Lies We Tell Ourselves About Investors
There are a number of lies we tell ourselves about investors. One of the most common questions I get from people with projects looking for money is, “How do I find investors?” and my answer is always the same: “Stop calling them investors.” Investors are people, not some magical creature, and they are not the only factor in your success. On closer examination, there are three lies we tell ourselves about investors that are preventing us from reaching our goals.
The first lie we tell ourselves is that investors need to give us big money or our project can’t move forward. Sure money can make certain things easier but there have been plenty of amazing companies built from the ground up with very little money. It’s also been said that many businesses fail because they have received too much money rather than not enough. If you are not starting your project because you don’t have money yet, take some time to think about what you can do without that money. There is always something you can make happen. You can write out a plan, research the market, or meet with people who can give you advice. If you tell yourself that money is the only way you can get started and that an investor’s money is going to transform your project, you will likely be sorely disappointed.
The second lie we tell ourselves is that investors are people with money. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You meet investors every single day. There are people who invest their time with you, there are people who invest in you by sharing their expertise, and there are people who invest in you by making introductions for you. Many of these people, while not flush with cash, can make more happen for your project than someone else that has a boatload of money. Take the time to recognize that there are investors all around you and you yourself can be an investor in someone else. You don’t need capital to be an investor; you just need to have the desire to help.
The third lie we tell ourselves: our project is so good that it would be an amazing deal for any investor. In marketing it’s said that if you are making a product for everybody, you’ve made a product for nobody. Similarly, if your attitude is that everyone will want to invest in your project, chances are no one will want to invest in your project. It’s easy to be lured by the idea of mass appeal, but it’s simply not true. Your project will attract a certain type of person and it will likely repel others and that is okay. Pay attention to who likes what you are creating and focus on those people.
Investors are people first, just like you and me. So stop looking for investors and start looking for amazing people who believe in your projects. You’ll have a much better experience and your projects are much more likely to thrive.