My blog today is about First Time & Startup Entrepreneur’s – And how there is little to no love out there today for the risk takers and adventurers.
But before that – I am willing to give bonus points to the first person to comment and finish my quote in the Title of the blog. What are the bonus points for you may ask? For fun.
Ok – so in case you didn’t catch my first LinkedIn Post (You can read it here) – I am recently moved on from my last go at being a Startup Entrepreneur. I did it for five years this go around. Well since I have moved on, as I mentioned in that first blog I have been doing some self-reflection, to try and maximize the takeaways and learning experiences.
Out of this I have come to a conclusion.
The cake is a lie.
All of those inspirational business books, that tell you that all you got to do is – go DO it. All those successful rock star entrepreneurs – they want you to believe that all they had was drive and determination and tenacity in order to succeed. Nothing else.
It’s all cake.
Woah – put down the boots, and no need to go get the pitchforks. I know you Jobs loving, Elon tattoo wearing, Branson Bandwagon entrepreneurs are angry at the mere thought of tarnishing the legacy that has been told to you through thousands of pages of text that talk about them. It’s not ALL a lie – but let me clarify by saying that the majority of what you read about these people is told through a filter, and the amount of their story that applies to YOU the non-superhuman industrialist is VERY slim if at all.
Here is why.
Most of the success stories that you read about were almost entirely pure luck. Right time, right people, right connections, right momentum…. PAIRED with the psychotic drive, vision and determination that ended up where we are today. These things I like to call singularities.
We now live in a world that is almost immeasurably more connected on a person to person basis than we were even five years ago, let alone ten, twenty or more years. You would think being able to make the connections that matter most, and network with who you need and when you need it would be easier than ever. But it isn’t.
More often than not, we have entrepreneurs all over the United States (or the world) that have great ideas, great vision, great focus, great drive, and KNOW they need help, but don’t know how to ask, who to ask, or when to ask it.
So here is my advice to both Entrepreneurs and VC/Investors:
Entrepreneurs – Be unabashedly direct and reach out to anyone and everyone. But don’t go just with a hand out looking for cash. Make your request looking for intellectual help. Look for an advisor, a coach, someone that is willing to give you unfiltered advice. At the same time, be willing and open to accept that input. Too often as entrepreneurs, we become all consumed by our dream and vision, that we lose the ability to still be objective and willing to accept constructive criticism. If someone is willing to make their time available to you – be willing to at least listen and learn. This is how you make connections, and this is how you get better at communicating that dream and vision, and makes your path to success a little clearer, and hopefully, a little easier.
Venture Capitalists & Angel Investors – PLEASE, Do me a favor. Do it for the kids! Those projects that you DO hear about, that ARE interesting, even though you yourself may not be able invest in it for whatever reason – HELP THEM OUT. Be an advisor to these guys. Be honest, without being cruel. I know that you see 1,000 business plans being submitted to you in a year, and can only really dive into 20, and fund 2. We all know that. But when you see something of interest, or a team of new entrepreneurs that are just trying to make it in today’s global economy – do what you can to point them in the right direction. And you have the keys to how this game is played. The golden rule applies to you: “Those that hold the gold, make the rules”. So change the rules. I know you have to be tired of all those business plans. Instead maybe trying asking for a 500-word Executive Summary – if someone can’t peak your interest in 500 words, then tell them why and if warranted tell them to try again. You the VC, the Angel, as individuals may be very easy to talk to and personable. To an entrepreneur, many times you are unapproachable because you have the power and leverage. So be honest – but tactful. Again – do it for the kids!
All of you crazy business adventure nuts out there – keep your head up, stay positive, keep fighting the good fight.
Until next time – you know where to find me.
p.s. Check out my other blog post I did last week – HERE.
Allen Kruse is a Senior Partner with the CH Consulting Group. He’s been involved in numerous projects, done a heap of things, met quite the number of people and overall been a serial adventurer for the past 15+ years. From the online gaming news industry, to being in the United States military, to going to college for a while, to forming several businesses, to even being a consultant. He’s always on the go and working towards an ultimate goal. While he’s on his journey -he would like to get to know you, and how he might be able to learn more about your journey and ultimate destination. You can find him here