January 4, 2007

Bill Gates is Sending me $1M

Brock Blake said that I would get a million dollars from Bill Gates if I wrote a post about five things people don't know about me.

Here goes ...

1) I was the singer for a rock/roll band called Aberdine back in my glory days. We were kind of a blend between Johnny Cash, Pearl Jam and the Black Crowes. It was just something we did for fun, but we ended up selling about 1,000 CDs and playing enough gigs to pay for a couple months rent.

2) I graduated from high school with a 2.15ish GPA. Although I was able to rebound from my high school daze and obtain a university degree, I still have a bad taste in my mouth for university and high school education systems. Good things happen in schools, but not often enough.

3) My unfinished, non-air conditioned attic was the first headquarters for FundingUniverse. It was at least 90 degrees up there for most of the summer of 2004. Trent and I had some great meetings up there. Good times, good times ...

4) When I grow up, I'm going to a sportswriter. When I was in school, I covered BYU men's basketball for the Daily Universe and I loved it. I can't say I was very good at it, but if it payed better, I'd be doing it right now.

5) In 1996 I danced with Lauryn Hill backstage at the Smokin' Grooves tour stop at Fresno State University. Okay, maybe it would be more accurate to say that I danced very near her but she probably didn't even notice I was there. Either way, me and my buddy Brian Cotta sneaked back stage while Ziggy Marley was playing and found ourselves in the middle of a party with Lauryn, Q-Tip (Tribe Called Quest), Wyclef Jean (Fugees), Busta Rhymes, B Real (Cypress Hill) and about two dozen other crew members.

Bill, I'm waiting for my check.

I tag Chip, Chad and Josh.

Criticism: A Positive Thing

I admit it. I don’t like to receive criticism. I don’t think anyone really does. However, I believe, an individual is great depending on how they handle criticism. This realization came to me yesterday after interacting with one of our AngelReady entrepreneurs.

At FundingUniverse we have business consultants and analysts whose job it is to rate and provide feedback to entrepreneurs on their business plans. The reaction of one entrepreneur to the feedback she received impressed me. She openly accepted the feedback. Since she spoke with our consultants, she has worked diligently to enhance her plan. Her willingness to put in all the effort necessary to make these improvements is remarkable.

Everday I hear from entrepreneurs all over the country who say they would do anything to make a business successful. Yet, these same entrepreneurs are hesitant to modify a business plans to make it more appealing to investors. In general, it is crucial to accept the feedback/criticism you receive. Be open to change, open to making the necessary improvements. Do not be satisfied with the status quo. Continue to push yourself and make improvements to your plan.

After my experience with this AngelReady entrepreneur, I have made it a personal goal in 2007 to accept and ask for feedback from people. Instead of worrying why I am being critiqued, it would be more advantageous to take this criticism and use it to improve. What will you do with the feedback you receive?