1. Examine your beliefs about asking for money and growing your business.
Chances are you have little voices in your head undermining you and you may not even be consciously aware of it!
Do a brain dump in your journal about all those beliefs and realize that there is very little, if any, truth to them. Once you drag them out into the light of day, you can loosen their grip on you by noticing how ridiculous most of them are!
Make it a regular practice to expose those beliefs that don’t serve you well and debunk them.
2. Notice the positive side of the things that you don’t like about yourself.
Just about every “negative” characteristic has a positive side. For example, if you worry that you are too cautious and don’t jump on opportunities quickly enough, think about all the times that quality has actually helped you avoid mistakes. Reframe the negative description of that trait to focus on the positive. For example, say to yourself, “investors would be very lucky to invest in my company because I am such a careful steward of resources.”
3. Remember that investors find it very challenging to identify good opportunities.
Remind yourself every day that, for the right investors, what you’re offering to them is at least as valuable if not more so than what you’re asking for.
When talking to potential investors, start by asking them a lot of questions about what’s important to them. If it becomes clear that what you are offering is a good fit for what they’re looking for, make your offer.
4. Practice the ask.
There is a way to ask for an investment that establishes a level playing field from the start. Here is an example of what you can say when approaching potential investors:
You know I’ve realized that the business opportunity that I am cultivating is going to have tremendous impact in a number of ways that I think given who I know you are might be of interest to you.
Are you open to having lunch so I could tell you about it?
I realize this may or may not be right for you. If it’s not, no harm no foul – that’s fine. But if you’re open to it I’d love to share it with you.
Once you get the meeting, start by presenting a short statement of your vision. Before getting into all the details, make sure the potential investor sees your vision – why this is important to you and how you want to make a difference with your business.
You can practice this in advance and get feedback from your supporters until you feel confident that the statement is clear, concise, and inspiring.
5. Be willing to say no to the wrong investor.
If your gut tells you that a potential investor is not a good fit, listen to that. Do as much due diligence on potential investors as they do on you. And listen to both your head and your intuition (body, heart, spirit, gut . . . .) when deciding whether to accept an investment.
6. Cultivate your garden.
Nina Simons of Bioneers says “fundraising is like cultivating a garden.” Take the time to get to know potential investors as well as those who may be able to introduce you to investors. It can take several touch points before an investor says yes. During this process, treat the investor as a whole person, not just a wallet that you’re trying to get into. Everyone, including investors, wants to be seen for the entire person they are and appreciated for all that they have to offer.