Entrepreneur Advice – How I raised $50,000 from an Angel Investor

This is a presentation where I discuss my entrepreneur career thus far, what tips and advice have worked for me, and how it led to my first angel investment.

I’ve done many presentations, but this was my first time speaking to an upper level college class. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and had so much fun doing it. Yet, as I watch myself speak, I realize I could have explained a couple of points a little better. Below, I’ll note specific times in the video, and elaborate more.

2:10 – I quote Richard Branson by explaining how important it is to remember what a company is. A company is just a group of people. To see the interview where I got this quote see this video: 

 

As I speak, you notice me emphasizing the importance of working on yourself. I should have connected the two points: A company is people and an entrepreneur is the fuel behind the company, so not only do you have to take care of your employees, you have to take care of yourself. A healthy founder is a healthy company.

3:20 – Mrs. Gough was my favorite teacher in high-school. Deca was an entrepreneuship and marketing club.

4:37 – So I missed 6-9 questions out of 36-ish. I recall only being allowed to miss 3-4. Since I was the second person to finish the test, I regret not going back over all my answers. Certianly consider that one of my biggest failures to this day.

Fun Fact: Freshman year I went to a community college. After realizing there was no business club, I decided to start one. I started a Phi Beta Lambda chapter. That same year 4 of the members of the club made it to nationals. It was held in Anaheim CA, next to LA. I made some amazing memories on that trip. I competed in the “business speech” competition and got second in state but didn’t place in nationals.

5:56 – My blog Living the College Life  is still running and publishing content. It’s reached around 3,000,000 people. Someday I’d like to grow the publication even more.

7:23 – Mark Suster: Amazing VC with some of the best advice I’ve gotten. Read his blog! Both Sides of the Table

8:45 – Though I don’t regret going to college, dropping out was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

9:15 – When I applied for the job, I was still in school. I told them I was going to finish college but after that semester, I realized I wasn’t going back. I held off on telling my job this. I eventually told them I wasn’t going to finish and fortunately I was doing a good enough job where they still were interested in hiring me. I had to turn down this job opportunity to go full time on my own business.

11:35 – Finding your passion – this was a thought from a philosopher named Alan Wats. He has some AMAZING videos on YouTube. The reason you know he was so wise, is because he passed away in the early 70’s, and yet all the things he preached in his life are still extremely relevant today. Here is a short snippet where he states the question I present, “What would you do, if money was no object.”

12:33 – I noticed my blog was never going to grow quickly or efficiently enough for me to do well. It was a hard decision, but it led to a business I feel I could scale much better. I will still work on my blog as a hobby, and hope have a nice exit from it some day.

13:19 – I plan to write a full post about this soon, but I believe ideas are a muscle. You have to exercise this muscle for it to be strong. Therefore, your first ideas are going to be weak. A successful entrepreneur learns to test and think through ideas, and more importantly, take action. I frequently have people come to me with a weak idea muscle, and even weaker ability to take action. I need them to validate their idea on their own first. I have no clue if it would truly work or not. Some of the most successful businesses sounded terrible in the beginning. It is very frustrating — ideas are worthless!

13:29Getting to Plan B is an excellent book. MUST READ for any entrepreneur.

14:28 – I’ve literally watched thousands of hours of entrepreneur stories and have seen trends on how they behave to optimize my ability to make good decisions. One bad decision could cost you much more money and time than you’d imagine. There are people who literally explain what to avoid. Why wouldn’t you study that?

15:25 – Meditation is amazing. It is proven to drastically rewire your brain and have positive impact on your life.

18:35 – You can see my story in detail where I explain to everyone how I didn’t win CI and why – Results for PenPath with Capital Innovators
19:15 – See the article that was written about me, that led to my angel investment here: PenPath seeks funding for product that tells you which writers have social media influence

22:50 – See the article about Mark Cuban and how I got him to respond to me here: How I got Mark Cuban to reply to my email

24:53 – I’m not saying to be a player, nor am I saying not to care about a girl. I’m saying a girl will find you more appealing if you are confident enough to be with her. If you are with “Megan Fox” and you know you are enough to be with her, you will be able to keep her. If you are needy and afraid to lose her, you will. Same applies to investors. If you approach them as being enough and worth an investment, your frame of mind will match theirs and they will be much more likely to invest in you. If you want advice on women, I suggest you check out RSDNation.

37:45 – When getting a term sheet, there are free templates. Here is the one we used: TechStars Docs

I will write a comprehensive article on convertible notes soon!

I hope this was helpful! I would appreciate any support you could give to PenPath.