't I, if I get, if I have make, if I find a good referral, why don't I put them in touch with you? And they're like, okay, that sounds good. And some of these people I don't think they actually follow.

Some of these companies are based overseas too. And so they would see, and then they connected with me and then they started seeing my, my videos. The, my standard, like where I'm talking about something technical, I guess that's what they first saw, but then when they. Started seeing their, maybe rubbed someone in their staff or themselves the wrong way, and then they were, they were saying this In one case, they ghosted me, which is fine.

The weird case, the CEO sent me like this note saying He said it in a very corporate speak, he's basically We don't like this brand associated with us we're ending this relationship. And I'm like, jeez, okay, that's

Elliot: I mean, I certainly can understand that branding is obviously a pretty critical thing. And as you said, you came from a place where they were very corporate and you had to be kind of robotic, but they seem to be neglecting the big piece there. First of all, they were like, Oh, this guy has attention needs in his space.

We get to take advantage of that. Let's use it. And then they actually see what your brand is. And they're just like, I don't understand the disconnect. And it's pretty straightforward. Their customers, their clients, their future prospects, they're listening to their, your stuff. They're connecting with it.

So maybe it's more of an industry issue instead of a U issue.

Mayur: That's, yeah, I appreciate that, yeah, but, I don't know, I still think it's a me issue, it's all good. All right. Yeah,

Elliot: I mean, it goes across the board for any serious topic that you work in. Like I, I work in cybersecurity, Alex, you work with government folks, God knows how you handle the personality on that side is just, everyone takes things a little, a lot too seriously. And. Can you really connect with a robotic human?

We're all people like rip off the suit and tie at a certain point. And the relationship keeps going. I get it like up front, cause you want to do shaking hands and signing deals. But like afterwards, how, how are you going to get past that being a transactional relationship? Can you really trust someone that's just robotic and emotionless?

And it seems like you're, you've actually found a good balance, even though you're maybe a little more bold than some of these organizations are ready to handle.

Mayur: exactly. It's, it's just keep going. And, there's, as a result, I pivoted many times too, because I realized I want to keep doubling down on being me. Not in some like wacko, I want to say what I want to say type way, but just Just being a little, having some, having fun at work shouldn't have to clash with getting work done.

It's, you can do both, easily. And actually, by being like, honestly, joking around actually makes, I find, makes everyone more productive. Because then you're not under, it's like it takes a little stress out of what you have to do and then you just get back to it. Yeah,

Alex Love: that. You spend more time with your co workers sometimes than, your family or other people. That's kind of our philosophy at Reba, right? Is, you have to enjoy the work that you do. And I think we've done a pretty good job at finding the balance between, Articulating the serious missions that we support, but then also having a fun culture and being able to highlight that too.

So I definitely appreciate it. The wildest thing we ever put out there was our office parody video, which I did not think was going to fly. But people still bring it up to this day, um, at industry events like, Oh, Hey guys, I saw that video. Were you guys the ones behind that? So you never know what's going to resonate with people.

Mayur: absolutely.

Elliot: Cool. I mean, that sounds like a good pivot point to start chatting about, like the elements of success today. So obviously you're up against some resistance based on the norms and expectations of your particular industry. Now you're pushing against it, which I personally love because I, I embrace that level of chaos to it works particularly well doesn't work for everyone.

But you know, being able to climb up that ladder, build your own brand and create something out of that. What does that look like? Obviously, everything is not pure wins. You're still kind of working through it. You started with small businesses you started with startups, you went to small businesses, how are you expanding?

How are you growing? What have you learned from kind of those initial stepping stones of like fully covering it, not just doing the critical financial work?

Mayur: Yeah, I mean, I wish I could say that I wish I just, I should have just started being myself right off the bat because then everything would be hunky dory. But no, in a way I did have to. Slowly come out of that corporate, mindset because, I was all about because I learned a lot of technical things to like when I was, when I was a solopreneur, I had to learn how to use things like QuickBooks and, I had to learn the tax code.

I didn't, I didn't do tax actually when I was in corporate, I was only in consulting and, and it and financial operations stuff. So I had to learn all this stuff. So that was important to like. Still have that mentality and just focus on learning so much, but then becoming your, becoming your own brand, I realized that's a power that everyone talks about it, even in large multinationals like, Oh, everyone needs to find their personal brand and everything, but I mean, they mean it in a yeah, keep your personal brand, but probably don't post about this.

I guess a lot of companies, they have all these rules that don't post about this. Don't post some of this. Of course. Yeah, obviously there's certain things. We have some common sense, don't go like nuts and talking about some social issue or political issue. I mean, look, people, if you want to do that, that's fine, but whatever.

I think your question was like, how did I use that to kind of get to So I'm actually, so I'm actually on my fourth pivot right now. I have this professional services company Finconoso, and a few little partnering companies that I work with that are on my LinkedIn. But what I'm doing, what I'm getting into now more is into the venture capital and kind of the fundraising side of things.

And as I started to do more of this, I realized I don't want to, I want to remember that, yes, it's important for me to learn the technical nuances of this world. But I also want to make sure I maintain my, branding or persona, like I still want to reflect that vibe when I'm, when I go to events or when I go to when I post on social media, this time I'm going to do both parallel.

I'm not going to just do one technical thing. And then because of pandemic, look, if the pandemic didn't happen, I probably wouldn't even bother to make any videos or be myself. I would accept doing that and it would have been fine, but I'd probably would have hated myself. And then at a certain point I realized I could have just.

Maybe done a partner track at a big four and have the same thing, which I don't want. So

Alex Love: Yeah. Any negatives or, or like lessons learned about having such a recognizable brand? Have you ever pushed it sort of too far? Or maybe topics that, you mentioned politics and other things like that, but anything else that's off the table?

Mayur: yeah, look, so I don't really post about that stuff anyway, but one thing I did, I don't know if they're ever going to see this, but we had a, I had a, so I made a joke about it's just like a silly tweet or joke I made on LinkedIn once about we, uh, after running the numbers, I realized I work at a nonprofit, so I made that joke once.

And then we actually had a nonprofit client. Whose founder reached out to me and said that that's, that's, that's, that hurts because obviously it's very difficult to raise money for nonprofit. And there's a lot of nuances in that world, which, which I'm very aware of. But I, it wasn't, I did, it upsets him.

So I, of course, I apologize and deleted the thing. But so yeah, sometimes, This, sometimes people aren't happy about, about what it is, but yeah, I, I, I, it was all, I, I mean no ill and I definitely don't, even now I still feel bad, but that was a while ago when he reached, when he told me that, but it's still, like I said, I still remember how embarrassed I felt, so,

Elliot: Have an excuse for this. The very poor choice of setting up a nonprofit as a membership nonprofit, which means you can't accept donations. I definitely put us into a deep dark hole where the only money

Alex Love: your tax code knowledge at that point. So

Elliot: we were younger, so I guess we wouldn't have taken things so seriously, but I mean, I get that, but you know, communication is so hard to dance between those fine lines of am I going to piss off a future customer or current customer or someone that actually is like super critical? Is it just like the loud noise behind us? And yeah, that's a huge piece of that brand. But I'm curious from your end, since obviously you're creating this persona, you're a very real person. How does that impact the culture of the team that you have?

Did they all kind of embrace that mentality too? Is that built into sort of like the hiring process? Just

Mayur: No, it's, it, So like, when we're in meetings and stuff, especially when we're with clients, um, I think they know it's coming EJ, my partner we'll be sitting in a meeting and Jasper, one of my top, one of our directors, he'll be, they know that's just how, they just sometimes, like, when I start talking, I can see EJ kind of like, he's tenses up here it comes, here comes Moira's little joke, and then I'll make it, and then he'll look at the client and see what, if the client reacts, client's haha, or laugh, and then, Then everybody laughs.

Usually we wait, everyone on my team waits for the client to laugh first. Which is fine, that's the same way it was anywhere I worked. It's not, I just want everyone to be themselves, even in terms of dress code too. Like today I'm just, usually I wear a suit and tie everywhere. And which just kind of clashes with the silly vibe.

So there's actually a Paul Feig quote, the director of Bridesmaids, that guy, like he's a, he's a very funny guy, but he always wears a suit. Someone asked him, why do you always wear a suit? He's when you're wearing a suit, even if you're having a nervous breakdown, people think you're in control. So I was so that's just my brand, but a lot of our guys were hoodies and just whatever they want to wear. Genes, I mean, I, there's no I have no requirements on, uh, what do you call it? How you how you, how you present yourself, whether in clothes or how you act. I mean, obviously, there's the obvious things, don't be an a hole.

And then be good at, be, be technically curious, which is really all you can hope because no, no one can know anything, everything, but we have to be able to present capability in front of clients and at the same time, a willingness to like, okay, we don't know that, but I think we can figure that out really fast.

That's, that's the kind of only thing I like to present.

Alex Love: you said you're on your fourth pivot. I think we only covered two. So what were the other two in the middle that got you to here?

Mayur: Oh, yeah. Okay. So the first professional. That was really just the standard, like more financial operations. It's, it's more like just actually just accounting and tax. That was the first company, which is still going on. Then got into the first pivot wasn't it was into kind of some ERP systems. So doing things like Microsoft dynamics NetSuite, things like that. Which was halfway a failure. We had a client that really needed that they were, they were upgrading to, I think, Dynamics. And I think we over promised. We did the opposite. You're supposed to under promise and over deliver, right? We over promised and under delivered badly. No, luckily, luckily there was no fine, I mean, we didn't invoice or anything.

It was just a big we just ate the cost of everything we did, but the client was very unhappy because they really wanted, uh, to work with us in that pivot. We do that. We did. We did it for a good half dozen clients, but just that one was so complex that we had to end up folding that. And then then long story short, we just sort of found like a strategic teaming partner to kind of address those kind of, engagements, but to take on that, like I said, I felt myself going into this hole at that time where I'm just gonna be doing more accounting tax work.

I desperately wanted something different. So that's when my partner and I start talking. Why don't we do this? Software development type stuff. And that's where we realized we are not tech guys, as much as we, we work closely with them, we are not tech guys, so we shouldn't be doing this. So that was, that was pivot number one.

And then pivot number two was so it was pivot number. Let's pivot number two was that rebranding in 2020 ish. When I started being 20. It's like a two year brand rebranding, right? I think I started doing in 2021 and then really going hard in 2022 with all the posting. That was when I really just owned that CFO guy brand.

Like I had an Instagram page with, I think Alex, you follow me. It was originally just a corporate page. It was like my company, Finconosa. It was just boring content about here's how we can help with yada yada. And here's the educational stuff about whatever. Here's the balance sheet.

Something dumb. Everyone knows what a balance sheet is. Even if you don't know, who cares? That's when I just, and I fired, I had a social media team that was doing all of it. And then I just ultimately realized, first of all, it's costing me. And I'm like, I had 400 followers. I was like, okay, let me, you guys are good.

I'm going to take over. And I had, my son was only one years old at the time. So I was always at home. So I just started doing it myself. And that's when I said, okay, that's when the CFO guy thing, I really, that's when we started using the hashtag. That's when I started really doing that brand. So that's been like a year and a half now.

So that was pivot number two. And then pivot. Pivot number three is I don't know if it's three or four.

Pivot number three happened this, just earlier this year when I just got so overwhelmed with with managing several different business interests as well as a, uh, family. Because, I had a, now I have a two year old, a two and a half year old, and a two month old now.

Which, I know Alex, you're almost there, so it's

Alex Love: And Elliot has a two, two month old, three month old.

Elliot: 2.

Alex Love: Yeah, there you go. You guys are on the

Mayur: Look at that. Yeah. When, when's your child's birthday? Oh, yeah.

Elliot: August 18th, I think, maybe that

Alex Love: is a trick you're supposed to know these days.

Elliot: I don't even know what day it is today, so that's not helpful.

Mayur: worst is when you try to call the doctor's office to make these, because now when they have kids, you've got to go to the doctor's office, like literally every few weeks. And they always ask, what's the date of birth? And you always want to see your own birthday. It was like, oh, wait, and then I have to think.

And the problem is my son's birthday is like a week before my anniversary. So like we had, I get the two days mixed up. So anyways. Let's see. Let me see. Let me backtrack and say the pivot part again. So the first pivot is getting into the financial systems development, which was a flop. And then second was Taking ownership of my own social media and my rebranding and everything.

And that is what this, that actually resulted in all these other partnerships that I have, people who kind of, I have the CFO guy brand and out of that, I have all these connections that come to me. That's actually when I got involved here in the Tysons chamber as well. And that was, that's where I had to slow things down because there was way too many things going on.

And I feel like I was on my phone like trying to keep up with responding to all these multiple people while at the same time posting all this stuff and like my son is right there like showing me something he colored. I'm like, Oh, geez, I'm becoming a typical. TV show guy were like, not now, son.

So I was like, I never did that by the way. I always put it down and play with him, but then I was like, okay, I gotta, I gotta rethink this. So that's led to what I'm doing now is it's kind of in stealth mode and is also being in, in conjunctive with my wife, but this is the Kind of like talking about working more on the venture side and working with developing something, um, rather than just continuing to just deliver services.

Alex Love: you just recently pivoted. How is that going? Any lessons learned or sort of early stage failures with this pivot to sort of the venture side?

Mayur: Yeah, it's been like, it's actually been about a year in the making. So it's kind of a slow pivot because it's something we've, I've never done before. Like I've always been associated in, in that. In the same world as venture backed companies. So I've known investors and I've worked with them, done reporting to them and everything, but as far as having to start from scratch to actually all the work required to do this, it's that's why there's no, there's no money, like with a service based business, you can start making money immediately.

You deliver the service, you get paid or whatever, but developing something, whether it's a product or raising of capital or something, it's, it's a. It takes a while for that to happen. And then of course you have to deploy the capital or release the product and then you start to eventually get paid.

We do have bills to pay. So hence, um, that's why I think just the learning process, I've had to be careful. I think this, that's probably one thing I've had slowed down on some of my postings because I'm so much careful. Now I'm suddenly realizing I'm at just almost going back to where I started, where.

overthinking things when I realized I just might probably just need to go all out. Yeah, so it's just, it's, it's a completely different way of doing things because, you're not going to get paid for a while if you get paid at all. It's, it's, it's very different.

Alex Love: Words of encouragement or maybe some major lessons learned for anyone who's sort of looking to follow in your footsteps or get started on their entrepreneur journey or maybe are at a critical pivot point trying to decide, what to do next.

Elliot: Or even if they want to create their own personal brand, a bold one in particular.

Mayur: There's a phrase someone I read somewhere that's like. Don't follow me. I'm lost. Um, there's a lot of hokey things like journaling and mind setting and stuff like that. There's actually a big truth to that because you, you start to realize what's important. And they say, really think about what makes you.

It's you don't want to overdo it because some people say, Oh, if it doesn't make you happy, you shouldn't do it. It's part of that. You can do something that pays the bills while having something that you're passionate about. And you have to, you have to find a way to weave both into it. And if you can't figure it out, at least keep putting things out, just put yourself out there because you don't know when it might materialize.

Who's that record producer guy? Geez, I forgot. Rick Rubin, I think is his name. I heard him on a podcast the other day and he was, he has a very spiritual way of speaking, right? But he says you have to kind of put what, if you enjoy something, if you like something so much, you have to put it out into the universe because you don't know when it'll.

But you, you, it's like, he calls, I think he calls it gifts to God. So he's you offer this as a gift up to the supernatural, and it's certain, and you don't know if it's going to come back to you, but it's, you, it, it, in most cases, in his experience, obviously he's working with all these self artists, it does come back to you.

That's what I just, I try to remind myself that, Especially when I post something silly, if I'm posting something, it's always easy to post something technical because you don't have to worry about anyone judging it. But every now and then I'll get like a troll type person, it's what about this?

It's okay, a good point. But when I, when you're posting something that doesn't fit, like a silly thing or a controversial thing, um, People are going to notice it more, but, uh, that's, hey, that gets, that gets you, you will find your tribe, I think, that way, by just putting your, putting yourself out there.

Alex Love: Yeah. I love that creativity takes more bravery, right? It's, you're putting a piece of yourself out there and not everyone's going to like it. That's okay. Helps you find your, your audience. Like you said,

Elliot: I mean, really, that's like risk versus reward and, and, in the sales process, you're just getting rid of the riffraff that just won't mesh well. And, you're saving yourself a headache from a potential nightmare client down the road.

Mayur: Yeah, exactly.

Elliot: Yeah. I mean, I think if we just want to get towards one granular piece of truth that comes out of this is ultimately you're giving yourself the flexibility to, take risky choices, but doing it a conscious way where you're fully aware of the repercussions you're pivoting when you need to pivot.

I mean, at the end of the day, you're creating scenarios that. You're just being bold taking strategically risky choices, and it seems to be paying off pretty well. I mean, you're building a personal brand. You've got the respect regardless of the humor and entertainment that comes along with it.

And I mean, I, I certainly applaud you for that. It is not an easy thing to kind of put yourself out there like that. Most people we just don't have that ability. There's a wall in front of us and to be able to climb back over it. No, that definitely tells a good tale of what kind of story that you're trying to build.

Mayur: Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, it's. You just don't, what is that, another, another spiritual type quote I was trying to follow the Stoics a lot. Actually, our son's middle name is Aurelius. One of the things, I think he said you have to pretend you're already dead. So that means anything you do now is icing on the cake.

Not his exact words, but it's, so just keep, keep having fun. And, there's always a risk we're all, I'm still, I'm still relatively young in the 40s, so it's like long career ahead, still ahead of me. So I don't, this, some of the things I'm doing could, bite me in the butt later.

Let's say there is opportunity to work with a, a publicly traded company in some, larger role. And will, will all this stuff that I do now impede me from that? I don't know. But then again, if you keep Living your life based upon what might happen, then you're never gonna enjoy where you are in the present,

Elliot: that was beautiful. That's our soundbite right there.

Mayur: I know you guys are trying to get that out of me. I was like, yeah, let's see. I was

Elliot: Oh no, we've got plenty of nuggets. I mean, it takes a lot to break through a wall and be yourself in a public sphere. So I think we've got plenty of people that would love to be able to do that kind of thing.

All right, Alex, you want to take us home?

Alex Love: I was going to say, yeah, I've really enjoyed this conversation and catching up and hearing a lot more about sort of all of the critical pivots, past your career. I'm looking forward to pivot number five, six, in the next decade or so. So maybe we'll have this conversation in a couple of years and see, how many more pivots that we've all.

Kind of have the opportunity to experience, but thank you again so much for your insights and your bravery, all your hilarious content. I know a lot more about finance and accounting than I did before, which is sad because I have an MBA. So you think I would have an understanding, but so it's good to have reminders on all the new content.

So thanks again so much for joining us today.

Mayur: Awesome.

Henry: This has been Mastering the Art of Failing, your hosts have been Alex Love and Elliot Volkman, with special guest Mayur Vyas.

To get the latest updates, go to failing pod dot com and subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms.

All viewpoints expressed on this series soley represent the individual speakers and guests who share them, and do not reflect the opinions of the companies they represent nor our sponsors.

Don: This has been a Chaos production. Embrace it.

Mastering the Art of Failing
Mastering the Art of Failing Podcast
Join your hosts, Alex Love and Elliot Volkman, as we dismantle the stigma surrounding failure and empower you to transform these challenges into opportunities on your own journey forward.