by Kim Lavine
Before I bought my company back from my investors (taking them to the mat to do so) I learned a lot from their own successful start-up stories.
He Didn't Have 2 Quarters to Rub Together
My CEO helped start Precious Moments, taking it from drawings on paper to $700,000,000 a year in REVENUES, while creating the gold-standard licensing model that brands like Martha Stewart use today. Still he told me there were days at the beginning where he "didn't have two quarters to rub together," and worried each week alone in his office how he would make payroll.
Everybody who has ever made it was on the verge of losing it all before they did. Here's just a few of them you may have heard of.
- The guys who started Google paid their employees in paperclips the first year.
- The guys who founded CROCS did just $20,000 in sales at boat shows their first year before raising $7 million, creating a $1 Billion IPO in just over 5 years--after being turned down by investors.
- Tyler Perry, the richest man in Hollywood, slept out of his car for a year to get started on his dream.
- Martha Stewart cooked, catered and served tirelessly at events all over NYC, before she became a self-made billionaire.
Go All In
If you're not All-In on your dream, don't expect investors to go All-In.
All-In means you've bet your last dollar, used up every credit line, made every sacrifice, absorbed every risk, even gone bankrupt, to prove your dream.
Investors don't care if you've gone bankrupt; in fact, they like it. It means that you've absorbed every risk to get to "Money Ready" stage, meaning they don't have to.
Are You All In?
This is my Dream. What's Yours?