Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raising Money Is Stressful

Last night I spoke to a friend who is raising money. She said, "It's hard." Raising money is hard. It's tiring. You are trying to run a business while also trying to raise funds. Most founders are not money people. They are sales or operations or technology oriented people. And when you are growing like crazy and trying to craft distribution partnerships, manufacture more of the existing products, conduct product development to create additional products to satisfy more customers...raising money can be a beast. You can end up exhausted - mentally and physically.

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Having the vision of where the company is going and holding that can help in times like my friend is having when things just wear on you. Sometimes it may seem like you go forward and find an investor, then you have production problems which slam your sales. This is what happens with a rapidly growing company. When cash flow is tight, every shock reverberates for quite some time.

My friend meditates and runs. This helps keep her focused. Soon she's headed to her mountain retreat to hang out with friends who support what she does. This will help her renew her commitment and lift some of the exhaustion.

Since raising money for smaller companies is typically an additional task (a huge, time consuming task) on top of what the founders / owners already do, it's important to build a form of stress relief into your life. I have an aunt who does shiatsu and she says when you expend significant mental energy you need to also expend significant physical energy so that mental energy doesn't take residence in your body and wreak havoc on your health. Whether or not you agree with the energy assessment, we all agree balance is crucial. Your business is your baby and when it's growing rapidly or when you're trying to get to rapid growth you need to give it lots of attention. Take care of yourself to ensure you'll be around to reap the benefits of all this stress. Please.

I'd love to hear what you've done to ease the stress of raising money in the early stages while rapidly expanding your business.


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