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Invest Yourself To Seize Opportunities

I reconnected with a wantrepreneur I met months ago to see how things were going. Since our first meeting, she’s made connections all around, built a pitch deck, and got estimates for developing her idea. From the outside, she’s doing great. She talks excitedly about a new platform launching soon that would be huge for her product. Sadly, she’s going to miss the boat because her product is still just an idea.

She also pared down her list of features to get more minimum viable product-lean. This has dropped her development costs dramatically to economical levels. However, she’s still seeking meetings with investors to get funding to start development.

Unfortunately, funding hasn’t come through while great opportunities like the new platform launch have come and pass. In two months come holiday season when the new platform will be on many people’s wishlists – another golden opportunity will pass.

We talked about what her idea was worth and what she believes the value will be if she’s a success. Is she confident in her idea and her ability to execute that perhaps she could fund more of the development herself rather than rely on outsiders? If she had all the information she had today but two months ago, would she had invested in development to make it to this new platform’s launch? Hesitating as she laments the very idea, she whispers, “Yes, I would.”

A few thoughts:
  • She, like many others, is learning how difficult it is to raise money without traction. She’s also lost an initial investor. Like I said in sales, never celebrate till two weeks after a check clears. Build momentum (read: traction) to spark investment interest.
  • Entrepreneurship is about doing and being opportunistic. Could she have known the platform was launching soon? Possibly, based on company history. Meanwhile, holidays are pretty set. One of the most important factors in startup success is about timing and being able to seize opportunities. I believe full-heartedly in what Seneca said -- “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
  • Things happen outside of your control, but control as much as you can when you can. Unfortunate events like losing investors can be unpredicted, and development continues to be delayed. She could address this directly by learning to code herself, growing her network of developers and partnering with a technical cofounder, or fund the development herself (or other).
I like to consider how invested and confident wantrepreneurs are in their ideas (from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur). If they truly believe in their ideas and themselves, are they realizing what the bottlenecks are? What are they doing to knock those barriers down? For her, taking more control by funding development herself, if not finding a technical co-founder or learning development herself, could help her seize golden opportunities or move on.

For the wantrepreneur, she’s going to take immediate action. I’m excited to see her idea come to fruition soon.

What are your thoughts on requiring outside investment to fund an idea? How could a lack of funding interest affect a wantrepreneur’s passion and drive to execute?

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