I’ve been turned down by
eight potential investors. It is me or the business? I was getting depressed
and thought I should stop. I didn’t know how to make sense of what was
happening to me. The investors were so aggressive. They wanted me to make
mistakes. They just seem like nasty people.
My sister’s husband is an
investor and I went to get his advice. He said it was part of the game to ask
hard questions. Investors also want to see how you stood up to stress and
adversity. He said he would come to our office to meet the team. When he came to see us he
asked everyone questions about the business. He asked for data on customers and
At the end of the day, we
sat down together to review his day. He said he wasn’t impressed by the team or
their knowledge of the business and the market. He thought they were all nice
people but didn’t have the skills to grow the business. Few understood the
business model. Above all, he said they lack passion for the business. Then he
said it was my fault for choosing weak people and not educating or
communicating with them. Great leaders hire great people. Good entrepreneurs
hire people that can scale the company to new levels.
He then asked me about the
business plan. He listened to my answers then said I didn’t understand the
business and couldn’t explain the operations or its economics in simple terms.
He said he wouldn’t invest in me or my business because I couldn’t determine
the size of the addressable market, the intensity of competition, or how to
He told me this was real
life, not a business plan competition. He said in order to be successful, I
need better people, a stronger board, and better results. He said no one would
invest in me or the business if I didn’t make these changes.