When it comes to making an impact on the right set of people, entrepreneurs hold an advantage over the rest of us. First off, they know that not everyone is equally important to them. Second, they’ve been through the process of attracting the right kind of investors to their business. Not every investor brings the same overall quality to their business, and they have to choose the right one who would not only invest money into their business, but also bring in his own expertise to the table. Over time, this ability to make a distinction between the right and wrong becomes a habit, and helps to define an entrepreneur’s individual style of doing business. So which are these specific habits and what can they teach the rest of us about finding and impressing the right people? Let’s take a look.
Eagerness to listen
One of the cornerstones of investor-entrepreneur relationship is the feedback that entrepreneurs receive from the investors. They have reached the stage to be able to invest in others’ business ventures through experience and this experience is quite valuable for the entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs know this well and investors are only interested in entrepreneurs who are eager to listen to advice and feedback. In fact, there are many studies backing this theory and all of them suggest that ‘coachable’ entrepreneurs score much higher with investors at every stage.
Eagerness to learn
Listening to advice and feedback is only as good unless you have the ability and the conviction to act on it.
Investors look for entrepreneurs who accept and engage with the feedback right from the time they receive the pitch. Financials, founders’ academic and professional background, and the idea itself are secondary. But if the entrepreneurs fail to impress the investors with their conviction to act on the suggestions made by them, then the task of securing investment goes uphill.
Inspiring trust in others
Entrepreneurs who are genuine individuals and inspire trust in others score very highly in the investors’ books. Entrepreneurs who speak their mind, are not interested in vague dialogues, and are interested less in money, more in creating something meaningful while ensuring that the people around them benefit equally from their dreams always rank higher. For the investors, fake people are not worth investing money, and more importantly time in. Investors look for these traits in every member of the founding team, and in a case where they find such a team, the academic background and experience of that team doesn’t matter as much.
These are some of the simple tricks from the investor-entrepreneur relationship book. But the fact is that each of these are important for the rest of us as well. No one likes fake people who walk around wearing a mask on their faces. No one likes people who prefer to talk all the time and never listen, or learn in any given situation. Moreover, no one likes to invest their time in such people. And whether you like it or not, the people who are just right for the growth of your career are the ones who are going to invest their most precious resource in you - their time. Such people are nothing less than the angel or venture fund investors that entrepreneurs seek all the time. So think of yourself as an entrepreneur, remember these tips, and start finding your own ‘investors’ to impress.