You’re entrepreneur with a great idea for a product or service not currently provided, or otherwise unavailable within the scope and parameters with which you envision. You run it by a large swath of potential supporters, many of whom may pooh-pooh your idea and not support an otherwise solidly considered endeavor. Are their reasons pure? Is their faith in you complete? Are there conflicting agendas at play?
Are you discouraged?
You take it to your bank, with a detailed presentation, marketing plans, financial projections and unwavering enthusiasm. Your banker remains outwardly lukewarm to the idea. Other bankers agree to fund the venture, but with onerous terms that in themselves put the business in the red before lifting a pen or touching a keyboard. Are their reasons based upon a longer-term vision? Can they see beyond next quarter’s bottom line? Are they combing over their selfishness?
Are you getting discouraged yet?
You decide to go the venture-capital route. They are more forthcoming in openly loving your idea, but need substantial equity to continue the discussion. Perhaps even a majority ownership stake. You read their terms: lots of money at your disposal but they would usurp control over direction, management and hiring decisions. “You just concentrate on developing xyz and we’ll take care of the rest” is a common refrain. Yet are they taking care of your company or themselves?
Are you now discouraged and disgusted?
Stay with it. Don’t forsake the fullness of your dream for what may just be others’ self-serving agendas. You may be faced with someone’s classic don’t-show-my-real-enthusiasm-because-then-I-won’t-be-able-to-take-advantage-of-you face. Perhaps the banker’s annual bonus is based upon upfront fees that would be far more productively used to build the business.
Go for it, while prudent with your #risk-taking, complete with your research and with faith in your abilities. Here’s how Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and chief executive of Bluemercury, overcame both failure and personal pressures.
The cold water you will invariably confront may well be sham pooh-poohing designed to shower others in green.