“Founding a startup can be hard work, and the entrepreneur needs to slog a lot.”
This is a 24/7 job, and the final result is always unknown and uncertain. This is why founders need passion and perseverance to be successful.
What surprises me is how lazy lots of wannabe entrepreneurs are.
I’m an angel, and I receive a lot of pitches by email . Many founders have a cool idea and a well-designed business plan, but what disappoints me is that they want to raise money from angels in order to try to implement that plan. This means that you are asking the angel to subsidise your experiments – you want to learn on his dime.
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The trouble is that a lot of these lazy entrepreneurs are also surprisingly immature. They are young and haven’t seen much of the world. Because they have never worked for a living, they don’t understand the value of money. They are theory-masters and think of themselves as being the next Steve Jobs. Their pet peeve is that investors are too dumb and short-sighted to recognise their internal genius. They are also jealously possessive about their
Their pet peeve is that investors are too dumb and short-sighted to recognise their internal genius. They are also jealously possessive about their idea and are paranoid that the investor is out to steal these from them. They refuse to share openly because they do not trust or respect the investor.
“Expecting an investor to pay the price for your lessons and your failures is something which makes no sense to me.”
After all, the whole point of being an entrepreneur is that you can hustle and are able to accomplish stuff, no matter how cash-starved you are. The key characteristic of a successful founder is one who can innovate, no matter the constraints he is forced to operate under. A smart innovator is frugal and can make a buck go a long way.
When you pitch, why not show to your investor how much you have been able to accomplish in real life with whatever limited funds you have. Sadly, most wannabe founders would rather sit on a comfortable chair and create attractive presentations – and then complain that investors aren’t willing to give them any money to back their dreams.
“If you’re not willing to put in your own money and time and energy into creating a company, why would you expect an investor to do this?”
A successful entrepreneur can be creative within the constraints he has. After all, throwing money at a problem to solve it doesn’t require much innovation or intelligence! It’s your ability to do a lot with very little which will increase your credibility with investors, and improve their chances of funding you.
[This post by Dr. Aniruddha Malpani first appeared on LinkedIn and has been reproduced with permission.]