It was in my “in between years”, the seven years I struggled after I was recruited out of the Army and before I started my company which would make me a millionaire in four years. It was the first time I had tried to raise any money. My partner on this deal was the real estate expert and we only needed $200,000 to get this piece of land and he assured me we could flip it for a big profit. I had no training in sales or raising money and it was only the beginning of my second year of the “in between years”. I took my rolodex out and called everyone I knew, no luck. I then tried to think of anyone I could contact, and called some more. This got me a couple of appointments. We made our pitch and they told us no thanks with some good excuse. I knew I was missing something, I just did not know what.
In hind sight, I made at least two big mistakes. First, I only asked people that I knew, in other words I did not cast my net wide enough at all. The second big mistake I made was I expected the package to sell itself. And my bonus mistake was I was not confident, I did not put the deal together so I was not as familiar with it as I should have been. I was full of energy and “can do” attitude, but I was not prepared.
As I explain in detail in my book, you must ask everyone including strangers to try and find the funds you need. You must also make your package or business plan easy to understand and volunteer the important points. These two things alone will greatly increase anyone’s odds of getting their funds they need from individuals. As far as confidence, everyone knows you need confidence. I knew I wasn’t really ready to sell this deal, but I did it anyway. It was the first of many learning experiences that would lead me to my first million in the bank.
Lesson: Be thoroughly prepared before you ask anyone for money and cast your net as wide as possible. I Failed and then I Succeeded to Find Money! The success would come about five years later. I would be prepared, I would be confident and I would raised $195,000 to start my company.