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.
On the Dealmakers Show, Cesar Jiminez shared his story of dealing with crises and working through a business failure. As well as how he found the way forward to do even better with his two most recent companies.
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From Being Recruited To Recruiting Others
Cesar Jimenez was born in Brooklyn, NY. He was more interested in sports than academics and saw the military as an opportunity to gain more structure and discipline.
On graduating high school he checked out the various branches of the military. The Navy and its promise of travel drew him in.
As with many highly successful startup entrepreneurs, Jimenez had his share of traveling and experiencing new cultures and perspectives.
After being stationed in San Diego, CA, he was deployed on a nuclear carrier. That took him to the Persian Gulf War, Hawaii, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, and Tasmania.
He says the Navy taught him to just get things done and to persevere. Lessons that he says have continued to help in business and his entrepreneurial ventures. Especially the values of being a good team player, and employee.
After completing his contract with the Navy he immediately took a flight to Miami, where his parents had relocated.
He went to sign up to work out at the local gym, and they recruited him to work there. He started out cleaning machines for $5 an hour. Then moved into sales and signed up new clients for the gym.
Hanging out with a client one night, he was again recruited. This time to a staffing and recruiting company. Although he says it took around eight interviews to finally secure the job, he got in and has been in the field ever since.
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Working Through Failures
You either succeed, or you learn. Cesar learned a lot with his first entrepreneurial venture.
After becoming the Miami area director for the company he was working for, then having children, he decided he could probably do a lot more on his own. He decided there was no reason not to try and take the risk.
He got together with two other partners and launched his first staffing company in 2004. They had a great run for the next three years. They were on fire and felt they could make no mistakes.
Then of course the 2008 crisis hit. They went from feeling like nothing could go wrong, to everything going very wrong.
They tried doubling down on it and refused to lay people off. It just didn’t work.
It is a crushing experience. It impacts your health, your ability to sleep, and your ego.
Cesar credits his faith, his father in law and his wife with really helping him get through this phase.
Cesar says he took time to analyze things, and what could be done better. He also still felt passionately that this was the industry he was meant to be in.
He learned to make adjustments to find a way forward. He managed to get out of what he describes as “a mess of a partnership agreement.” He wanted nothing. Just his name, reputation, and freedom.
He still had great personal relationships with clients, though saw the intelligence in picking a new model to move forward with.
Starting over in 2010, Cesar began ProsourceIT. He started out strictly on commission, essentially as a salesperson. Within 30 days he had a paycheck. He was working from home, with no overhead, and found the business quickly went from barely paying his bills to having more money coming in than he knew what to do with.
Using a boxing analogy, Jimenez describes it as “round 2.” This time with the skill to see the punches coming and to navigate them, and keep moving forward.
ProsourceIT is now 12 years old, and has tens of millions in revenues, with no debt. He says the company goes above and beyond for its employer clients, including handling healthcare insurance, and other services for freelance workers, including paid time off.
My Base Pay
Cesar currently operates two companies. The second is MyBasePay.
With the help of his attorney, he seized on the new Employer Of Record (EOR) model to launch this second venture, with enterprise clients.
Thanks to an introduction to an investor they raised a huge pre-seed round of $60M.
They got funded in April 2020 and went live in March 2021. In just 30 days they had customers and brought in $33M in revenues in their first year.
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He says much of that initial capital was deployed into hiring their team, including a new CFO. With more than half of workers now in remote and contractual work arrangements, and expectations that will soon top 80%, Cesar’s companies certainly have the potential to become billion-dollar giants in this space.
Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:
- 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’ top advice for other entrepreneurs