Senthold

  1. Fear of quitting my “real” job

    “I’m afraid to quit my ‘real job’ and risk my financial life on my ‘side hustle.'” That’s what an entrepreneurship student said last night after I spoke at a local university. Let’s talk about what keeps you financially “safe” and what doesn’t. Financial security is made up of 3 things: Savings - often referred to as “liquidity.” Basically,  how much money can you get yo…Read More

  2. How to Take a Vacation without Putting Your Business on Hold

    Q: How do you keep your consulting business going while on vacation? A: First a little background… My wife and I love traveling with our five kids. As soon as school gets out we are itching to go. One week just doesn't cut it for us. We typically go out for two to five weeks at a time. As a self-employed consultant, I used to think that vacation time was too expensive to really enjoy. Not only d…Read More

  3. How to Work in a Park

    Most of us have to work to keep those pesky bill collectors away, but not many of us actually have to work in an office. So why aren't there more people at the park with me today? Maybe working anywhere EXCEPT an office is not for everyone, but if you're interested in working on your tan and your projects, here are a few of my tricks of the trade. Tools I use: A quick list of the tools I keep in …Read More

  4. 4 Common Mistakes Frequently Made by Entrepreneurs That End Investor Meetings (Part 4 of 4 – Looking desperate)

    I want to hit four of these most common mistakes so you can simply skip them! I promise you, I’ve made them all and there’s really no reason to go back there. Most importantly, once you get your foot in the door for an investor meeting, you want to keep it going. The four common mistakes I’m going to address are assumptions, making promises you won’t keep, talking too much and looking desp…Read More

  5. 4 Common Mistakes Frequently Made by Entrepreneurs That End Investor Meetings (Part 3 of 4 – Talking Too Much)

    I want to hit four of these most common mistakes so you can simply skip them! I promise you, I’ve made them all and there’s really no reason to go back there. Most importantly, once you get your foot in the door for an investor meeting, you want to keep it going. The four common mistakes I’m going to address are assumptions, making promises you won’t keep, talking too much and looking desp…Read More

  6. 4 Common Mistakes Frequently Made by Entrepreneurs that End Investor Meetings (Part 2 of 4 – Making Promises You Won’t Keep)

    I want to hit four of these most common mistakes so you can simply skip them! I promise you, I’ve made them all and there’s really no reason to go back there. Most importantly, once you get your foot in the door for an investor meeting, you want to keep it going. The four common mistakes I’m going to address are assumptions, making promises you won’t keep, talking too much and looking desp…Read More

  7. 4 Common Mistakes Frequently Made by Entrepreneurs that End Investor Meetings (Part 1 of 4 – Assumptions)

    I want to hit four of these most common mistakes so you can simply skip them! I promise you, I’ve made them all and there’s really no reason to go back there. Most importantly, once you get your foot in the door for an investor meeting, you want to keep it going. The four common mistakes I’m going to address are assumptions, making promises you won’t keep, talking too much and looking desp…Read More

  8. Pros and Cons of Doing Business with Friends and Family

    Pros Easy to access You already have relationships You already have connections Cons It can really screw up those relationships and connections in a big way. Most businesses have ups and downs. The downs get pretty tough to talk about with friends, particularly if their money is on the line. It’s a lot easier to talk about the downs when you're just out to lunch with a friend. But, if their mone…Read More

  9. How Do I Structure the Deal between the Investor and Me?

    The sky is the limit, as long as it’s legal. I’ve seen some really creative investment structures and have come up with some curious and interesting ones myself. If it’s legal and there’s nothing in the state or federal law that prohibits you from partnering with somebody or putting a business together, then dream up a deal and agree on paper. What a deal may look like Your agreement may s…Read More

  10. When Do I Build an Investor Presentation Deck?

    Having an investor presentation is very important and you want to have it right. The initial investor pitch probably should not be on an iPad or on a computer. I’m not a big fan of handing an investor 50 pages all bound up so they can read everything about your company – they don’t have time to read all of that. Get in there and be relational. It’s about that connection again. Be relationa…Read More

  11. How Much Money Should I Ask for? How Much Money Should I Get?

    More than you think is the answer. Typically, when somebody walks in my office and says, “Here’s my business and product. I’ve calculated it all out - this is what I’ll need to get this thing running and to be self-sustaining,” I typically double or triple whatever they tell me in my mind. They come in and say “Look, this is going to cost me $80,000,” then I’m instantly going to $1…Read More

  12. How Do I Value My Business or Idea?

    Answer: It all comes down to how much cash is it going to generate or how much market share is it going to own. To explain further… If it’s not a cash machine, if it’s like an iPhone app or a product that just attracts attention and gets a lot of people looking at it, then it can be worth cash to an advertiser because they want to put their ads there. Figure out the cash value look at what i…Read More

  13. How Much Equity Will the Investor Get?

    That depends. It always comes down to the deal. Ultimately, the investor is going to share the risk with you. Think about it this way… You’ve got some time, expertise, a lot of dreaming, a lot of work, a lot of sweat equity, maybe a lot of your own money at this point that’s been put into this deal. The more you’ve put into it, the more valuable the investment is potentially worth and the …Read More

  14. Should I Get an Investor Now and Give Up Part of My Equity or Should I Hold Out and Keep 100%?

    Answer: Weigh your capacity Holding out means you have a bigger piece of the pie, right? If you can do this on your own, go for it! If you have the resources, time, energy, connections, etc., then keep 100%. But, if you’re already looking for investors, I have a feeling you’re missing something. There’s a little (or big) something you need that would be helpful to have. You just need to deci…Read More

  15. How Do I Get Introduced to Investors?

    A: It’s relationships, relationships, relationships. It’s really hard to get introduced to investors if you just jump on LinkedIn and start saying, “Hi! I’m Chris. I’m three relationships removed from you and I would like to talk to you about this exciting opportunity I have.” I would delete, delete, delete if I saw that in my LinkedIn inbox. On the other hand, if somebody says to me,…Read More

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