Cesar Jimenez raised a $60M pre-seed funding round for one of his startups. After the financial crisis of 2008, this entrepreneur vowed to keep on going, and currently operates two successful ventures. His latest startup, myBasePay has raised funding through private equity financiers.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Powerful books for entrepreneurs
- Choosing a private equity firm versus venture capital for their first round
- Where to get help fundraising and selling your business
- How investors are diversifying their portfolios with VinoVest
- The tools you need to start your own successful podcast
- Cesar Jimenez’s top advice for other entrepreneurs
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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
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About Cesar Jimenez:
Cesar A. Jimenez is the CEO at myBasePay. He is an entrepreneur, investor, military veteran, and has successfully led three technology staffing and services organizations.
Cesar is an advocate in the Contingency Workforce industry, which has been recognized with a multitude of awards for sales growth and client retention by staffing industry leadership. He is fiercely invested in both his clients’ and consultants’ successes and has become a true advocate of the contingency worker.
Cesar has held various leadership roles for both a global staffing organization and technology solutions companies. This experience has enabled him to develop alternative workforce models that provide the agility for organizations to be competitive in today’s marketplace.
Cesar has 25 years of Staffing Industry expertise, specifically in IT staffing and IT solutions. VMS, MSP, and EOR expertise and Recruitment technology expertise. He is a thought leader in TA and Staffing Tech and is passionate about Contingent Workforce and the way it is delivered.
In his spare time, Cesar enjoys spending time with the family, working out, and coaching baseball. He is passionate about preparing and developing High School baseball players for their college or professional careers. He is an avid Podcast listener and is intensely dedicated to learning everything in the contingent staffing industry.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Hey, guys. Today’s episode is brought to you by Zencastr. I remember back in the day when I was looking at putting together Zencastr. I was looking for a solution that would help me in putting things together. Essentially, this is what allowed me to bring DealMakers to life. Basically, Zencastr, what it is is an all-in-one solution where you just send a link to the person that you’re looking to interview. They would plug in their computer with their video, with the audio, and then you are good to go. You would piece everything together, give it to your audio engineer or even edit it yourself, and you are off to the races. Now, if you’re looking at getting into podcasting, you should definitely check Zencastr out, and you could also get a 30% discount, and this is the discount code that you will be able to redeem by going to Zen.ai/dealmakers0. Lastly, I was very much blown away when I found out that investing in wine has been one of the best-kept secrets amongst the ultra-wealthy. This is now not the case anymore. I came across this solution, which is called VinoVest, and they are a great solution that allows you to diversify investing by implementing or including wines into your portfolio. Take a look at this: wine has one-third of the volatility of the stock market, and yet it has outperformed the global equities market over the past 30 years with 10.6% annualized revenues. It’s a really good way to diversify your portfolio, and you could also get two months of free investing by just going to Zen.ai/dealmakers, and by going there, you will be able to redeem your discount.
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Alejandro: All right. Hello everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers show. Today we have an exciting entrepreneur. I think that we’re going to learn, once again, going from being in the military to becoming an entrepreneur. There are so many people, as you probably remember, that have been in the military and then, all of a sudden, become entrepreneurs with that level of discipline. But I think that we’re going to learn today, going from breakdown to breakthrough, going from an epic failure to an epic success, and you name it. So without further ado, let’s welcome our guest today. Cesar Jimenez, welcome to the show.
Cesar Jimenez: Alejandro, thank you for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity.
Alejandro: So let’s do a little of a walk through memory lane, Cesar. Obviously, the background and the roots are very much from a Spanish-speaking place, Puerto Rico, because the way that I say it in Spanish is, [3:30]. It’s very much Spanish in that regard, but you were raised in New York. So tell us about your upbringing.
Cesar Jimenez: I was actually born in Brooklyn, New York. I was raised in New York until I graduated from high school, and then right from high school, I left New York and went right into the U.S. Navy.
Alejandro: What got you into the Navy? What was the trigger?
Cesar Jimenez: I needed the discipline. I wasn’t much of a highly academic disciplined kid growing up. I was more of an athlete, and the military was intrigued in me. It was an opportunity. I went to the recruiting office. I saw the different branches. I saw the Navy could travel a little bit, so I said, “Let’s pick the Navy and signed up, and then I surprised my parents right after that.
Alejandro: Then, how were you present to discipline? What was the before and after?
Cesar Jimenez: Tremendous! In the military, the one thing that I learned quickly was that there is no “No” in the military. Whatever they tell you to do, you must do. There’s no negotiating; there’s not anything; you just get it done. You can’t just quit. That’s the number one thing. You have to make it work. You’re in a contract, and getting a dishonorable discharge is like having a felony record. So you learn; you adapt, and to be successful, you have to go above and beyond. I think those types of things that they instilled in me really helped me in entrepreneurship and just in business and in being a really good teammate and overall employee as well.
Alejandro: You were shipped to San Diego, and then from there, you were deployed. Where were some of the places that you went with the Navy?
Cesar Jimenez: That was great. That was such a good opportunity for a kid from Brooklyn. I was stationed in San Diego. I was actually kind of upset about that when I received the order because I wanted everything on the East Coast to be close to home. Then when I got to San Diego, I couldn’t believe how awesome it is. And the weather—when you grow up in New York and the cold, and you move to a beautiful place like San Diego, you learn that “Wow! This is a different life.” So I actually loved it. But then I was deployed on the USS Carl Vinson, which was the nuclear carrier to the first Persian Gulf War. We were called Desert Watch. During that tour, which was about a nine-month tour, I got to go to Hawaii. We went to all of the Orient, all of ancient Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, you name it. I spent some time in the Gulf, United Air NATS—you know when it wasn’t what it is today. We were there as well. On the way back home after the deployment, we stopped in Australia, which was an amazing country to visit, unbelievable hospitality. We also stopped in a country I had never heard of in my life growing up, which was a country called Tasmania, of all places, which was another great opportunity that you haven’t even heard of going or vacationing to, but it was a great opportunity because of all the countries and cultures.
Alejandro: So 1994 is when it’s time to put an end to the Navy, and you decide to switch up the chapter, and you move to Florida. What happened after moving to Florida?
Cesar Jimenez: I got my papers, and I got out of the service. I literally took a flight right to Miami. My immediate family and my mother and father had actually moved to Miami when my father retired from the New York City Police Department. I immediately thought I was going to go to school and wind up getting a job. I wanted to sign up at a gym, and they asked me, “I know you work out. Would you like a job?” I just wanted to go get a membership. So I started there on a cash basis making $5 an hour cleaning the machines. Then I quickly found out, and I learned how to do some sales because I knew how to build relationships, I guess. I wound up getting into sales through Gold’s Gym in South Florida. That was the start of my sales career.
Alejandro: Then from sales to recruiting, so how was that process of getting into IT staffing?
Cesar Jimenez: It was wonderful. I tell people; we say this a lot: you don’t really go to recruiter’s school. You don’t really go to staffing universities, so they don’t teach that in universities. Staffing finds you. How I fell into it, I happened to take out a client of mine in the gym that was referring me to a lot of clients to sign up as members and wound up running into this gentleman, Tony Beeman, who I will never forget. I always give him credit anytime I can. He worked for a company called Aerotek, and he was a director. We were all hanging out that night, and we were all getting along. He said, “You guys have to come work for us.” My friend got the job first, and he referred me in, but I actually interviewed quite a few times, around eight times before they said yes. The lady that believed in me and gave me an opportunity, because there were several noes along the way in that interview process, was a lady named Cindy Lackey, who I still give credit to to this day. She changed my life and what my career is today. So being 25 years in this business, I always gave her credit for giving me the shot because if she hadn’t given me a shot, I don’t know if I’d be in this business, and it’s a business that I really love.
Alejandro: The first entrepreneurial gig came about in 2004, so what was the cause behind that? What triggered that?
Cesar Jimenez: I worked for this company in Texas for quite some time—a great learning ground, and I wound up being a director of the Miami market for them. What happened, like anything else, you get older; you have some children; you start figuring out that you can actually do this stuff yourself. I always had this passion of saying, “I want to be an entrepreneur. Why not me? Why not take a risk and try something? I met two guys along the way, and we came together in 2004 and started our first staffing organization. From 2004 to 2007, the three of us felt like we couldn’t make a mistake. It was explosive growth. It was great. It was a great time. It was a good time in the business, and then, unfortunately, in the summer of 2008, obviously, the financial infrastructure of the United States took a massive turn. Us being that age and being novices and entrepreneurs and having been like nothing could go wrong, everything went wrong. A lot of the things we thought we were doing right, fundamentally, we were doing wrong. But I promise you, Alejandro, we had the best intentions. We were doubling down when we should have been cutting back. We were going to ride through this. We wanted to protect our people. We didn’t make any layoffs. There were a lot of rookie mistakes, but a lot of tough lessons, like epic failure—a lot of tough lessons learned.
Alejandro: I can hear you, and as they say: you either succeed or you learn. In this case, what did you learn?
Cesar Jimenez: The biggest thing I learned was everything can go wrong. That was the biggest one I learned. I was very humbled, and for lack of a better word, it was very embarrassing being in a market where you have a lot of pride. You have to learn how to deal with failure. I think that’s the biggest thing I learned. That helped me. It taught me what you need to do to make adjustments, and you can’t get caught up with thinking about all the failures you went through. When you go insolvent, and you go through that type of failure, you have those aha moments, where you have those moments where you’re like, “I shoulda, coulda, woulda done this.” I had all of that. I was writing stuff down, left and right. It gave me the confidence to say, “Let’s give this another run, but I’m going to do it differently this time because one thing that I was pushing for passionately with my partners was, “We have to move to an employer record business. We have to move to this model that can help a staffing organization.” Outsourcing is strategic. It allows you to focus on things that you’re supposed to focus on, like business development. It gives you the bandwidth and the infrastructure you need in order to focus on delivering for your clients and workers in staffing.
Alejandro: In that case, I’m sure that here it is; all of a sudden, the business doesn’t work as you had hoped, and you literally left there with no equity and nothing. It was like starting all over again. Obviously, dealing with failures and initiatives. It’s fine. You just take a different path and test it again, but here you are with nothing. You were talking about dealing with failure. How do you deal with failure? What was that process like for you?
Cesar Jimenez: I appreciate you asking that because I’m not afraid to talk about that kind of stuff. It was very difficult. Your health issues, you deal with insomnia, you’re embarrassed. I had a lot of pride. I’m a Latino man that’s very prideful, aggressive, and wants to get things done, and I was almost helpless at that point. And it was difficult financially. We didn’t have any money, period. It was rough, even to the point, where I’m not afraid to say, we had to prioritize what we had to pay at the house, and we had to make a tremendous amount of concessions, and a lot of embarrassing moments, and then you realize who is there for you, and family was number one. I can count on my fingers who was there. My father-in-law, unfortunately, passed last year, and he was one of the first people in my house making sure that we had everything we needed and the kids were taken care of. My family and my wife, who is a rock, was there supporting me no matter what, just doing what she had to do to make sure that she supported me so that, “You know what? Round two will be better.” She didn’t make me feel bad about family. That was the big thing. That helped a lot. Then, my number one thing that I attribute to is faith, and it brought me closer to faith because when you have nowhere else to go, and then you learn really quietly, it built my relationship and built my faith tremendously. I attribute everything, success, and a lot of things that we go through, and a lot of things that I put in His hands because I’m not afraid anymore because we can’t get that back. You’ve just got to make adjustments and continue moving forward.
Alejandro: And when you’re dealing with a dark moment like that or one of those chapters that are a bit more blurry, it’s tough to gain visibility to understand what the next chapter is going to look like. What was that journey like? At what point did you see clearly that the path to follow was to build prosourceIT?
Cesar Jimenez: I saw it right before I resigned and gave up everything. I said, “This is the only thing I know how to do.” I’ve been doing it for a long time. I felt like, “If we would have done this, it would have been so much better.” That clarity came really early. The challenge for me was getting it started and getting through the mess of a partnership agreement, and making sure they do everything the right way. That’s why I left with nothing. I said, “I don’t want a thing. You do whatever you want.” I gave up every single share. I just want my name. I just want to be able to have my reputation. That’s it. That was the challenging part. But the clear thing is, I had a plan. I knew I was going to move to a newer model, and I had clients already. Your clients become your friends, and they become relationships, and they want you to do well. They assured me that if I’m able to deliver that they’ll give me an opportunity to do business. That’s all I can ever ask for. That’s what gave me the confidence to be able to say, “Let’s go day one.” So I was able to select the right partner at the time to put me in position. I didn’t have any credit to get any loans whatsoever. In February 2010, I started prosourceIT. Within 30 days, I had a paycheck. Basically, I was a strict commission salesperson doing everything myself. I wound up getting a couple of placements and making some money, and that was an immediate relief in this. By June, we were already thriving. You have no overhead, and you’re working out of your house, and you’re doing really well. All of a sudden, it went from being insolvent to figuring out what to pay to having more money than you know what to do with.
Alejandro: That’s incredible.
Cesar Jimenez: The pain that I went through was very temporary, but I was very grateful for it, and you don’t forget that pain that you went through. That’s what keeps your foot on the gas in entrepreneurship, and you’ve got to keep on moving. You can’t get caught up with letting failure suck you back in.
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Hey, guys. Pardon the interruption here. I’ve got to tell you that for those of you that are either looking to raise money, or you’re looking to get your company acquired, you don’t have to be alone. There is a lot of psychology that needs to be blended with strategy, with methodology, with process, and it’s very hard, and doing your business alone is super, super difficult. I remember back when I was an entrepreneur, I kept experiencing the challenge of either knowing or finding the right type of access to the right type of investors or understanding what was the right type of guidance that would carry me through the process, whether it was with seeking money or with going through the acquisition. So that gap that I found being an entrepreneur is ultimately what pushed me later on when I met my co-founder at Panthera, Mike Seversen, to put together an advisory firm where we are guiding entrepreneurs and founding teams through the capital raising efforts, whether you’re at a Seed stage or at a Series A stage, or if you are going through the process of an acquisition, and you are in small-to-mid cap type of cycle. Again, we would help you by guiding you and supporting you from A to Z all the way to the end as an extension of your team, and there’s no reason for you to do this alone. So, with that being said, if you would like to find out more, feel free to send me an email at [email protected], and we would love to take a look at helping you out.
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Alejandro: I’ve experienced that myself, too. Those types of events make you who you are today. I’m sure that as an entrepreneur, as well, it’s something that you always would reflect and I’m sure that you will never forget that, and that is something that as an entrepreneur, you will always run as far away as possible from all of those lessons that you learn so that you can implement them so that you don’t find yourself in that same situation that you were. Would you say that’s accurate for you?
Cesar Jimenez: That’s 100%. I think those lessons were almost on purpose. They had to happen in order to have this happen, as well. I’m a big boxing fanatic. Prosource was like Round 2, and I’m able to see the punches coming really clearly. I’m able to see those things and learn how to make adjustments in the fight, during the battle. Just because you’ve seen those problems before, you can see them a mile away. You know how to make adjustments and move forward.
Alejandro: What ended up becoming the business model of prosourceIT for the people that are listening to get it?
Cesar Jimenez: That was the best decision I made in business from day one was actually picking an employer record model. Based on the employer record takes a great deal—it’s a number of things. One, it’s a funding component. Also, there’s a tremendous amount of compliance and oversight that needs to happen with temporary workers in the staffing business. There are also back traces and process. It takes about nine or ten different vendors to do what one EOR does. Also, I didn’t have to invest; I couldn’t invest. I couldn’t afford it at the time or any type of admin support or type of back-office support to manage this type of process; I did it internally. EOR provided that entire turnkey staffing operation infrastructure for me to get started because all of my relationships, Alejandro, were very large enterprise buyers, and they required very strict, very heavy insurance requirements. I had to pay my contractors on a weekly basis. Just that alone would rule me out. All I was able to do by leveraging this model was just build relationships and find talent, and I could control that because I had been in the business for a long time and let the EOR do everything else that they were supposed to do. They handled everything: the oversight, they provided the funding, they paid all the contractors that I had on a weekly basis, and I got paid on profits when our clients were paid. I was in a really good situation. I didn’t have to raise any money. I didn’t have to go to any credit lines. I didn’t have to get any angel loans, or any family and friend loans, or anything. I didn’t want to put that burden on anybody after what I went through. That was the biggest breakthrough that I’ve learned and one of the best that I’ve tried.
Alejandro: How big is prosourceIT for the people that are listening to get an idea. Is there anything you can share there?
Cesar Jimenez: Yeah. We’ve been in business now for 12 years. We hit over 25 million. Our company doesn’t have any debt. ProsourceIT has a great, great team, a great group of recruiters, an unbelievable sales team, and just the business model. It’s a very fluid business. We offer a lot out of the gate compared to other staffing firms because of the EOR model that we have. People talk about being an advocate for continuous work or the extended workforce, but we really are. We step up to the plate. We do help them with insurance, not just providing them the vehicle but actually contributing to the healthcare premium for the worker on their end. We also do PTO, which is almost unheard of. We have paid time off, which is unheard of in the extent of the workforce community, the freelance community. That helps us attract talent and retain talent, and it’s been having those value propositions for workers. It helps our clients in return because our clients want to retain—they need the best people, and they need to retain the best people, and we offer that.
Alejandro: It seems that now that you had prosourceIT on a very good track, you wanted more challenges. Now, you’re actually in two companies that you’re leading. One is prosourceIT, and the other one is myBasePay. Let’s talk about myBasePay. At what point did it come into the picture?
Cesar Jimenez: What the EOR business did for me—I’m a passionate and loyal person. I love the model. I’m so loyal to the model for what it did for prosourceIT. But along that journey, I figured out that it could be so much better if they did this or if EOR were able x and y in this. I always had this idea. The attorney I’ve had for 15 years, or more than that now. His name is [Pablo Kasaba 23:53] and is an amazing guy. He saw that whole growth trajectory that happened at prosourceIT. He helped me negotiate the contract for the EOR and everything. When I had no money, by the way, he didn’t charge me; he just helped me. He’s that kind of guy. But that was probably the biggest thing. When he saw that, I said, I really would love to do this on my own. He said “Well, I saw it firsthand, and I can see what it can do. Let me introduce you to an investor.” That’s how it started. Before I went to an investor, I got with RCIO at prosourceIT, who is my right-hand man, and that was about the model. “Everything we’re betting for today; we can do for others.” What the EOR did for prosourceIT, we can do for others and give them that freedom, give them the firepower to be able to scale the business as far as they want to go.” Then I met Angela Alberty, who, along the years, represented another EOR that I tried out, and she’s an amazing person. I asked her to come on board. She’s one of our co-founders and Chief Business Officers. We all locked arms. We met with the investors. It was a great conversation. To add a little color to that, I had never fundraised before in my life. I never had the opportunity; I didn’t know what to expect; my partner, John, has. It was a wonderful experience. It was great. They were extremely supportive. We had four meetings total, and they made a massive financial commitment to us. More importantly, they believed in our team. It’s beyond money for me with those guys. They believed in us. Again, you go back to my roots. I’m a real passionate guy. Family is not an option. What we offer is legit. It’s a big value proposition and a very critical piece to a staffing company’s success.
Alejandro: Four meetings and one agreement—that’s not bad at all because typically, it takes at least 100 or more to get one or nothing. You guys were very lucky there. How did you do the whole approach with investors? What was that process like?
Cesar Jimenez: We took them on the journey through prosourceIT and what it was able to do, what this type of service could do and how it could be better, and what can we do to help disrupt that business somewhat, to try to level it up a little and raise the bar across all EOR industries. A lot of that was a major tech investment. A lot of EORs don’t have visibility in what’s going on. For the staffing company, they don’t typically and a lot of other platforms, if they even have a platform, you don’t see the onboarding aspect. You don’t know what’s going on. It’s very heavily [26:45]. We wanted to automate that and let technology address those different areas and give them all of this that they need to run this staffing organization, so they know real-time where timesheets are approved and where they’re not. They have dashboards. The tech is incredibly impressive. If that’s just me because I’m super biased since it’s our platform, but every time that we demoed it over the last year and a half, the feedback right away is overwhelming, and we’re filled with gratitude to hear it. It’s above and beyond anything they’ve seen out there in this space.
Alejandro: That’s incredible. Why did you guys choose the private equity firm versus the venture capital round?
Cesar Jimenez: Probably because of the relationship right away. They were very gracious and everything. They were very genuine, and it felt right. One thing that I learned through the years is you have to follow your instincts and your gut. It was a very genuine, real relationship that we want to move forward with those guys, and they want to contribute to the success outside of just the financial commitment.
Alejandro: How much have you guys raised in total?
Cesar Jimenez: I’m proud to say that we raised $60 million pre-seed. I had never been there before, and I didn’t realize how significant that was until everybody started talking to us. My partners, on the other hand, were saying, “Cesar, this doesn’t normally happen.” But, again, I had never done it before. I was just: this is what we needed, and why, how, and this is what we’re going to do, and just going through the process and the journey with them, they asked a lot of intelligent questions—very, very smart people. That’s another reason too. The support they provide and the mentorship, too, are the bonuses. That’s what I love about these guys.
Alejandro: Let me see if I got this right, Cesar–$60 million pre-seed?
Cesar Jimenez: Yes, sir.
Alejandro: That’s insane. I think that this has been one of the biggest pre-seeds that I’ve heard in my entire life, Cesar, and I’ve been hearing about these rounds left and right, every day, all day, for I don’t know how long, so Congratulations! When you raise that kind of pre-seed, it’s all about the future and possibilities. They’re betting on you; they’re betting on the roadmap, so when it comes to the roadmap, what kind of strategic roadmap or visibility into the journey were you able to give them, and also, how did you give them that so that they could see the picture with the right type of colors that you had in your mind?
Cesar Jimenez: Those are really good questions, and I get that feedback all the time, by the way, about the pre-seed commitment. We knew that we were going to have a lot of immediate revenue right away. That always helps. To give you some results, with maybe not giving away too, too much. In April 2020, we were funded. We were in stealth mode building the platform and quietly doing our thing, and learning a tremendous amount there. Then we went to market in March 2021. We went live. Within 30 days, we had customers immediately. We closed the year around $33 million, so that helps. That was actually the numbers that we projected, and we actually hit. The market is on our side. The other thing we want to let them know is that I have a lot of relationships in that ecosystem and so do my two partners. Angela Alberty is a ten-year veteran of the employer record business with a tremendous amount of relationships out there and a known advocate in this space. Having her on board is another factor to validate that commitment for us. I think market timing, as well, is on our side, contingent work or an extended workforce we like to call it now, which is at an all-time high. Right now, close to 50% of the U.S. workforce is contract labor, contract workers, freelancers, which we all like kidding—one of my good friends, John Younger, who is everything to do with freelancing. He’s a contributor for Forbes. I agree with him 100% that we’ve got to call it an extended workforce, and that’s what they are. It’s a very strategic and essential piece of a workforce strategy for any company today. With all of those indicators and with immediate revenue with immediate relationships that we knew about, that gave them the confidence to make that level of commitment because we let them know we can take this and we want to compete on a national level right away, and they want us to. They said, “We don’t want you to hold back. We want you guys to literally complete [31:54] with the biggest player out there. I want you to feel like you’re the tallest person in the room, in any room that you go into. That’s been great, and that’s why I believe they gave us that level of commitment.
Alejandro: With that amount of pre-seed, $60 million pre-seed, how do you go about deploying that? That’s a lot of money at such an early stage, so what did that look like?
Cesar Jimenez: We hired our CFO, another great unbelievable asset to the team. He helped there with projections and what we needed, but the heavy-lifting, in the beginning, was the tech and our team. It takes a great deal of cash flow to support a contingent workforce. So, you think payroll. It’s a huge expense. Right now, we’re probably supporting over 50 staffing firms that have a lot of contingent workers deployed, and we have to make sure that we’re funding that payroll on a weekly basis. It takes a great deal of cash to be able to continue to grow and take on staffing companies.
Alejandro: Let’s talk about, now, the whole vision for this. Imagine you go to sleep tonight, and you wake up in a world where the mission and vision of myBasePay is fully realized. What does that world look like?
Cesar Jimenez: That’s such a good question. I believe myBasePay is explosive growth. I believe we’re well in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and we’re sitting on a potential billion-dollar organization. We’re the choice of employer record services in this industry. We want to be in the seller retention of the entire workforce ecosystem. That’s our goal.
Alejandro: Very nice. Very nice. Let me say that I put you into a time machine, Cesar, and I take you back in time to that moment where you were thinking about starting a business, maybe back in 2004. Let’s say I gave you the chance of having a chat with your younger self that was thinking about going about it as an entrepreneur, and you had the opportunity of giving your younger self one piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be and why, given what you know now?
Cesar Jimenez: Wow! These are great questions, Alejandro. One piece of advice.
Alejandro: I know I’m making you think. I think you’re going to have to eat some chocolate after this interview. [Laughter]
Cesar Jimenez: It’s so hard to give you that one piece of advice because there are so many things that I could give that guy at that age.
Alejandro: Well, let’s do this: I give you the opportunity of giving one and then a bonus one.
Cesar Jimenez: All right. I like that; I appreciate that. I would say you’ve got to know how to make adjustments. You’ve got to learn how to make adjustments because things are going to fail, so you’ve got to make adjustments. That’s one thing. You really have to surround yourself with the right team members. If you force me to give one, I would say it’s that you have to have the right people in place to help you succeed.
Alejandro: I love that. That’s very profound, Cesar. I’m sure that you’ve had to educate yourself very much when it comes to building a company. If you wish you had read a book sooner, a book that had a really big impact on you, and the way that you’re viewing how to build and scale a company, what is that book?
Cesar Jimenez: There’s a good book that I read before we started up again and when we got funded, actually. The Hard Things About Hard Things was a really good one for me.
Alejandro: That’s Ben Horowitz.
Cesar Jimenez: Yes, and I love the way—I wish I could meet that guy. I like his approach and dialog; I like that he’s very down-to-earth, it was very real, and that was probably the perfect-timing book at that time for me when I was about to start up myBasePay.
Alejandro: What I like about that book is, as well, the authenticity. It reminds me of your authenticity, too, and the way that you shared and the way that you learned that downturn of events with your first company. With that level of emotion, I think that he does the same thing, and I’m sure that’s one thing that our listeners are really going to appreciate from our conversation today. Cesar, for the people that are listening, what is the best way for them to reach out and say hi?
Cesar Jimenez: I would say LinkedIn is the best and easiest form. My LinkedIn account—I always get back to everybody. I have a rule that I try not to never leave anybody hanging.
Alejandro: Amazing. I love that, Cesar. Thank you so, so much for being on the DealMakers show today.
Cesar Jimenez: Thank you for having me. It was great, great questions, and you’re as authentic as they get, man! Thank you very much for the time.
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