December 4, 2006

Don’t Try to Reach me at the Office




Brock and I were on a conference call with our rockstar advisory board last week and we received a clear message from them:

Focus wholly, completely, passionately, 100% on sales.

This is great advice for 90% of the entrepreneurs that we work with each month and it's great advice for us.

Up until the conference call I had been coming in the office to work each day and dividing my time between consulting gigs, business development, and developing the AngelReady sales program.

This week I have decided to take the board's wise council to heart and jump into the sales program 100% with no other distractions. I've set up shop in a small unfinished, unfurnished room in my basement with five things: my laptop, a Vonage router, a phone, a pad of paper. and a chair to sit on. (See pictures. The papers on the wall have our daily registration goals and results written on them.)

Results:
  • I've gained a deeper insight into the entrepreneurs that we serve and how to best help them prepare to raise angel capital, which has increased my ability to give meaningful feed back and training to our customer care team. This has lead to a vastly increased number of FundingUniverse registrants becoming AngelReady Members.
  • I am not distracted by the countless "little things" that go hand-in-hand with running a fast-moving company.
  • I've enjoyed lunch with my wife, Anna, and my boys, Jack and Brixton, every day. Can't beat that.
Even our CEO has spent substantial time on the phone with our members this week. I love it!

I don't expect to stay down here forever, but the exercise has been and will continue to be very instructive.



PODCAST: John May on becoming Angel Fundable

It’s been a long time coming. I finally hooked up with John May last week and had a great interview with him. What a great guy!

John has a passion for angel investing. He is the Chairman of the Angel Capital Association and a long-time angel investor. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an angel investor, you’ll want to listen to this podcast!

Here is John’s BIO from his website:

John May is the managing partner of New Vantage Group, a Vienna, VA firm that innovatively mobilizes private equity into early-stage companies and provides advisory services to both funds and private investors. Mr. May’s experience in private equity capital over the last 15 years ranges from venture capital fund management to angel investing.

Mr. May has been at the forefront of the angel investor movement. In 1991, he co-founded the Investors’ Circle, a national non-profit group of 125 family and institutional investors working to grow the social venture capital industry. Additionally in 1996, he co-founded and became executive director of the Private Investors Network, an angel network sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, which he led until 2002. John is now Chairman of the newly formed Angel Capital Association (formerly a program of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation), is a lead instructor for their “Power of Angel Investing” seminars, and is co-author of two books, Every Business Needs an Angel, and State of the Art.

Mr. May co-founded The Dinner Club, an investment group of 60 regional angels who collectively invest in regional early stage ventures. A larger private investor pool, the eMedia Club with 75 members, followed it, and in 2000, the Washington Dinner Club with 75 members was started. In 2003, Active Angel Investors, a “pledge” fund was created. New Vantage Group administers all of these groups.

I’d love to get your comments. Who would you like to hear from? What topics would you like discussed?