These are the top FIVE Things you need.
Tip #1 = Persistence / Grit
This is the most important thing.
You’re going to get more no’s than yes’s.
History is littered with examples of visionaries who continued to persist, against all odds, who got hundreds of No’s, but somehow kept on going.
We’ve all heard the story of KFC’s Colonel who knocked on a 1000 doors to sell his secret chicken recipe.
We all know about Thomas Edison and his 10,000 (or was it 1000?) failed light bulb experiments.
And we can all probably relate to a challenge we’ve had to overcome, against all odds, at some stage in our lives — one that we persistent through.
Too many people give up too soon.
They say the cemetery is filled with ideas that could’ve changed the world, and people who chose not to continue in their pursuit.
Entrepreneurship is a hard road. So is raising money, and so is making people believe in a vision thats not yet materialised.
But hey — that’s what you’re here for right ;)
PS — I recently watched a movie with Jennifer Lawrence called “Joy”. Until now I thought it was some chick-flick. But holy shit — it was one of the most inspiring movies I’ve ever seen. A story of true persistence. Fucking wow.
It’s right up there with Will Smith’s “Pursuit of Happiness”.
In fact — come to think of it — both movies even have a title that’s similar…hmm..
If you need some inspiration — go watch those :)
Tip # 2 = Follow through
In sales, we have thing called “ABC” — which stands for ‘Always Be Closing”.
That means any time you are discuss a deal, you should always be looking for an opportunity to close that deal.
This means you can’t just leave things open ended & hope that people are going to just commit themselves.
In some cases, you may have done such a fantastic job during the preliminary, or your concept may be that highly coveted that you don’t need to worry about follow through & closure, but if that’s that case — you’re probably don’t need to read this article.
For those of you pounding the pavement — you need to ensure you always follow through & finalist the process.
Close the deal, follow up with term sheets, get them signed, sign off shareholder agreements, get the money in the bank! Don’t get complacent & assume the deal is done when it’s not.
It’s not done until cash is in the bank & all your paperwork is filed.
**Note** We’ve all had an experience with a pushy salesperson, who’s always breaking our balls & taking it to far in the bid to sell us something. I’m not talking about that. That’s just blind & stupid.
You need to have sensory acuity & know both when to close & when to back off. That’s something that comes with time & experience, but you can speed it up by studying human psychology, communication, language patterns, body language, etc.
Tip #3 = Never be afraid of sharing ideas.
This is a biggie.
People think ideas are the key ingredient to a successful business.
Newsflash — your idea ain’t worth shit!
Sorry to sounds like such an asshole, but it’s true. It’s the work & vision behind it that counts.
It’s the team, it’s the people, the passion, the perseverance, the vision — it’s all of these things — not just an idea — which in today’s day an age; ha probably already been thought of by someone else.
If you want to signal that you’re an amateur, go around telling people to sign NDA’s before you tell them your idea.
The good investors will turn the other way, and any other muppet who does hang around is just that; a muppet.
The kind of investor you want on your team doesn’t have time to screw around & ‘steal your idea’.
I have a saying actually:
The ones who would steal an idea don’t have the vision or balls to execute on it.
The ones who have the ability to execute are too busy working on their own shit
This is generally applicable at all stages in the business life cycle.
If it’s really early, you need to tell people (which will help u validate the idea anyway).
Later on, you should be in a position that you have a jump on the market — and your USP will be pivotal to you pitch.
NDA’s have their place (i.e.; for sensitive, internal information) but NOT when you’re looking to raise money.
Tip #4 = Fear of Loss / posture
You need to convince yourself that there is more investment demand than what supply you have available.
In other words, “the deal’s about to close and if you don’t buy in now, you’re going to MISS OUT”.
You need to believe this deep down, even if it’s not true on the surface (at the moment).
This is a more advanced skill & one that requires practice and that voodoo shit we call “faith”.
It’s hard to explain this one — but it’s a level of assurity — that you KNOW this is going to close. That you KNOW it’s. A done deal. Even when the evidence points to the contrary.
It’s almost like an “assumptive close” in sales — but more elegant.
Assumptive salespeople can be pushy (here’s that need for sensory acuity again).
This is your “Posture”.
You need to be congruent, confident and absolutely fucking certain that you’re closing this deal, it’s done, there is too much demand, you’re oversubscribing it, and if you (Mr or Mrs Investor) want in, this is your last chance.
It may seem daunting, and at first, you’re probably going to feel like an absolute douche bag saying it — but you need to keep building that momentum — even if it feels artificial initially.
I can’t stress the importance of this enough.
NOBODY wants to go into a restaurant that’s empty.
Nobody wants to be the only investor.
It works — trust me — even when you have to sell shit!
If my years in retails taught me one thing, it’s that a crowd attracts a crowd.
And to compound it, that crowd will convince themselves that what their doing / eating isn’t shit just to maintain the social status quo.
Tip #5 = Courage
You need Guts.
Intestinal Fortitude (or as my man CT Fletcher likes to call it; Testicular Fortitude — but I will also add; Vaginal Fortitude)..anyway — moving along…
I end it with this, because ALL the others don’t count for shit if you don’t find the courage in the first place to do them.
Persistence requires the courage to keep going.
Follow through requires courage to finalize your proceedings.
Sharing ideas requires the courage to know you’re the one to turn your vision into a reality.
Building a “Fear of Loss” comes from having the courage to believe in what’s not yet come about.
This is the final & most vital ingredient.
Again — it’s some voodoo shit.
It’s not directly measurable, nor can I tell you which supermarket to go buy courage from.
It doesn’t come in the form of a pill, and no — it doesn’t come from Alcohol either (contrary to popular belief).
All I can say is that courage comes from within.
It’s something you develop when you force yourself OUT of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
Courage doesn’t come from within your safe space — nor is it called upon when you’re ‘safe’ & ‘secure’.
Courage also doesn’t mean you’re not afraid.
It’s not fearlessness. That’s a bullshit concept. Fear is Real.
Courage means you’re scared shitless but you fucking do it anyway.
Courage is, and quite possibly always has been the rarest commodity in the world.
In my mind, it’s also the most coveted, revered, respected & inspiring attribute humans have.
Without it, nothing comes to bear. Not love, not life, not creation, nothing..
Anyway — I’m getting a little overly philosophical here.
COURAGE mother fuckers.
Grab hold of your vagina or your balls — and march forward into the unknown!
Do not go quietly into the night!
These are your 5 key ingredients to raising money.
Now, of course there are more details in this process, from term sheets, to cap tables, to shareholder agreements, to pitch decks & god knows what else — but these FIVE fundamental ingredients are absolutely necessary.
It’s also necessary to be genuinely confident you’re raising for the right reasons or for an idea you believe in.
If you’re raising money for something that’s a clear flop, or just so you can fund your own wage & trips to the strippers, well, I’ll just say there’s always consequences…
You can probably use the above to help you raise money for a flying turd, but what you do with that money, and how well you polish the turd up won’t change the fact that it’s a turd and, well — when shit hits the fan — it’s gonna go everywhere ;)
Anyway enough of my profanity & messed up visuals.
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