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Discussion on Incentives, Startups, and Pitching

In conversation with Christopher Day

For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Matt Fraser interviewed Christopher Day, Chief Executive Officer at Elevate Ventures, a venture development organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The discussion touches upon concepts like golden handcuffs, profit sharing, accelerated deal bonuses, and equity ownership. Christopher Day also explains Elevate Ventures’ investment criteria, focusing on innovation-driven enterprises.

Watch the episode now for some profound insights!

The idea of golden handcuffs is really to get somebody that wants to stay long-term, to be motivated to stay long-term

Christopher Day
Chief Executive Officer at Elevate Ventures

Hello everyone. Welcome to this episode of E Coffee with Experts. I am your host Matt Fraser, and on today’s show, I have with me a very special guest, Christopher Day. Christopher is the Chief Executive Officer at Elevate Ventures, a venture development organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

He has been a community builder, job maker, and wealth creator throughout his entrepreneurial endeavor over the last 25 years, having co-founded eight businesses in seven different sectors. He has been a part of 600 million in transactions and has delivered nearly four times cash on cash return when exiting for investors. These experiences and interactions across many industries with strategic venture capital and private equity investors give Christopher a truly unique perspective when evaluating people on opportunities. Christopher is the proud father of a 14-year-old son and resides in Nashville, Indiana. He is being the proud papa coaching many of his son’s soccer and basketball teams.

Christopher, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to the show.

Thank you, Matt. Excited to be here and great to meet you.

Thank you very much. Hey, I just always ask everybody this question, how would your high school teachers describe you as a student?

If I’m gonna be fully transparent.

One of my high school teachers told me I was a cop-out. Because I dropped her class, my math teacher. So I was in all the advanced math classes. The math teacher would say that when I was interested in something and wanted to apply myself that I crushed it.

But there were, I had lots of other interests in high school. So then some teachers would probably would’ve said that I was a leader and things of that nature. So it’s a mixed bag, really honestly between different teachers.

But I guess that’s how we are, we’re complicated people in some regard. Did you always have a desire to be an entrepreneur? Were you the guy with the paper out and the lemonade stand and, that’s the deal?

So I grew up on a small farm about 15 miles out away from Purdue to give people an idea where that was.

And so we grew up we were German Baptists, which is what I call Amish people with wills, went to church on Sundays and a horse and buggy and those kinds of fun things. No tv, etc. So we sold Mellons on the roadside for 75 cents, which is somewhat of an entrepreneurial endeavor. And then when I was 15 years old, one of my first I guess was my second job.

My first job was to eat, pass, and corn. My second job was to put trash in a dumpster on a construction site. And the person I worked for, he had an owner of the company had a Bronco and a bag phone, and I knew at that moment, the first day when I saw him in the Bronco in the bag phone that is what I wanted to do.

I wanted to own my own commercial general contracting company someday. And I knew that I was 15 years old and I think largely I wanted to be an entrepreneur because I never was one for authority necessarily. Anyways, and so years later I learned that guy was a developer, that self-performance construction, and then I’m like, oh I wanna be a commercial developer.

And then I started a tech company to go, hopefully, grow a company, make some money, and then go be a commercial developer. And I just kept going through a series of starting companies.

Oh, wow. How did you find your first opportunity, the first successful business you started, how did you get the idea and what was it?

So I’ll go to the first company I had technically a painting company in college, which had 14 employees. I paid my way through school a hundred percent and went to Purdue. But then, we’ll fast forward five years after I graduated so started a broadband company. And the way that idea came about is one of the partners that I had that painting company with, he had gone on to be in a kinda like the millionaire next door, like wealth planner.

He was a CPA and an attorney. And he had tried to start this business brokering cable deals on behalf of manufactured housing communities, and it just wasn’t going very well. And he, of course, had his other business, and so I had moved back from Atlanta to Indianapolis to start a business.

I just didn’t know exactly what yet. He called up, and said, Hey, I heard you’re back in town. I’ve got this idea, but I’m not sure it’s not working. What do you think? So we started talking and long story short he and I and another gentleman started a company called Starcom Broadband, where we built the systems. But that’s how it started.

Wow. That’s amazing. So how did you mention that you went into business with a partner? There’s this saying that partnerships are the only boats that don’t float. How do you navigate working with partners then when you take them on?

Is it for instance I can’t remember his name right now off the top of my head, but he wrote the EMI Revisited. Michael Gerber wrote the EMI Revisit and he talked about making sure that everybody knows their roles, duties,s and responsibilities, and the informational organizational hierarchy so that there is no fighting or arguing or knowing what the thequote-unquotee rules are upfront.

Would you say that’s a key ingredient in making a partnership successful?

Yep. A hundred percent. And I think it’s really easy to deal with, especially if you do it on day one. , so here’s what I mean by that. So I’ve probably had, whether it’s investors or partners or operating partners or partners in whatever sort, I don’t know, a hundred maybe throughout all the businesses, plus or minus somewhere. And the vast majority, 97% are awesome, right? There’s been a few percent of wonkiness. Here’s how to, and so here’s what I believe. This is my personal belief, so the listeners may, everybody has different experiences.

So this is just what I, based on experiences, especially today. Especially in tech or tech-enabled businesses, it is extremely difficult to go it alone. And so, I believe that when you’re starting a company, especially if you’re in the tech-enabled world, the two most important skill sets are technical and sales to get started.

And if you outsource the technical and no offense to folks that do outsource technical, I think outsourcing technical is great. I’m not against that. But a non-technical person has no idea really how to properly talk with those people. So personally I don’t think I’ve ever started a company where I was over a third owner on day one. I’m sorry, that’s not true. A couple of times I started at 50 50 but the short story is, I’ve always had partners of one shape or form. It’s super easy to deal with in your operating agreement on day one before you ever start the company. That’s when everybody’s excited and they’re willing to agree to anything.

And so number one, anybody that has an ownership in the business, you must each vest. So you in essence fully are allocated your percentage of ownership on day one, but it vests over four years, let’s call it, and you even have a one-year cliff of your vesting. And if you leave sometimes you even, I’ve even had a deal once where if a partner left, you could buy that person back out for the capital contribution when you started the company. And when you started a company, typically you throw a couple thousand bucks in the bank, right? Just to open the check. So I’ve had companies where, let’s say we both put in 2,500 on day one.

If you left within four years, the other partner could buy you out for $2,500. And that aligns people. So vesting of ownership is just like you do with options. There’s no reason that the founders should not vest. You have a buy-sell agreement right up front, making your operating agreement.

And then we also put into our operating agreement, Hey, I have a final veto over A, B, C, D. And you have a final veto over E, F, G, right? Based on your skillsets. And then that way everybody’s aligned. It’s super clean, you put those three things in place and it will eliminate probably 99% of the issues.

Man, what you just shared there like such golden wisdom that, I’m gonna go back and listen to it over and over again.

I just wanna touch on another thing you mentioned. 90, let’s say 97% of the people are, are great, normal, and 3% are not so normal. When when I was in the automotive industry, we talked about how there’s 80% of people are normal, 10% are really difficult and 10% of people are nice.

But you have that 80%, that’s normal. How did you identify? How did you learn to identify the people that were, as you said, the 97%, like you must have learned some lessons from the bad apples? So how did you identify the good people and be able to eventually identify those bad people and avoid them?

I think it’s really two simple things that are gonna sound non-scientific and maybe in one regard it’s non-scientific and maybe in one regard it’s highly scientific. But two things. The tenor of conversations and gut fill. So tenor of conversations. When you start trying to start a company and you’re talking with somebody about it, if conversations just feel exhausting, and if there’s a lot of buts and what if and it’s not, and if it doesn’t have that overwhelming feeling of just collaboration and we’re going to figure this thing out tenor, walk away. Number two, gut fill. I am a strong believer in gut feel. I think it is a highly scientific thing, but it sounds like it’s not. But it is a real physiological phenomenon and I did a little research on gut feel. And if your gut’s just telling you, ugh, it’s just something doesn’t quite feel right, but, oh my gosh, this person has been super successful at A, B, or C, walk away. If the gut feels not there it’s just like marriage, if it’s not awesome on day one, it’s never gonna get better.

That’s amazing you say that because I knew I wanted to marry my wife the second day I met her, and the first day we spent the first 33 days together joined at the hip.

And we’ve had our, every marriage, every relationship have challenges. We’re best friends. We’re like, it’s amazing. Do you think you should be friends with the person like, I had one person say to me that, Matt, I don’t know if I want to get into business with you because we’re friends and the business relationship trumps the personal and we’re personal relationship right now, but if we go into business, it’s gonna change that relationship. And if the business relationship ends, so does our personal, there’s no changing it. So has anything you experienced cause that’s what I have experienced Christopher and I have developed a policy that I don’t wanna do business with friends and family.

Yep. That’s such a great question and I almost think that’s a flip of a coin, even if you put the parameters in place in an operating agreement, etc., I’ve had multiple businesses with one of my best friends and we’re still best friends today.

Love him. I would run through walls for him any moment of the day. And I’ve been in business with people that were business friends, business acquaintances. And so I would ear towards being cautious if you’ve been 10, 20-year friends, right?

That dynamic’s hard to manage. I, another thing I’ll note real quick is right out the gate, the concept of CEO, so let’s say you put the buy sale in place, the vesting in place, and you’re responsible for this, I’m responsible for that, you can’t be co-CEOs. Somebody has to be in charge.

And you both have to be comfortable with that. And so I think it’s what people try to put masking tape over kind of issues. That’s when it sets itself up for those friendships, for things to fail. But I’m not against people starting businesses with friends.

I think family is a whole different deal. That’s a much more complex scenario there. But I’ve had great success with longtime friends being in business with them and all of those folks I’m still great friends with. And we went through difficult times, right?

Where we would have difficult conversations, but we always knew that we had an operating agreement structure that dictated these twin lanes.

So making sure that those agreements. There’s a lot of people that start businesses and they’re good at the idea and maybe they’re good at sales and marketing, but everything that you’re talking about, it’s like you go to another level and you go to another level and you go to another level.

For instance, Tyra Banks went to some kind of entrepreneurial thing at Harvard and she was just blown away by all that she learned about business from that experience. So are there resources, let’s say there’s a small business owner out there that wants to or an agency owner that wants to like to scale his business.

He’s good at digital marketing, and he’s good at the implementation of those things, but not so good at the business side of things. How can a person find these resources that don’t have the time to go to university or are there resources that you would recommend from your experiences of what you’ve garnered over the years?

I believe that you can always make whatever your core skill sets are better. But I don’t think, if I’m not a salesperson, I can magically just become a great salesperson. Or if I’m not if I don’t like developing and putting fingertips on keyboards like I can’t force myself to become a great developer cause it’s not my core skillset and I mentally don’t like it.

That’s not my swim line, right? So I think number one is there are all kinds of CEOs. There are inspirational CEOs, there are sales-oriented CEOs, ops-oriented, finance-oriented, and technical-oriented CEOs. So all CEOs are different. So I think it’s being comfortable in your skin with your core skillset.

And then in that situation you just mentioned, if I’m an agency owner and I’m more creative and whatever, and I am incredible in front of people and I can sell deals all day long with my team, etc. Then be comfortable with that and know that you’re going to let go of some, operational excellence or finance fees operations.

And you hire that CFO or the COO or even a president to run the operations, right? And just be comfortable. You’re gonna have to let go of some things. And can’t micromanage.

That’s hard for people to do. It’s hard for a lot of entrepreneurs to do not to micromanage, I’ve found that I’ve done introspective things over the years and grown as a person.

And I would just put things, this is what you’re responsible for, ’causee I realize I can’t do everything anymore. I’m 46 years old. I already learned it. Maybe I wish I’d learned earlier, but how can that happen?

I think that is a soft skill, that you have to look in front of the mirror and say, I’m going to let go. I’m not going to micromanage you. You write down on a one or two-page piece of paper, here’s that role. And here’s what you’re gonna own. And then you have to step back and let them do it.

So it’s declaring what the duties are upfront and saying, that is not my lane.

I’m gonna stay outta that lane. That’s awesome.

And then make sure you let the people person do that job don’t go to their three direct reports and backdoor. I think, Sally or Ralphy or whatever, really should be still doing this old way. You can’t do that. Cause that undermines that leader, you hired me.

Absolutely. John Maxwell, he talked about that in one of his books. In many of his books, I’ve read, of his, the 21-Year Refutable Laws of Leadership which talks about the law of empowerment. He says you should. He said you have to empower people to do things.

He said, you always need a mentor and you always need a protege, and you gotta practice the law of empowerment. You tell them what the outcome is, but you don’t tell them how to do it. You give them the freedom to decide how to get to that outcome.

That’s right. So on that note, I’m a big believer in any company in the world I believe can be managed from one piece of paper.

And on that one piece of paper, in the upper left-hand corner is the BHAG, the crazy. The audacious goal, right? What would this thing look like someday if we arrived? Would this just be insane? Small box, upper left-hand corner, then your vision and your mission statement. And then a three-year plan on top-line revenue, maybe the number of customers, maybe burn rate, right? So just a few high-level metrics. And at least three years, five gets a little dicey. So it could be three years. And then you have another section that’s your one-year goal.

And then another section is this quarter, and then in the upper right-hand corner, you put a theme for that quarter. And so basically that aligns the entire team, and the entire team should have this on their desk, right? Or on their computer, on their desktop. And you manage the company to that.

And the quarterly goals are broken. When you get down to the quarterly goals, those are broken down by department. And so your leaders know here are the most important three things we’re gonna do this quarter that’s gonna help us meet our annual goals. That’s gonna help us meet our three-year goal.

That’s gonna help us meet our BHAG. It all ties together.

Wow. You mentioned those quarterly goals. I’ve recently discovered a book and a productivity process called the 12, 12-week year. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that or not, but he says don’t think anymore. Oh, it’s amazing.

It’s by Brian P. Morgan and Michael Leamington, I believe. But anyway, they talk about shrinking, no longer treating 12 weeks as a quarter, but treating it as a year. In your mind that’s right. That you only have 12 weeks to get this done. You don’t have a year, and it’s not, and it can’t go over.

You can’t extend the deadline. You got one year in 12 weeks, a mindset to do this that’s right. It’s very interesting that you brought that up.

There are people now that believe, I wish I could remember this lady’s name, an awesome podcast I listened to once. I can’t remember the company, but anyways, she was talking about how it used to be a strategy planning as an annual event or every couple, few years, or whatever.

And it’s in their company. It’s literally a monthly event now. I’ve never gotten that good at it. I do think of strategy in quarterly increments. Every quarter if you discovered something, it should be blown up and stuck in the trash can, blow it up, put it in the trash can, and recharge.

Cause things are changing so quickly in the world that we live in now so fast. Look at what just happened in, I don’t know if people are aware of it, but I was saying to my hairstylist, I said, I don’t know where you were on November 30th, but the world changed last year. And I’ll allude to what I’m referring to.

It’s the release of chat GPT. Five years from now, maybe not even five years, maybe a year, two years, three years from now, people are gonna look back and ask themselves where they were on that day because of how much it’s going to change the world. I strongly believe that people could tell me I’m out to lunch, but that we could talk, I could talk about that too for an hour.

I’ve created taglines for companies like Comp Ventures that I wanna start. I’ve created names for them and taglines and accredited an entire marketing plan using that. There are things that it’s enabling me to do that were not possible before that, that I know how to do. That’s just amazing.

I guess the point of trying to make is we always need, we need to shorten our goals, and timelines to be open to adapting to change. A hundred percent. So it’s important, isn’t it? It’s important to be adaptable in today’s marketplace. Would you agree?

Absolutely. Like literally you must be comfortable being uncomfortable and you must be with being wrong.

And when you’re wrong, don’t hide it. Just admit it and say, oh my gosh, I was an idiot yesterday. I thought blah, and I just realized I’m wrong. Just say it. It’s so empowering. That’s that act by itself is so empowering to say, you know what? I was wrong. And if you’re vulnerable like that, especially in front of your team, your leadership team, and your team at large.

Hey, I made a mistake. And that was wrong. I own it and we’re gonna change it, and we’re gonna move this way. It is insane the mountains that you can move and that people want to move with you when you just have that vulnerable-focused outlook. I think people overcomplicate things honestly, Matt, I just think people overcomplicate.

I agree with you. Many times. I, It’s interesting though. I’ve worked for people and I’ve not worked, and I’ve been my own boss and I’ve worked for people and I’ve worked for all different kinds of people. I’ve worked for a micromanager, I’ve worked for someone who wasn’t quite a micromanager, and in different roles and this and the other thing, and unfortunately, I don’t know if I’m don’t wanna come across as jaded, but it seems like there’s a lot of owners like we are, people are entrepreneurs.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, correct me if I’m wrong. Type A personalities just tend to. Not one to admit we’re wrong and be those micromanaging control freaks. And I’m just sitting there going how can people, I think the only thing, that softens you in life personally is difficult experiences.

Yes. To make you wake up and go, eh, because I’ve learned this lesson. You just said that always I’ve learned this and I stop myself sometimes, always be willing to be wrong. Don’t always assume that you’re right. You always have to like, slow down and think, you know what? I could be wrong.

For instance, in the quote on this car price, I could be wrong or, I know this about HTML or CSS, but I could be wrong because things are changing so much, so I always leave, I don’t make definitive statements anymore, and this is the way to do s e o because I could be wrong.

No. Or this is the way to build websites. cause you know what? I could be wrong. Things are changing so much in that regard. Besides hardships, is there any other way that, that people can adopt that mindset that you’re talking about? I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I just sitting here going,

I think it comes Like people’s actions, are typically driven by some basic concepts, right?

So experiences fear, greed, and control. These are some big buckets of words that, that really and there’s probably, somebody’s probably done a study on this and said, oh, human behavior is based on whatever factors. So that’s my, oh. My nonexpert belief. For sure. For sure.

It is, How people act. And if, we can impact that change one at a time if we as a leader have the confidence, the self-confidence to look in the mirror and say, am I part of the problem? And am I empowering people around me? Am I adding value to the people around me?

Am I being positive to people around me to help push people up? And even though we might disagree with one another, that’s to disagree. You can agree to disagree. But it, but it, this all starts with each one of us inside having self-confidence. To, no. He might look silly sometimes.

No. He might make mistakes sometimes and be with that. Fail. Fail fast. There’s fail fast. Oh.

You just fail. Oh, absolutely. And fail forward. There’s another John Maxwell book, fail Forward. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that one or not, but he talks the book, the thesis that all the, it’s all about failing forward.

You, you’re gonna fail, then you’re gonna fail again, then you’re gonna fail again, and then you’re gonna fail again and just fail forward. Man, this is fascinating. What do you look for in regards, to you started these companies, but what do you look for a theme, so here’s the question?

An entrepreneur wants to start a company. And has a lot of skills, but maybe he wants to start a digital marketing agency or something like that, but he needs, as we alluded to earlier, c o, how can he attract that person and maybe give them an equity agreement without giving up too much of the company and without, so he offers them 10%.

He or she just coming up with something off the top of my head. cause there may be some people out there that are thinking this offers them once, offer them 10% of the company in equity. Or maybe sweat equity plus cash or something, but how can they attract that person without the day after the contract being signed, the person just buggers off or doesn’t do their duties or doesn’t.

Is this all the legalese part of stuff? Or

How can you attract talent? Keep them

without, Screwing yourself, for lack of a better word. My apologies.

No. There, there is an existing apparatus in place to protect against that. So when now this is for a C-corp, but you can do the same thing in an LCC there.

So an LLC, they’re called profits, interest units, and a C-Corp. They’re called, ISOs, right? And send them stock options. And you have a vesting schedule. So if. If I wanna join your company as a coo and by the way, how much you give that c e o depends on, the stage of the company and my, my background, how experienced I am, et cetera, et cetera.

But when you give me my options they start vesting, but there’s a one-year cliff. And so if I’m shocked and you have to remove me in six months, those options don’t do anything. They all just go away. They all just disappear. No harm, no foul. So you have a one-year cliff and then thereafter they vest monthly or whatever you decide to do over again over a four-year timeframe.

But you’re protected by that one-year cliff.

I had someone pitch me one time on getting your business with them and they said, Matt, I’ll declare an amount that would declare the market value of what you do. And let’s say it’s a hundred, just throwing a number up there. I made this up.

Don’t me get mad, like $150 an hour, and your time is valued, and we track your time of what you’re doing in the business at $150 an hour. And based on how much you improve the business you’re, your time could be worth $300 an hour if you take it in options in ca, in shares. But if you take the cash, it’s worth half as much.

It’s worth $75 an hour if you decide to cash out in the first year or so to speak. And I don’t know if that’s a good business setup. I didn’t go forward with that venture. I, my gut feeling, as you alluded to earlier, told me not to, but that’s a structured deal that someone came up with.

Have you heard of something like that before or are there other scenarios that you would recommend for people to do? I’m just, Trying to give people ideas of different ways to think is all I’m. Trying to accomplish.

So this is, again, this is just based on experience and opinion.

I could be wrong. But I think if it’s not looked at through the lens or the context of the company as a whole. One of the parties could be way off high or low. And because the whole point of options or equity is not really to exchange what you, what your composition compensation should be normally.

It’s an incentive to get that person thinking about that thing 24 7, right? Exactly. Yes. It’s golden handcuffs, right? It’s got golden handcuffs. It’s, it’s not instead of comp, it’s and comp.

And. Are there any other unique ways you can think of to put golden handcuffs on people that we haven’t talked about that I’m just curious about in unique structuring?

I don’t know if you can’t talk about that by the way, you can plead the fifth and all understand.

I don’t move on. There are things like profit sharing, so some people do profit sharing. That’s not technically, ISOs or qual or, something of that nature. So profit sharing can definitely be done.

Accelerate, accelerated deal, bonuses, but then you’re at risk of when that thing happens and they’re just like, I’m gonna go to the next thing now. So I think it’s more about trying to make sure you’re aligned on trying to accomplish this vision that you’re both excited about.

And then let’s go get after it.

And you can do profit shares, you can do profit sharing without equity, can’t you with employees? , absolutely. Yep. . . To give them an incentive and then eventually it’ll enable them to maybe own part of the equity. So you’ve been successful in.

Several different ventures. And even in your role right now, I was watching on YouTube how you have, you really, the things you’ve done have contributed to the economy in your local area, in the state. And what do you look for now that you’ve, we could talk about all the companies you’ve started and the ventures you’ve been successful with, but what do you look for in, either startups or in companies?

Yep. I guess there are lots of questions I could ask and I should narrow it down. My apologies. First of all, what do you look for in a pitch? Why, could I ask you that?

Absolutely. So real quick, high level sure. So the Hoffman Foundation has the tail of two entrepreneurs, right? So there’s this SME and IDE.

The SME is a small and medium enterprise, and then the IDE is an innovation-driven enterprise. And so the SME is more of your hyperlocal type business, right? Trampoline, park beauty salon whatever, some of that nature. Sure. So our mandate at Elevate is tore invest in the other side, then IDE, the innovation-driven enterprise companies.

And so those companies are the ones that can sell to people. On a national and global basis. And they typically have we have a requirement there. There has to be a total addressable market of a minimum of 500 million, preferably a billion but a minimum of 500 million tam. So that’s number one.

Kind of super high level. The companies, that we’re outsourcing and vetting meet that I d e kinda side of the tell of two entrepreneurs that the Kaufman Foundation puts out. So then we’re looking for, so it depends on what stage the company is, right? So we invest in, we do have to touch a little bit of ideation pre-seed with one set of funding, but seed and early stage with series A is part of the continuum that we currently invest in Uhhuh.

So we’re looking for kind of different things at pre-seed versus series A. So really pre-seed we’re looking at the people you’re investing in the jockey, right? So do you think that this person can pull this off? Do they have the background, the relationships, the coachability that’s subjective really?

Some, there’s some good fill in there, etc. And are they grounded? Are they measured? Are they coming in and saying, we’re gonna be doing 10 million at the end of next year, Or are they kind, methodical in their thought process, et cetera?

So that’s one thing. Now when you get to Series A you’re looking for evidence or product market fit, an ideal customer profile. That target market, that focuses narrow, deep have they have, they film product market fit. Or, and if not, man there’s evidence, quantifiable evidence that they’re darn close.

So those are the two spectrums. You’re looking at various things throughout when they do a pitch articulate that they’re specific and that they answer your questions. You know that they walk through the pain and they walk through the solution, and they’re very specific about it.

And here’s my current business model, and here’s my current team, and here’s what I need next. Here are my gaps. I don’t have, if I’ve raised a little bit of money, here’s who I’ve raised money with, and here’s the pre-money and the post-money. Like just checking the boxes, like here’s all the things.

Boom boom. And it, you’re only talking 10, 12, 15 slides, right? It just very clearly and articulate captures the main points you need to try to understand about, an opportunity. So that’s and maybe I’ll add a couple of examples. Sure. I think that to do for example, if you’re pitching an investor in your go-to-market strategy, we’re gonna have this product-led effort and we’re also gonna sell enterprises, and we’re also gonna sell these channel partners over here.

I think some entrepreneurs think that sounds great to the potential investor. Those are all completely different businesses and how they operate, unit metrics, and unit economics, are all completely different. And so the person loses credibility, not meaning to cause they think that they’re exhibiting, whatever, thoughtfulness and go to market. When actually, it deteriorates everything. So it’s totally fine. I always say the facts are good enough. Don’t embellish anything. Whatever the facts are always good enough. I know your vision statement can be more, Out there.

That’s fine. But when it comes to specific things just be specific. I also have seen entrepreneurs when they’re pitching, you ask a question and you’re generally asking the question cause you’re just trying to understand some component of what they’re saying and they’ll come back at you with the question.

It depends. That’s me, it depends. You should know the answer. What you tell me. You paint the picture. You want me to, you’re right. Don’t ask me what scenario, you tell me what the scenario is. Those are things I see folks doing that, that if they didn’t do that, they’d have more success.


That is amazing. Hey, it’s amazing how fast time’s blown by. I would love to have you back on the show. But for the sake of respecting your time, I guess we’ll wrap things up. But it is been a pleasure having you here. What’s one, what’s one takeaway listener get from this episode?

Don’t be afraid of being wrong. ? Be curious. Be curious. Always. Listen, be curious. Listen. And don’t be afraid to be wrong. Like just be genuine, right?

absolutely. Hey, we’ll end it with that. That was such an awesome discussion. Trust me, there were 30 other questions that were in my mind that I wanted to ask, and so I, I would love to have you back again, but thank you so much for being here.

Absolutely. Thank you, Matt. Enjoyed it. , thank you.



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