How To Make Your 33 Wishes Come True


 

I came across a very interesting advertisement in my Sunday paper the other day.

The ad was from a psychic named Maria that promised to allow you to achieve up to seven of 33 possible wishes.

Now, before I go any further this seemed to be a scam, and in fact, upon checking online, this psychic unfortunately appears to have been scamming people around the world for many years.

However, what I found really interesting was the list of 33 wishes that the advertiser supplied.

I figured that these scammers (since they probably have spent millions in advertising) did some research to ensure that these 33 wishes were universal; that is, that they pretty much sum up the wishes of most people. From a marketing perspective, this is something I found very interesting.

Below are a handful of the wishes on the list that stood out to me the most.  Believe it or not, I firmly think that each of us CAN achieve each of these wishes. So, below each wish, I have provided my thoughts regarding how to achieve them  -- without psychic assistance.

1) Sell or set up my own business

Start learning now to start, finance, grow, and exit your company.

2) Have a monthly income of $5,000.00

Start a business. Work hard. Make it successful.  $5,000/month is nothing if you have a successful business.

3) Win enough money to never have to work again

Build a successful company. Sell it.

4) See my kids do really well in their studies

Work hard in starting and growing your successful company. Because you are the boss, you can spend more time with your kids helping them. Your hard work will also provide the funds to hire a tutor as needed.

5) Be on TV

Once you've started that successful company I've mentioned a couple of times- hire a good PR firm.

6) Attract men/women

Working hard and being successful will give you the confidence to better attract members of the opposite sex.

In fact, the majority of things on this "wish" list...

  • Finding a job which is enjoyable and pays well
  • Be able to stop working with a substantial monthly income
  • Solve my financial problems once and for all
  • Get a new car
  • Travel around the world
  • Have enough money to help out my family
  • Retire with enough money to have no worries
  • Buy a boat
  • Buy a house
  • Go on a cruise
  • Have a house in the country
  • Success in an important competition
  • Be the friend of wealthy people
  • Never have any more money problems



..can all be attained by starting and growing a successful business. Let me repeat that - You can have virtually everything you want if you work hard and start and/or grow a successful company.

It's that simple. Anyone who falls for Maria the Psychic's scam should be ashamed of themselves.  Success simply does not come without hard work.

I have, unfortunately, seen people work very hard for others and not achieve the success they wanted.  That is why starting your own company is so critical if you have not already done so.

Work hard. Work smart (I consider working "smart" as investing in expert information that allows you to choose and complete your tasks more effectively and efficiently). And most of those 33 wishes WILL come true.

Categories:
 

Kirill Makharinsky & How To Predict A Startup's Success


 

Several months ago, I came across YouNoodle, a website which offers tools and a platform to help startup companies succeed. What I was initially drawn to was their Startup Predictor tool. The idea of a tool that could help predict the success, or lack thereof, of a new company really intrigued me.

So, I contacted Kirill Makharinsky, one of YouNoodle's co-founders, to learn more. Kirill was gracious enough to do the interview and provided tons of valuable information.

I started by asking Kirill about the Startup Predictor, and specifically about what are the key indicators that a new business will be successful.

Kirill started by explaining that they created the startup predictor after looking at rich data on approximately 3,000 companies. From this data, they determined patterns between initial conditions (particularly in terms of the team and what their intentions were) and the end result.

The results found really strong indicators that the following three factors are key indicators of a venture's future success:

1. The quality of the team in terms their experience and accomplishments, and how well the team members know each other.


2. The amount of commitment the team has in terms of their opportunity cost - specifically how much they are giving up to be in the venture (e.g., leaving a steady, high-paying job) and how much skin they have in the game (e.g., how much of their personal funds have they committed).


3. Having advisors. YouNoodle found that having the right advisors, even if they provide minimal amounts of time contributing to the business, strongly impact the future success of the business.

Kirill went on to discuss fundraising. He explained how allowing two advisors to take part in forming and modifying YouNoodle's business idea helped secure them as angel investors. He also gave a great case regarding why you should contact investors BEFORE you have a concrete business idea when raising funding.

Kirill also discussed why the quality of your business idea is over-rated, and provided a great answer to my question regarding the top 5 things entrepreneurs really need to know in order to be successful.

To listen to excerpts of this interview click the blue triangle on the player below.


To listen to the full interview and/or read the transcript, click here:  http://www.growthinkuniversity.com/members/326.cfm

To visit YouNoodle, click here.

Categories:
 

The Creative Fundraising Strategy That Became a Successful Business


 

I'll be the first to admit that this fundraising strategy isn't for me. But I have a wife and kids, so maybe, a few years back, I would have given this one a shot.

The strategy: renting out the extra space in my apartment or house to travelers on a budget.

For three entrepreneurs, this fundraising strategy took on a life of its own. The three entrepreneurs, Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk, used this creative fundraising strategy (renting out the extra space in their apartments) to generate revenue after they quit their jobs to become entrepreneurs.

But, interestingly, they found the strategy so successful, that that turned it into a business that is now thriving.

The business, Airbnb is essentially the "eBay of space." It works like this...People list their apartments and houses (if they aren't going to be home), and even spare guest rooms, futons, and couches on the site and set a price per night.  And then travelers who are looking for a place to stay search the listings for an accommodation that's right for them.

So, real estate owners and renters earn money, travelers get a discount, and Airbnb earns a 10% fee on all transactions. A true win-win-win. As you might imagine, Airbnb is doing very well, and is now in over 1150 cities in 82 countries.

My takeaways/lessons here are two-fold: first, if you have extra space or are traveling, you should consider listing your space on Airbnb to generate some revenues to invest in your business. Second, as this company illustrates, you can never be too creative in coming up with ideas to fund your business.

If you want to see a brief video of the Airbnb team, including their story of how Barry Manilow's drummer is one of their top users, here is a cool clip:

 

 

 

Categories:
 

An Interview with Brette Simon, Partner at Jones Day


 

The other day, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brette Simon.

Brette is a partner at Jones Day, a top tier law firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and several major international cities.

Brette advises companies and investors in private equity and venture capital financings, and is on the Venture Capital and Private Equity Committee of the American Bar Association.  She is also a member of the Los Angeles Venture Association.  And Brette was recently recognized by The Deal - a popular venture capital and private equity publication - as one of the top 13 dealmakers in the country. Very impressive.

So, naturally based on her background, I thought Brette would be the perfect person to interview about the legal aspects of raising capital.  I was right.

Brette started the interview by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of certain forms of incorporation, and noted that a C-Corporation is what most venture capitalists prefer. She did note, however, that there are many nuances with regards to the corporate structure with regards to tax treatment, so the choice of your type of entity could become more complex.

We then shifted topics and discussed how entrepreneurs can protect their business ideas and intellectual property. To this, Ms. Simon discussed non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. She also made the key point that entrepreneurs must make sure to get their employees, consultants and vendors (and everybody else who may be working with them) to sign PIIAAs (Proprietary Information and Invention Assignment Agreements), in order to make sure that the company owns all the intellectual property that is being created.

Ms. Simon went on to discuss other items that can help protect one's intellectual property such as patents and staging diligence.

We then discussed several other key topics including:

* Some of the main laws and regulations that entrepreneurs need to know about and act in accordance with when raising capital
* The documentation needed to raise capital
* What you should be focusing on when you look at a VC's term sheet
* Misconceptions that entrepreneurs often have about the legal process
* The right time for the entrepreneur or management team to hire legal counsel during the process of raising capital

I really enjoyed conducting this interview. Brette Simon obviously knows the legal issues with regards to raising capital inside and out and is a wealth of knowledge!  This is definitely information that all entrepreneurs must know when raising funding, particularly venture capital.

To listen to excerpts of this interview click the blue triangle on the player below.


To listen to the full interview and/or read the transcript, click here.

Categories:
 

Capital Raising Bootcamp - Registration Now OPEN


 
I’m excited to announce that today is the first day of registration for the Capital Raising Bootcamp!

To register your spot, go here.

And here are a couple of important updates about the Bootcamp.  

Update #1: I realize it’s the middle of summer, and many of you have probably planned vacations – or may even be on vacation right now (lucky you!).  To account for this, I’ve decided to provide recordings and transcripts as an added bonus when you register, in case you have to miss all or part of one of the sessions.  

Update #2:  I’ve decided to add an extra day to the Capital Raising Bootcamp curriculum, to allow for questions-and-answer time.  I’m going to dedicate this 4th day (Friday August 7th) entirely to Live Q&A.  

So, now, the finalized Capital Raising Bootcamp curriculum/schedule is as follows:

Day 1: Tuesday, August 4th:  Essential Overview of Raising Capital
Day 2: Wednesday, August 5th:  Venture Capital and Angel Funding
Day 3: Thursday, August 6th:  Debt, Grants, and Creative/Alternative Financing
Day 4: Friday, August 7th: Questions and Answers

(Each session runs from 2:00pm EST to 3:30pm EST).

Remember: There are only 50 spots available.  

We are putting a strict limit on registration in order to make the experience as valuable as possible for each participant – and, most importantly, to allow enough time for each person to have his or her questions answered during the Q&A time.  

To register go here.




Categories:
 

Creative Business Finance: The Story of the Chihuahua & The $1.5 Billion Man


 
I'd like to tell you brief story about a Chihuahua who was taken along on a safari vacation. The story is important as it probably holds the answer to your capital-raising needs.

On the first day of the Chihuahua's trip, the Chihuahua wandered off too far and got lost in a bush. Unfortunately, within minutes, the Chihuahua encountered a very hungry looking leopard.

Realizing he was in trouble, but, noticing some fresh bones on the ground, the Chihuahua started to chew on them, with his back to the leopard. As the leopard was about to leap, the Chihuahua smacked his lips and exclaimed loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here."

The leopard stopped mid-stride, and slinked away into the trees.

"Phew," said the leopard, "that was close - that evil little dog nearly had me."

A monkey nearby saw everything and thought he'd win a favor by setting the leopard straight.

(Fortunately, the Chihuahua saw the monkey go after the leopard, and guessed he might be up to no good.)

When the leopard heard the monkey's story, he felt angry at being made a fool, and offered the monkey a ride back to see him get revenge.

As the leopard and monkey approached, the Chihuahua once again turned his back and pretended not to notice them. And when the pair got within earshot, the Chihuahua said aloud, "Now where's that monkey gone? I sent him ages ago to bring me another leopard..."

The moral of the story is that the Chihuahua survived because he was creative, and because, the second time, he planned ahead.

The same is true when it comes to financing your business. While most entrepreneurs are extremely creative when it comes to coming up with unique business ideas and marketing plans, they tend lack creativity in the area where they need it most - fundraising.

Remember, without adequate capital, even the best business and marketing ideas will fail.

Fortunately, I am just about to release Growthink's "Definitive Guide to Creative & Alternative Financing Sources."  The report gives you a detailed overview of the twelve most common types of capital used to start and grow business. And then, it provides twenty-eight (28) creative and alternative sources of financing that resourceful entrepreneurs have used to more easily finance their businesses.

One of the stories in the Guide is one of my favorites...the one about Kenneth Cole. Well before global retail sales of Kenneth Cole products reached $1.5 Billion last year, Kenneth Cole was a struggling entrepreneur with no money.

But he believed in himself and his designs, and used his creativity not only on his products and his marketing, but on his financing plan. Cole's plan was this - to find a struggling shoe manufacturer in need of customers (because the economy was weak then like it is right now) to manufacture his shoes on consignment. That is, Cole would only have to pay for the shoes AFTER he sold them.

Well, Cole was able to easily find the manufacturer who financed his business buy giving him hundreds of thousands of dollars of shoes. The rest, as they say, is history.

If you are seeking financing for your business, and you have not devised a creative plan to raise capital, I urge you to learn these great, creative financing ideas and use them to raise money for your business.

I will be releasing this report later this week. But I prefer it if you start right now. Take out a sheet of paper and write down your creative ideas to raise capital. Then, later this week, I'll give you 28 more ideas so you can complete your list, figure out which sources you are most comfortable raising money from, and begin financing and really growing your business.
Categories:
 

Creative Business Financing Techniques - Donations


 
One neat thing about helping entrepreneurs fund their businesses is that whenever someone comes up with a cool way to finance their business, I end up hearing about it.

Whether they email me directly, or someone else finds out and lets me know, it always ends up in my inbox. Which is a good thing.

For years, I’ve been keeping track of these emails and stories and have decided to put together a report. The report, which will be called Growthink’s “Definitive Guide to Creative & Alternative Financing Sources” will detail tons of ways to finance your business that you probably don’t know about or haven’t considered.

One such creative financing technique is using donations. Months ago I received an email about a horoscope website, Birdielawson.com, which solicited donations from its visitors. The site has generated thousands of dollars in funding from these donations. And it’s using these donations to grow further.

Another great example of donation financing is FeedDigest. FeedDigest was founded by entrepreneur Peter Cooper in 2004. At that time, Cooper added a PayPal button to his website and asked users of his website to donate money.

His visitors subsequently donated enough money to allow him to start really growing the company. Soon after, an angel investor wrote him a check for even more money. FeedDigest grew and grew based on those investments, and in August 2007 was acquired by Informer Technologies, Inc.

And finally, perhaps the most famous recent example of donation financing is Wikipedia which has raised several million dollars in donations to date.

So, if you have a website (if not, you should create one), one source of capital that you should consider is donations. Soliciting and accepting donations is as simple as creating a PayPal account and adding a PayPal button to your website.
Categories:
 

Alternative Business Financing: 40 Tactics to Employ


 
Did you know that when I started Growthink ten years ago, I knew very little about raising capital?

Sure, I knew a lot about raising venture capital, but I didn’t know much about financing sources like angel capital or SBA loans. And I knew virtually nothing about creative and alternative financing sources. In fact, since starting Growthink, I have uncovered 40 tried-and-true ways that entrepreneurs can fund their businesses. Most of these ways I had never heard of before. But they work.

Now I’d like to share them with you.

In a few short weeks, I’ll be teaching a select group of entrepreneurs all about these 40 financing sources in a unique multi-part teleclass.

Why is it important to know all of these options for raising capital? You might be thinking “But I just need a loan right now,” or “I’m just looking for angel capital,” or “I know that venture capital is right for me.”  

Knowing these 40 options provides you with the flexibility you need to raise capital from multiple sources NOW. it also gives you the ability to raise various rounds of capital in the future.

The truth is, most successful businesses utilize at least 3 types of capital, and usually a combination of debt and equity, as well as “creative” or alternative financing.  If you’re only using 1 type of capital, but your competitors have access to several types of capital, you’re at an automatic disadvantage. 

More importantly, not knowing about these 40 financing sources, and going after the WRONG sources of capital, is the #1 reason why most entrepreneurs enter the “death spiral.”

What is the “death spiral”? Well, the death spiral is the unfortunate process that typically occurs when an entrepreneur has a great idea and needs money to execute on it.

The death spiral has four parts:

1. The entrepreneur learns a little bit about how to raise money.
2. The entrepreneur gives a whole or half-baked effort to raise money.
3. The entrepreneur fails to raise capital (in fact, they fall flat on their face) because they don’t fully know what they’re doing and/or go after the wrong funding sources.
4. The entrepreneur’s dreams die and they return to their 9 to 5 job.

If you want to avoid the death spiral, and raise funding for your business, I will teach you how to do it. As mentioned, later this month, I will be offering a unique multi-part teleclass that teaches entrepreneurs like you how to really raise capital.
Categories:
 

ARC Stabilization Loans - 35,000 More Reasons the US Government Rocks


 

The next time you get frustrated that the taxes you pay to the U.S. government are so high, realize that the government gives a lot of this money back to entrepreneurs. And one of these entrepreneurs can be you!

In fact, last year, the U.S. government provided funding to 69,434 companies through its Small Business Administration (SBA) lending program. And last month, the SBA stepped up its efforts even further to help entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Specifically, last month, the SBA created a new type of loan called the "America's Recovery Capital" loan, or "ARC."  This loan is specifically designed to help existing businesses who are currently experiencing distress due to the economy.

What's great about ARC loans is that they are deferred loans.  The funds are dispersed to you over a period of up to 6 months, but you are not required to make any payments until 12 months have elapsed since you were funded.  Payback terms are up to five years.

The maximum loan principal is $35,000.  And there are no fees to the borrower. And the government guarantees 100% of the loan to the SBA partner bank. Finally, the interest rates are extremely reasonably; only prime plus 2%.

To learn more about and how to get an ARC, SBA or other bank loan to fund your existing or startup business, instantly download our new report entitled "Growthink's Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capital from Banks & SBA Lenders" here: http://www.growthink.com/products/loanguide

Categories:
 

One Really Big Organization that Wants You to Succeed


 

If you own an existing business, or are planning to start one, there is one organization who really wants you to succeed.

In fact, this organization is even willing to loan you money to start or expand your business. And they will give you this money with favorable interest rates and payback terms.

That organization is the United States government.

The U.S. government has learned over time that giving capital to entrepreneurs creates more jobs, improves the economy, and expands the tax base. All the things they really want to achieve.

Many years ago the U.S. government set up the Small Business Administration (SBA) specifically to make loans to entrepreneurs and small business owners. In fact, the SBA currently has $45 billion in loans outstanding to entrepreneurs.

And, in addition to SBA loans, there are several kinds of debt capital that may be available to start or grow your business such as business lines of credit and traditional bank loans.

Each of these types of capital are covered in detail, including a step by step plan for getting these loans for your business, in our new report entitled "Growthink's Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capital from Banks & SBA Lenders."

Among other things, the report covers:

* The differences between raising debt capital and equity capital that you need to understand (Page 2)

* The important elements of loans and what you need to know BEFORE you look for one (Page 7)

* Exactly what lenders are looking for when they consider whether or not to fund your business (Page 9)

* The biggest misconception about loans that keeps many entrepreneurs from getting funded (Page 11)

* One easy, but seldom used trick to maximize your chances of getting a loan on the best possible terms (Page 12)

* The key types of loans and what you need to know to make sure you get one that's right for your business (Page 13)

* The best way for startups to overcome a key SBA requirement and quickly get the perfect SBA loan (Page 19)

* Assessment of every type of SBA loan to allow you to quickly determine the optimum one for your business (Pages 19 to 24)

* The hands-down fastest way to get an SBA loan (Page 29)

* Growthink's proven 6-step formula for getting an SBA or bank loan (Pages 32 to 36)

* The 30 U.S. banks that are most likely to loan money to your business (Page 37)

 

To learn more, click here.

Categories:
 
Syndicate content

Get a Free Consultation
with a Growthink Expert

Click Here