Stop asking investors for a job

In the back of your mind, I’d like you to put thought as to how much money you are looking to raise from investors. Is it $50,000? $300,000? Now reflecting on that amount, what is the allocation of those funds? What will you spend those investment dollars on? 

Here are four things early stage investors arguably will not fund:

  1. Prototype
  2. Proof of concept
  3. Salary
  4. Debt

What you are asking investor’s to do with this allocation of funds is to solve your problems with their money and effectively give yourself a job. This becomes a big red-flag. You need to be able to stand on your own two feet. Ironically, you need to prove you do not need investment to get investment. You need to bootstrap your way to being investor-ready. Remember, investor’s fund high-growth, not management. (NB: The only exception is possibly bio-science or mining where you have serious, high-value, protected IP and a large-scale, long-term opportunity.) 

So… what deals can you do to access new tooling, new development or new communities? Who can you talk to? How can you secure resources you need without investment? How can you get investors watching you do this?

Identify your existing investable value and develop a roadmap to bootstrap the resources you need to be investor-ready. At the same time create an investor relations strategy so the moment you are primed for high-growth – investors are waiting for you. 

To action

  • In your notebook, write out a list of all the resources that your venture needs and does not have right now. 
  • Then list deals you could do to get them. 
  • Start one new deal conversation today.
  • Talk to investors about high growth opportunities you are looking at. Avoid asking investors for a job.