Hey Startup Investor,
Daymond here. Today, I want to let you in on a little secret that many investors don’t think about: the power of personality.
I always say that a startup investment isn’t just about the startup’s product or service. It’s also about the team behind that startup.
If you want the biggest chance at success as an angel investor, you need to look at the founder’s personality, and overall drive to get the job done.
There have been plenty of times in my own career where I’ve loved a product enough to consider investing. Maybe it’s a unique product in a brand-new industry. Or, maybe it’s a company that’s already made impressive sales or has a decent brand following. I’m sure you’ve seen this happen many times on the show.
But at the end of the day, I only want to work with a company if I get along with the entrepreneur behind it. If I can’t see myself dealing with that person every day for the next five, 10, or even 20 years, I don’t want to put my money into their company.
Every single entrepreneur is unique, and there’s no cut-and-dry formula for exactly what personality works best in the world of angel investing. And of course, a good personality needs to go hand-in-hand with a great product and business mind.
There are a few key characteristics that I always look for when investing.
First, I want to see knowledge. Does a founder know their product, their industry, and their market like the back of their hand?
I also gravitate towards those who show humility. Regardless of how much a founder knows about their business, they should be able to recognize when they need help solving problems and then feel comfortable asking for help. That’s often where angel investors can come in. Angels are often a founder’s best resource for contacts and advice.
That goes along with honesty. Every single founder should be up front about the failures they’ve experienced, how they’ve overcome obstacles in the past, and how they plan to address any future problems that will inevitably come up.
But most importantly, I want to see an entrepreneur who’s willing to work hard to make their vision a reality and scale it to success… without excuses.
Nothing is out of your control.
Excuses just don’t work in the world of entrepreneurship. It’s one of the most important lessons I have ever learned through my career as both an investor and a founder. Nothing is out of your control.
I know from experience. I worked a full-time job at Red Lobster while getting FUBU off the ground.
It was challenging, sure. I spent plenty of late nights working on my business after clocking out of day-long shifts at the restaurant. That wasn’t easy by any means, but I did it because it was what I had to do.
Did I ever feel discouraged? 100%. Were there times I wanted to give it up completely? Absolutely.
But, in the end, did I ever let that stop me from making my dream come true? Never..
I firmly believe this lesson applies to every part of our lives, personal and professional.
But, if we zero in on investing, you want to make sure that your portfolio’s founders are willing to do their very best work with your investment. Just like any human being, they’ll likely feel discouraged at times, and they’ll make mistakes.
In fact, mistakes and failures are an inevitable part of the journey. I’ve made plenty of them myself and I don’t think I have ever invested in a company that didn’t hit some bumps along the way.
But, the entrepreneurs that are willing to pick themselves up, get back on the horse, and keep going are the ones destined for the most success.
Those are the kinds of entrepreneurs I want in my portfolio, and in general, those are the kinds of people I get along with the best
If you can find a company with a game-changing product or service, plus a hard-working founding team that you actually get along with…you’ve struck gold.
Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back again next week.