Invest In Those Investing In YOU

Invest In Those Investing In YOU

Entrepreneurs, no matter what the phase of their journey they are in, are always looking for someone to invest in them.

I can hear the arguments starting to form in your minds already; so let me contextualise what I am saying.

Finance In My Business

The first thing is first. Money. That’s what comes into the minds of most folk when you say “invest”.

We are all familiar with the various phases of investment in a start-up and an entrepreneurially run business.

It typically starts with seed investment rounds and can then grow to cover additional rounds of funding that can typically either culminate in the founder exiting the business; some merger & acquisition activity or a successful IPO.

But that’s not the “invest” we are talking about here.

Invest From Experience

I was privileged enough recently to be invited to an Endeavor Fire Side chat with David Frankel. David is arguably the definition of an entrepreneur. He basically describes himself as being fortunate enough to continue living vicariously through the entrepreneurs he invests in; sharing in some of the highs and the lows, but still being exposed to the entire exciting journey.

One of the major things that David said during this highly engaging chat is that when he looks at an organisation to invest in, the “what” of the business is important, but not critical. The “who” is critical. That’s what gets him to invest.

To break that down a little, I think what he is saying is something like this:

A business needs to be interesting or at least be able to offer something different. That doesn’t mean that being different gets you noticed enough to be investable.

It is the magic in the people that gets him interested in a start-up. Does this person have a magical quality that is going to energise this business to be something bigger; no matter the “what” of their business?

Similarly, it is the people you surround yourself with that make you investable.

Invest In Those Around You

A thought I have been playing around with recently, and it was crystalised after listening to David is: “Your staff are investing in you every day”.

Think about it. As an employer, you are selling your business vision. The promise of tomorrow. The rewards of a future you are building together each and every day!

An employee’s investment might not be tangible in the form of cold hard cash; but it is certainly an investment of their time; their ideas, their passion, their lives and their family’s well-being.

It is the greatest investment your business can receive.

To the entrepreneur: you need to treat your hires like investors. You are beholden to them to continually deliver value to their investment.

To the new hires: interrogate the business. Ask them the questions that matter to you. Don’t be shy about thinking that this is a one-way conversation. You are investing a finite resource {time} each and every day into the promise of tomorrow.

As much as “having a job” and “earning a salary” are important, and maybe this is a lofty ideal, but I firmly believe that if you are looking for a career over a job, then you need to be thinking like an investor who is confident in their investment and ready to contribute to ensuring the returns!

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