As I’ve said before, ABR. Always be fund raising. It’s just a part of your ongoing activities as a founder. Sure, you might not like it. It might not seem ‘core’ to your business success. It is. Building a business is not about only building a product and seeing if customers like it. You can’t just do those things in business that you enjoy. Make fund raising a habit. Don’t only engage every 18 months.
– How to Develop Your Fund Raising Strategy by Mark Suster
Every year, I meet entrepreneurs who say they hate fund raising. They don’t want to do it, they want to get it over with, they wish they could go back and build their business, doing the coding/designing/etc.
I hate it when they say that.
Fund raising is a necessary evil. YOU MUST DO IT. Without it, your company can’t survive. You need the money to get to the next level.
But I hear that nobody wants to do it.
Yes it sucks. Begging for money sucks. From the first time you begged your mom for money to buy that comic book to now when your begging investors for money, it still sucks.
I’m sorry but I’m tired of hearing it. As Mark Suster says in that quote from his latest blog post, it is something every founder needs to do and do well. If you aren’t good at it, then there is no better time to start learning how to do it then when you’re raising money for your startup.
It never stops. It seems like it does, but as Mark points out, it really never stops. As a founder, you are always out there selling yourself and your company. You need to start building these relationships early, as soon as possible after raising your first round. Big money is best gotten through familiarity over time, not social proof, not a quick glance at a deck, not an emotional reaction to the coolness of your screen shots. So you better get good at selling yourself so that you can get needed money later when you need it.
Raising money is a rite of passage to being a real entrepreneur. Yes it’s uncomfortable. Yes it seems like it wastes your time. But it IS a big part of building any business.
So get over it. Get comfortable with it. Use this time to figure out how to sell your startup and get people to invest in you and your venture. Go out and raise your round whether it takes 1 week or 12 months and stop complaining about how much it sucks. The future is filled with things you’ll have to do for your startup that suck – you need to get used to doing things that you don’t like and get good at all of them if you’re going to excel as an entrepreneur.