Contrary to what most people believe, investors invest in Drivers, not in Cars! The reality is that you may have built a great car, the main question on the investor’s mind however is; are you the right driver?
In our experience, 70% if not more, contributes to the decision rather if to invest or not, is all about the driver. The thought process is that if you put a great drive in an average car, you will get above-average performance. If you put an average driver in a great car you will get below-average performance. If you put a great driver in a great car and in the right race, you will get outstanding performance.
We know we can fix the car, if needed, and find the right race, yet fixing the driver is more complicated, and in some cases impossible. If we have a great driver that might crash a car, we can put him in a new car and we are off to the races again. A great driver always seeks to improve, an average driver always settles for mediocre performance. A great driver will find ways to win, an average driver will find excuses and explanations.
Are you a great driver with a great car and in the right race?
So, the question is; what kind of driver investors are looking for? – at least these are my top five.
- Confidence (not arrogance) – there is a difference. The confident driver knows when to be aggressive, what action to take, and when to take them. An arrogant driver thinks he knows what to do. Confidence is attractive, arrogance is not.
- Resourcefulness – A critical quality in driving new business into the market is the ability to think on your feet and respond by way of finding resources and solutions for any problem without waiting for directions and without losing traction.
- Emotional Intelligence (mature) – Know how to work effectively within the human system. Have a deep understanding of the human senses. Being able to empathize and sympathize when the need arises. Show openness and coach-ability and some degree of flexibility.
- Intensity – Some call it passion, demonstrate a high level of motivation, highly focused, and present.
- Preparedness – Do their homework and research. Know who they are talking to and more importantly, know their stuff, especially their numbers, forwards and backward, up and down like no buddy’s business. Know about the market more than anyone, become an expert on their business– really, no kidding!
It is not to say that there are no other personality traits that are considered as an added value, yet, you need to demonstrate the top 5 first. There is a delicate balance between how much the investor is willing to be a resource of support and mentorship to work for their investment. As investors, we want you to work for us and not the other way around. As investors, we want to know that the Driver will drive through the wall to win the race and that they will guard our investment with their life – figurative speaking off course, you get my drift.
So, based on this briefing, the Million dollar question you need to ask yourself is: