So you’re in business for yourself. You have an awesome product/service and you’re making a decent amount of money but you want more money/growth/success. Or maybe you have an awesome pre-revenue idea that you’d like to get funded.
If you’re like the other millions of American’s who watch ABC’s Shark Tank, you’re probably thinking, “That’s the answer!”
I’m here to tell you it’s not. The television exposure is definitely invaluable (although that isn’t why you should want to get on the show) but at the end of the day you’ll be making a business deal with an investor. A partner. With a percentage of ownership. Now you have what essentially is debt. Albeit you have the connections and influence of one of the sharks, but nonetheless, you owe somebody.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not always a negative position to be in. Especially when your business is doing well and you can easily pay back what you’ve asked for. However, there have been too many times when I’ve watched the show in which someone asks for help “contacting the CEO of Compang X”. What??
The last thing an investor wants to hear is something like that. As an entrepreneur, a go-getter, a person who fights to be first, you mean to tell me you can’t be cunning, aggressive, or resourceful enough to cold call or get the number/email to a decision maker? Excuse my language, but get the fuck outta here. Get uncomfortable. Make those calls or emails.
Once you’ve exhausted your capabilities, then that’s when you try external means.
Here’s what investors want to see:
- You’re a go-getter
- You’re personable with a vision
- You work for the Yes and ignore the No’s
- You’ve actually tried
- You’re making money or you have a valuable idea that can be extremely lucrative in a relatively short period of time
If you haven’t or don’t exhibit these traits, work on them. You’ll thank me later.
Prove success on your own before seeking outside help.