Bottom of the Oil & Gas Curve

Everyone knows it takes money to make money. Liquid Capital provides that money by way of immediately funding a business upon confirmation of a sale of goods or services to its customers, rather than the business having to wait 30 to 90 days, or more, to collect payment. Liquid Capital waits the 30 to 90 days to receive repayment directly from those customers. The fees Liquid Capital charges are based upon the length of time it takes to collect from those same customers. Very often when the economy slows or dramatically grows, businesses have a difficult time funding their activities. This is where Liquid Capital steps in to support businesses coming out of a slow time or helping them keep up with aggressive growth.

What these cycles produce for Liquid Capital are surges in capital requirements from existing clients and an influx of new clients. Banks are not absolved from reacting to business cycles but often are perceived to be behind the curve in responding to both reductions and increases in credit granting. For those reasons, the ability of Liquid Capital to react within days of new client requests is the major reason why clients value our services. A great misnomer is that companies choosing to factor their accounts are living on borrowed time, when in fact a great deal of Liquid Capital’s book of clients are “bankable”. However, because many clients know the next downturn and upturn is just around the corner, they stay with Liquid Capital. Managers strive to stabilize or control contraction and expansion as much as possible and having a stable and responsive financing partner is paramount to that goal and success. 

In many previous extensive slowdowns in the energy sector, the rate of recovery has been inversely proportional to the length of the slowdown. Meaning the next rebound could come on with abnormally aggressive growth. At this very time many exploration companies are planning for the eventual rebound in the oil & gas energy sector. Today’s oil & gas service companies will be required to respond on a just-in-time basis. When the demand does increase dramatically, the first dilemma many managers will face is how to finance that growth. Re-hiring, re-commissioning equipment, and re-stocking inventories will put substantial pressure on many companies serving the oil & gas energy sector. 

 A recent article published by the Junewarren-Nickle’s Energy Group projects a rapid increase in demand for services could come as early as September and that many oil & gas service companies will be caught off guard. Working capital will be in strong demand when this uptick in activity arrives and as always Liquid Capital will be well positioned and poised to service that demand.  

Balancing Work and Family

I recently introduced myself as an entrepreneur of many years’ experience with a desire to share those experiences, both failures and successes, to help provide fellow entrepreneurs with some guidance that may steer them from mistakes, and sooner help them achieve their desired goals. Working often 330 days per year since finishing school, and I think mostly out of greed to succeed, I had to teach myself one of the most important and basic of skill sets – balancing work and family.

For many years when first starting my career I could not work enough. Weekends, holidays, filling in for others when they wanted time off; this was all very normal for me and believed I had the formula for success that anybody could follow. Head down, butt up and nothing but that. Whenever I did take time for myself or family, I felt guilty and selfish for only thinking of myself and not my clients and career.

Then I got my wake-up call. When I walked into our home after being out-of-town working for some time, our 2-year-old ran to wrap herself around her mother’s legs in fear of this stranger walking in – yikes. I also started to get many questions from friends and family as to “how can you work so much”? I kind of took it as admiration of my discipline to work so hard, but eventually realized it was more a question of my sanity and value system.

I had to make some wholesale changes or risk losing what I was really trying to achieve. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized I had actually, almost subconsciously, created a plan that has worked and could be boiled down to these 5 basic ideas.

  1. Schedule time for family – Block out time in your calendar to do activities with your family. Whether that is to book a lunch with your spouse or a movie or outing with the kids, schedule that time and treat is as importantly as any other client meetings. You will soon get to a stage where making that time becomes automatic without the seemingly dispassionate need to diarize family time.
  2. Avoid and eliminate negative people in your life – As we all typically struggle to make time for the very important things in our lives, how in the world can we do so when partially surrounded by negative forces? Negative people crush your confidence; they criticize your opinions and activities no matter what they are, basically robbing you of that important cheer leading squad we all require in striving to achieve our goals. If you have negative friends that message and text you, cut them off immediately. Just as in sport, defeat can easily be snatched from the jaws of victory when you add lack of support and confidence.
  3. Cut out things that do not add value – If you find yourself watching too much TV, no matter how interested you may be in that show or game or whatever it might be; it really does nothing but steal your time. Reduce or eliminate time spent browsing and un-necessarily shopping on the internet, or spending time social networking with others you may barely know. If you find yourself immersed in activities like those, exchange them for ones that share time and discussion with family.
  4. Outsource mundane tasks – Not all of us can afford to replace ourselves completely with outsourced help, but if you are truly too busy at work it’s likely you can outsource at least one or two tasks. Some people find themselves making excuses for not participating in family events because they have to get the laundry done, need to give their entire house a weekly cleaning, or need to pick weeds and cut the grass. Better to hire a local teenager to do some of your yard work, hire a house cleaner to come in once per week, or try more services that deliver your groceries and other consumables directly to your door. These are just a few suggestions to help free yourself from activities that rob your family of important time together.
  5. Take time for yourself – This may seem inconsistent to the advice above, but there is a limit in giving all of your time to everyone but yourself. Women are especially bad for this, they seem to shoulder all responsibility for the household; the bills, the kids, the kitchen and cleaning – everything. Talk with your spouse and kids about the importance of time alone. Even 20 or 30 minutes of quiet meditating, reading, or a walk alone to think will keep you feeling refreshed and better able to deal with life’s challenges. We all need to look after number one!

It wasn’t until friends and family began to note how much I had changed from being a workaholic and frequently absent from past family functions that I realized how evident to others the subtle changes I made had bettered my family’s quality of life.



My First Blog

Why write a blog? I’m not really sure. I certainly have little idea as to how, but….

When it comes to creative writing – I have always had a fear, or more so a block, mostly because I genuinely struggle with it. It will likely take the trained eye less than a few lines to be convinced of that fact. I took 5 English classes in high school and hated every second of it. I thought interpreting Shakespeare, understanding the ridiculous rules of English, and proper writing were never going to earn me a penny. Not my first recollection of grave errors I have made in life, but certainly one that has haunted me my entire business career. However, I have always lived by the credo “if it can be done, I can do it”. I absolutely have tremendous limitation as does everyone, but all it is is mind over matter; the fear of failure – nothing else. I’m not suggesting we should all take up life threatening hobbies; I have participated in my fair share of those over the last 50 years, but willingness to learn and humility to admit you require further learning is the first step to overcoming these limitations.

I learned that I wanted to be an entrepreneur at a very young age. Not because I came from a poor family, and not because I felt rich people had anything over anyone else. I just got drawn into the risk and challenge of it all. Similar to sport, an entrepreneur needs to learn how to win, how to lose, and how to do it all with grace, dignity, and respect. Sport teaches us team work, discipline and confidence; hallmarks of an entrepreneur’s skill set. I don’t believe I know many good businessmen that weren’t also extremely competitive in some forms of sport. This goes hand in hand with a corny quote I’ve repeated many times, “strong body, strong mind”.

Growing up I saw the Dow Jones report as the first item mentioned in the morning news. I knew it had to have extreme significance. I studied public companies and maintained a fake portfolio when I was 14. Not much later on in life during spring breakup of an oilfield job I was employed at, I successfully passed the Canadian Securities Course, with the goal of possibly becoming a stock broker. However, having four long position contracts in the futures market while my buddies took me to Vegas for my stag cured me of wanting to continue stock trading of that nature; my broker couldn’t get hold of me to authorize selling my positions, thus losses for me were not solely at the blame of the casinos.

A large part of becoming successful in business, and life, is knowing when to shut up and when to assert your point of view. This is not an easily acquired skill. It takes many years of practice and knowing that you are indeed practicing. A further hurdle in becoming a successful businessman, for me, was being vertically challenged. A business man can command a room without the need of a large, physical presence, but again this is an acquired skill.  My ailment seemed to start around grade six. I learned being fleet of foot helped me escape from many an argument I was doomed to lose. I had to wisely choose my words, and get the point across quickly and effectively or risk a quick and painful shunning by my peers. I sincerely believe those teenage experiences helped me develop my sense of humour, my confidence and honestly, my smart aleck attitude I possess today.

I believe I will have many interesting and helpful tips and anecdotes that could encourage others to get started in business and more importantly, become successful. Managing a business is like most sports; there are tried, tested, and proven strategies that will bring success. However, it is very important to allow yourself to think outside the box at the right time and place, which sometimes occurs by accident alone.

At this time I just wanted to introduce myself by skimming through some of my experiences and taking a stab at writing my first blog and set the table for future discussion. My passion is business and sport. I believe I can add value to the young and old interested in either. You’ll hear from me again soon. Cheers.