To start a business, first comes the Idea, then the strategy; and this is where all the blue sky is.
People believe that on paper their business is going to be this huge success. I think they know that there are going to be some challenges but until they actually go on the journey, they don’t fully realise how bloody hard the execution side of making their business a reality will be.
They get beaten down by hiring the wrong people and trusting the wrong experts; they get scared by their bank balance not going in the right direction; they get disillusioned by the fact that they think no one will believe in their vision. This is where there is a split.
- There are the ones who keep pushing through, dust themselves down and keep going; then get knocked down again to again, only pick themselves up time and time again.
- And there are the ones who give up because it is too hard and they are not having fun anymore. That is four out of five businesses and in some respects I don’t blame them. It’s hard and being a business owner is not for everyone.
So remember: when you do have those wins, celebrate them because you deserve to be proud of all the wins in the business.
The rollercoaster ride of business is a fun, scary and not always very pleasant, so enjoy the victories and never give up.
Grown Wooden Eyewear
$60,000 for 20%
These are seriously cool looking glasses and Jeff has his heart and business in the right spot. He had another business that sold winter headwear, which is where most of his income was coming from. It would have been appealing to me to have the whole business but we had already been going for one hour on the pitch, so it was difficult to start the pitch again from the start to consider the winter headwear business and the eyewear business as a whole – which is the only interest I would have.
I thought Jeff was a good guy who was passionate about business as well as the environment and was trying to make both work. It would be very rare for me to invest in a person who is not focused full time on his business because this is the only way businesses actually work.
$50,000 for 20% equity
Stefanie was a delight; a bubbly young girl who did a great job in presenting. Her confidence was well beyond her years. She was very impressive.
The business model was an interesting model but from my long chats with Steve and understanding the App world, it is such a crowded market and the dollars needed to expand and promote are in the millions. Stefanie will do well and be successful as she has that spark but maybe not with this concept. But hey; I have been wrong before!
I truly wish Stefanie all the luck. She will do well in whatever she does.
Leapin digital keys
$75,000 for 3%
Steve had a great idea and one that I would love, as I travel all the time and hate queueing.
The big red flag for me was that he had a competitor that was a long way ahead of him and would have put millions into the development. I seriously did not fancy investing with Steve knowing that I would have to have a legal battle in USA to get the rights back. I was out as soon as I discovered this. The only certain thing with legal is that it is uncertain and expensive.
$50,000 for a 5% stake
What a great spirit Oliver has! He actually reminds me of my spirit of travel that I had. I travelled the world when I was younger and this is included planes, trains and the odd hitchhiking. I would have loved this product back then.
I met with Oliver a few weeks after the show and did a video for his web for him, and got to chat a bit further. He is a great guy with a good vision for his business. The difference between an idea and a successful business is the execution and that ability to make sure you will not fail. Oliver has that spirit to succeed. Watch this space: Oliver will be successful!