As an entrepreneur, cash should be on your mind. Just ask Beyonce’ who sings about it in her 2018 summer release Boss while also mentioning her business impact to legacy: “my great-great grandchildren already rich”.
Ok, so you are not Beyonce’ although behind closed doors many BossBabes can do their best impression of a girl who runs the world. Isn’t that what we really want do? Between reciting slogans such as “The Future is Female” while wearing Phenomenal Woman shirts and searching for support to build empires, deep down is the desire for FREEDOM.
We’ve all dreamed of the freedom to create, build and express ourselves though our work, however Freedom is not free. There’s a significant cost that only a few consider and many miscalculate when designing a path to live their best lives through business.
Boss Babes around the globe can attest to the stress, strain, anxiety, and fear faced when considering how to finance and fund business ventures, regardless of the stage. Kris and Kylie Jenner make it look it easy due to their social media platforms and full lip fame leveraged for a nearly Billion Dollar business. Self-made billionaire Sara Blakely bootstrapped herself with personal savings, grit, input from family and friends, and a dash of creativity.
Time for a self-check: Do you have a show on a cable network? Massive social media following? Full lips? Significant savings?
If you answered “No” to at least one of these questions, do not hide under the covers or throw away your dream. Take back your power, put on some lip gloss (because doing business with chapped lips is uncomfortable for you and those looking at you), and remember why you are worthy of designing a legacy for yourself through business. Focus on what you do have and how you can create some traction.
One of the most important things you can control is your personal brand and how you show up to the world. What do you like about yourself? What qualities and past successes can you bring to the table? What are you passionate about? Think about these things and gain confidence in knowing you have everything you need in this moment to make the first step towards gaining support and funding for your venture.
Although your bank account may not match your dreams, influence with family, peers, and potentially, extensions of friends can prove to be a significant payoff, if positioned right. Most people don’t buy or invest in a product or service because it’s just there. No matter the number of alternatives, people invest in you. YOU are the BRAND. It serves your business and esteem to be your authentic self. Potential investors want to know the real you, your story, and how that impacts a brand you are launching in the marketplace.
So how do you get to that cashflow?
First, invest in yourself before asking someone else to invest in you.
Angels and Investors want to know how much skin you have in the game to assess your motivation and passion for something before they lend an ounce of their precious time, attention, or resources. For the sake of this discussion, let’s consider Angels to be a broad group of individuals who provide guidance and precious resources in the form of consultation, funding, mentoring, coaching, introductions to build your network/credibility, and support in your dreams. We’ll refer to investors in the traditional sense of people or institutions who provide financial support and platforms to grow your brand and business.
Second, prepare yourself for “the ask” with this task list:
-Present your best self and show up as someone they want on their team.
-Consider how you show up. Do you represent them well? Does your personal brand align? How well do you present yourself aesthetically? Are you able to communicate your thoughts clearly? Did you think fast on your feet?
-For improvement, consider taking an improv class so that you can respond fast and gain exposure to professionals and novices alike who practice responding with confidence in unknown situations.
-Be prepared to show your history of success. It’s said that history repeats itself and people are more apt to back you if you demonstrate overcoming obstacles. Showcase awards, sales numbers, or anything that makes you look like a star.
-Know your numbers. How well do you know your market?
-Monitor your response time: How long does it take you to respond to email communication, voicemail, and deadlines?
-Show genuine interest. Do you inquire about things that can easily be found online? Can you provide depth and context to inquiries so that your angels and investors take you more seriously after they’ve signed on to back you?
-Language: Try not to be informal yet allow your professionalism and personality to shine through.
-Take a poll of your closest friends and advisors and ask the following:
- What is one of the first things you notice about me?
- What do you think makes me different in a good way?
- What do I do best?
- Am I honest? Courteous? Do I give compliments easily?
- How would you describe my personality?
Lastly, apply and reapply. Of course, I’m referring to this advice.
Keep your energy up and be your authentic self. Aim for a profit, then 100k, millionaire status, then Billionaire status. So what if the odds are against you? Just because reality says there’s a 1-2% chance of becoming a millionaire and odds are even less if you are not male, don’t fret. There’s power in being you. There’s power in being a female owner. There’s significant power in a great team of Angels and Investors who believe in you.
Boss up and realize the freedom you’ve always dreamed about.