I was talking to an entrepreneur the other day about fundraising. This company was not raising money, but had in the past and is quite successful.
We talked about the psychology of how one presents themselves in the fundraising process. Some entrepreneurs just have “mojo” when they come in. It’s a fine line, but it’s important to come in with a sense of purpose and determination, coupled with confidence that the round is inevitable, coupled with humility and authenticity.
This entrepreneur shared what I thought was a great perspective. Basically, he realizes that in most fundraises, most investors are likely to pass or be lukewarm. But regardless of that expectation:
“I genuinely believe that it’s a privilege for someone to invest in my company. Even if there are many reasons to say no, I believe that what we are doing is special, and I have very talented people that have taken huge paycuts to be part of a team that will work like crazy to give our investors a great great return.”
I thought this was just an awesome attitude. And it’s totally true. Every time I have invested in a company, I have felt that it is a privilege to work with the entrepreneurs and the teams. We take a chance on companies and founders, but founders take a more profound risk in working with us. We provide capital and I think a lot of helpful leverage for companies, but founders provide a piece of their hardest and most productive years of their lives.
Unfortunately, I don’t think all entrepreneurs present themselves like this is true, and I continue to hear about interactions with investors that make entrepreneurs feel the exact opposite – that it’s the entrepreneur’s privilege to receive investment from such a great VC.
It’s a privilege for a VC to be an investor in a company. Not the other way around.