As I work with quite a few start ups, I find that a challenge they all face is finding an investor or thinking that they need to find one. In most instances, what a company needs to get to market may not be as much as they think. An investor should only be brought on board when capital is crucial. If it if services that a company needs, there are many ways to get them without money from an investor.
Now, let’s say that all of those options have been exhausted and we are left with the need for cash. That is when we look for investment. However, a lot of start ups get stuck at this point because they are focused on the wrong things. The founder may have it is his head that he must be poised, polished and knowledgeable. He may spend hours preparing the perfect pitch with robotic perfection all to end up with no interest. What most people do not realize is that investors, for the most part, are in investing in the person, not the company.
Let me explain. Most start-ups fail at a high rate. Statistically, the odds are stacked against the investor. But, investors look at more than just the company, they look at the people. The personality. The Passion. Most founder miss the mark here. When presenting to investors, they lose their identity and become this rigid robot with no personality. In my experience, very few investors want to be part of that. What they do want is someone with guts, passion, personality and drive. They want to invest in the right person over the right product because the right person has a better chance of making anything work.
So, if you have been looking for outside investment but struggling, analyze your pitch and be yourself. Show your true colors. Do not pretend to be someone you are not. Investors embrace authenticity and so should you.