Updated: Nov 20
Sex sells, but authenticity sells better. And yet, entrepreneurs keep selling sex to investors.
They pitch venture concepts earnestly, weaving together a façade of confidence, as though something as uncertain and hypothetical as a startup is something you could assert any confidence about.
This is bullshit.
As an entrepreneur, you do not have "it" figured out. The investor's money is not safe.
Investors have spent years developing olfactory apparatuses for bullshit. They are the bloodhound equivalent of smelling bullshit. 300 million bullshit scent receptors, all trained on you.
See, investors have been in the trenches. They have run their own businesses, successful or not. They've seen thousands of companies at the seed or Series A stage. They've had smashing successes, and smoldering craters of failure.
They chose not to put their money into an index fund. They know what they're getting into (and what you're getting into). They know that relatively speaking, you are not a safe bet. So don't pretend that you are, and you might just surprise them.
Also, investors know how soul-crushingly hard it will be to transform your idea into a durable business.
They know that for every one "known" that you have, you have ten "unknowns".
They know you're likely to fail. They are doing this because they have been on the hero's journey, too. They know your odds of winning against the myriad of factors that will prevail to shut you down are small.
They also know that if you're successful, you'll change the world.
That's why they're talking to you. Not because you are a safe financial asset. Believe it: once you take an investor's money, you are a liability.
So own it.
Tell them what keeps you up at night.
Tell them why your venture probably won't work... but why you are so passionate, you can't not do it.
They want to go on the journey with you. So let them in. Ask for their help.
You're not selling sex, you're selling a partnership.
Be authentic, and you just might find the right partner.