What Exactly Are You Selling?

What Are You Selling?

As an entrepreneur, your most precious resource is your time and how you invest it. You can invest your time trying to get customers (by solving their problems) and/or you can invest your time trying to get investors. The more time you spend getting customers (selling your product), the less time you will need to spend getting investors (selling your stock). And if you spend enough time getting customers, you will not need investors. And just at the point that you don’t need investors is when they will start pestering you to let them invest. But of course by then you may not want them or need them.

It also helps to know what the odds are in terms of selling stock. The data is hard to come by and always a bit vague, but it’s been widely and variously reported that only 1 in 4,000 entrepreneurs seeking funding get funded. A typical venture capital firm will often say that they only invest in 1 of every 200 – 500 companies they meet with. And they refuse to take a lot of meetings. Let’s just say your odds of getting funded are extremely low. Somewhere in the 0.025% to 0.25% range. Especially if you just have an idea and not a working solution. Especially if you are by yourself and do not have a management team. Especially if you do not have any customers. Especially if you’ve never led a startup before. Zero chance. Nada.

Your odds of landing a paying customer are way higher than your chances of landing an investor – especially if you have a viable solution. So go get a customer. Spend your time selling your product and not selling stock. Chances are, you will get really creative. And that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.

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About Wade Myers

Wade has founded or co-founded, invested in, and been a director of over 25 companies and has completed 55 financing and M&A transactions. His previous work experience includes the Boston Consulting Group and Mobil Corporation. Wade also served as an Airborne Ranger in the US Army where he was a decorated veteran of the Gulf War. He is a Baker Scholar graduate of Harvard’s MBA program and is married with five children.

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