Be Honest: Are You a Blanche DuBois Type Entrepreneur?
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. – Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire
Let’s take a look at the main differences between true entrepreneurs and the Blanche DuBois type wannabes.
True entrepreneurs are very resourceful by nature. Once they make the decision to proceed with a new venture they immediately shift their focus to how they can move forward with whatever resources happen to be at hand. One of the reasons that they are able to start making progress immediately is because there’s always something you can do to move forward. Always. You just have to be on the lookout for it.
In contrast, the Blanche DuBois entrepreneurial wannabes come up with an idea, maybe write a business plan and estimate of how much money they will need to implement it, and then sit down and wait and wait and wait some more for a kind stranger to come along and drop $50k, $500k, or $5 million into their laps.
True entrepreneurs understand that if they are to eventually raise capital they need to first prove their mettle to potential investors. They understand that entrepreneurship is a long series of tests that basically never stop coming. So they dive into passing each one as quickly as possible. In the rodeo game there’s an old saying, “Screw the form, go for the horn.” This means that you don’t worry how you look getting to the goal so long as you get to it.
Meanwhile, the Blanche DuBois don’t like being tested. Indeed they want to avoid being tested as much as is possible. Being tested is stressful, you see. So they convince themselves that their lives will be stress-free if a kind stranger first gives them the money that they need. Then they will be able to immediately start paying themselves a nice salary as CEO and perhaps even get a new car that is more in keeping with their new job title. Talk to them and they tell you that attempting to start before the money comes would be hard on their systems.
True entrepreneurs put in the effort to understand how the capital game works. They have a good understand of what types of deals are of interest to potential investors. More importantly, they understand what types of businesses investors are not interested in. Specifically they know that investors are not interested in financing lifestyle businesses whose real purpose is to provide the founder with a steady pay-check instead of making all the shareholders rich.
The Blanche DuBois are clueless about the different types of businesses and which ones investors back. They don’t understand that investors can spot a lifestyle entrepreneur from a quarter-mile away.
True entrepreneurs, if asked to do so, can identify the most likely investors to back them. If they can’t identify which specific individuals are likely to give them checks, they can at least identify the local angel investor chapter or club where they are likely to be found.
The Blanche DuBois are clueless about who might fund them so they rely on the two absolute worst methods for attracting investors. They simply post their needs online and occasionally take the extra step of emailing an unsolicited copy of their business plan to a few websites.
True entrepreneurs go out into the real world to interact and socialize with others in their ecosystem including investors, and venture capitalists, and other entrepreneurs. They do so for two important reasons: one is to learn more about how the game of business is played and to cultivate relationships and trust with investors ahead of time.
The Blanche DuBois can’t be bothered to do all this. They need the money first. All that other stuff will follow. So they limit their efforts on behalf of both building their businesses and capital raising efforts to posting their needs online in such places as Linkedin Groups. Some have been doing so for years without any progress being made.
True entrepreneurs who find themselves not making any progress with investors will rightfully conclude that the problem lies with them and not with the investors. They will then request honest feedback on what they are doing wrong.
The Blanche DuBois will never do the same. Instead they will get angry with investors and accuse them of being “too stupid” to recognize what a fabulous opportunity their startup happens to be.
Be honest about which category you fall into currently. No one is born knowing this stuff. If you belong to the Blanche DuBois type who thinks that someone will give them money simply because they happen to need it, it’s time to admit to yourself that you have some learning to do.
The good news is that there has never been more information out there on how the game is played successfully.
How not to raise seed capital
Finally, many Blanch DuBois types come across like this to investors. Don’t be like them.
This short video reveals in a humorous manner the big turn-offs for investors:
-wild unsubstantiated claims about your project’s potential.
-impatience with the trust building process.
-obliviousness to how capital is really raised.
-over reliance on business plans, Powerpoints, and elevator pitches.
If you’re not getting any bites from real investors, it’s probably you not them. You are the problem. Something is missing from your offer. Most likely, it’s a lack of track record.
Take advantage of the super (almost) 2fer front page special and solve your financing problems.