Extractive summaries and key takeaways from the articles curated from TOP TEN BUSINESS MAGAZINES to promote informed business decision-making | Week 305 | July 14-20, 2023
Smart Investors Evaluate the Founder More Than Their Pitch. Here’s How You Can Persuade Them You’re Investable.
Good investors are more interested in getting a measure of you, not solely your business idea. So what traits are they looking for in you?
By David Newns | Entrepreneur Magazine | July 19, 2023
A business doesn’t need to have the best idea in order to be a worthwhile investment — they need an investable founder. Just think about the world’s most recognizable entrepreneurs today. So what traits are they looking for in you?
- A superhuman determination to succeed. People have different reasons for wanting or even needing to succeed. Like to have control over their lives, making their own lot better to improving the future for millions (or billions) of people. Whatever is feeding your determination to succeed, make sure it’s a deep well. Determination must be a lifelong habit, too, as founders should have a strong sense of urgency (procrastination won’t fly) yet also have an unusual amount of patience (as their idea can take years to come to market or generate profit) combined with persistence.
- Endless curiosity. Being able to remain insatiably curious allows entrepreneurs to continuously seek new opportunities. So rather than just settling for what you think you know, show investors that you always ask challenging questions and explore different avenues. For a killer combination, put curiosity together with a willingness to break the rules that you’re questioning. Asking, “Why has no one done this?” could identify a great opportunity to disruptively innovate.
- Commit to building a great team around you. It’s true that, as an entrepreneur, at first you are the proverbial “chief cook and bottle washer,” you are doing every role in the business. To grow, you need a team, and to exit (which you will, one way or another) you need a team to run the business after you have moved on. So smart entrepreneurs show interest in building a great team around them.
- Focus on execution more than the idea. We live in a dynamic world, so new ideas are always needed. That said, a great team can execute a mediocre idea, make it great and make a great company. So investors look for your ability to execute. They want to see an exceptionally talented product and technical leadership with domain expertise.
- Old-school hard work. It’s true that the person who works more hours is almost always going to succeed or do better than the person who works fewer hours, and investors will be looking for a solid work ethic.
- Be a good storyteller. Being able to articulate a bold vision and your mission, as well as your personal story that brings you to the investment pitch is incredibly helpful. It’s about amazing storytelling.
3 key takeaways from the article
- A business doesn’t need to have the best idea in order to be a worthwhile investment — they need an investable founder. Behind every famous entrepreneurial idea is a pivot or evolution from a determined, skillful founder.
- So what traits are they looking for in you? Six are: a superhuman determination to succeed, endless curiosity, commit to building a great team around you, focus on execution more than the idea, old-school hard work, and be a good storyteller.
- Every investor has a healthy appreciation for the unreliability of ideas — so often at the mercy of external influences out of your control — versus the reliability of people. They’re more interested in getting a measure of you, not your idea.
Topics: Entrepreneurship, Startups, Venture Capitalist, Funding