I meet people. I enjoy meeting people, learning about them, their background and why do they do what they are doing. I am student of body language, language, attitudes, bias and perceptions of everyone I meet. I learn a lot about myself when I become a student of other people’s behavior. I try very hard to be empathetic, helpful, inspirational and positive in my conversations. I always greet people with a big smile, ask them how they are doing and when they reciprocate I always respond back saying I am always doing great. Another classic question I often get is how is life? I always respond saying that Life is Wonderful/Great. Sometime those I meet get disappointed that I don’t tell them what they want to hear. My tagline is that I am an investor, so I should just solve everyone’s problem by investing money on them. My first response is always, lack of money is never the problem. Everyone wants a quick fix, if only this Bala guy invests in me my problem will go away. Really? Are you that entitled? why do you believe it should be that easy? is it that simple? believe me raising money is hard. If you have been reading my blog for sometime you know that I have written a lot about it, I struggle with it everyday. I raise money all the time, I invest all the time but expecting anyone to invest in your idea is just so Silicon Valley-ish, even there you need to show something before anyone throws money at you.
When I meet “Wantapreneurs” – my definition of people who want to build a business but have made no effort to take the first step – they think that I should just invest in them because I agreed to meet with them. I really wish we could move past raising money part, focus on building a business, focus on getting your idea to reality, focus on helping your customers, focus on scratching your own itch etc. If you are not willing to invest in making something with all the tools and technologies that are out there already, why do you believe money is going to make any difference. I try to help every entrepreneur and startup founder I meet, it is in my nature to help. I believe very strongly in the “Give” and “Service above Self” philosophies. I really get disappointed when I get feedback that our meeting did not uplift the “Wantapreneur”‘s spirits. Is that my responsibility? to uplift your spirit? Really? Staying positive and doing things to make progress towards your goal is your responsibility, yes a lot of people can help you along the way. There was a great post by Dave McClure about this title “Engineering Minimum Viable Inspiration“, with a classic Dave’s twist aka: do you give a Shit + can you get others to give a Shit.
Inspiration is perishable, it only gets you to get a little motivated the rest is hard work, dedication and focus. I have written a lot about Focus and Perception. All the tools, mentoring, advice, strategies, tactics etc are only sounds bites, it is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to launch, sell and build a business. Raising money makes things difficult, I have written about this before I have seen too many entrepreneurs and startup founders prematurely raise money from the wrong sources and then regret the rest of the time why they did that. Believe me I wish there was an easy answer but it is not easy. My advice is always delay raising money as much as possible, hustle, bootstrap and do what it takes. It is your dream, now go make it real!