June 16, 2015 | 4-minute read (721 words)
This guest post was contributed by BJ Lackland, CEO of Lighter Capital.
Fundraising can be an arduous and time-consuming process for entrepreneurs. To survive this process, it’s critical that you stay focused on what you’re passionate about. What drove you to launch your company? Perhaps it was the lure of financial independence. Or perhaps it was a desire to be your own boss and have a flexible schedule.
While these may have played supporting roles in the decision to start your company, most likely the key driving force was this: a burning passion for the problem you’re solving. When you were first starting out, that passion gave you the energy and courage to be an entrepreneur: driving you to create, build, and delight your customers.
But over time, did your passion get masked during the day-to-day grind of startup life and in the challenges involved with fundraising? Don’t let that happen! Before you launch your next fundraising efforts, reignite the passion that got you started in the first place. Remember, investors are humans, too — and it’s often the intangible energy that makes your pitch exciting. Here are five ways to convey passion to your potential investors:
Showcase your commitment
Beyond the financial viability of your product and plan, investors want to see your commitment to the business. There are many entrepreneurs who have “side projects” that they dabble in. But the ones who survive and thrive are often those who have true commitment and passion. Demonstrating this is essential for investors. They want to see you’re in it for the long haul, and for you to demonstrate that you are committed to leading your team through the uncertain and rocky road of building a business.
Fall in love again
Many successful companies have been built by entrepreneurs who had an experience that made them realize what they wanted to do for the rest of their career. Investors know that you’ll face major obstacles as an early startup that will require more perseverance to overcome than many people can muster. If you don’t truly love what you’re doing, investors will sense it — and they may worry that you’ll throw in the towel for a less risky day job with a steady pay check.
Demonstrate your deep expertise
Many entrepreneurs are successful because the solutions they build are informed by their experience within a specific industry. They know which pain points customers suffer from so the product they develop address those issues.
Investors love to work closely with entrepreneurs who share their interest and expertise in a specific industry, because as stakeholders in a company they can only offer valuable insights in spaces they know well.
Remember why your work matters
One thing many successful entrepreneurs have in common is a strong sense of purpose. Yes, they are interested in the financial upside of launching a company that could really take off. But they are also in it because they truly believe what they do is important. Investors know that entrepreneurs who are driven by a strong sense of purpose are often extremely dedicated to their work—and such dedication is a key predictor of future success.
Inevitably, you will endure a crisis of faith where you wonder whether your company will make it. Successful entrepreneurs retain their belief in their potential for success, and this belief is bigger than their doubts.This attitude is critical for investors. After all, if you don’t believe in your startup, why should they?
BJ Lackland is the CEO of Lighter Capital, an alternative-financing provider for growing technology companies. BJ has spent his career working with emerging technology companies as both an operating executive and an investor. He has been a venture capitalist, the CFO of a public technology company, an angel investor, and a senior finance and marketing leader at tech startups. Follow BJ @bjlackland.
What factors contributed to the success of your last funding round? Tell us in the comments section below or contact Early Growth Financial Services for financial and accounting support.
Liked this post? Join our mailing list to get our posts on startups sent directly to your inbox.