I caught up with a fellow entrepreneur today. We talked about the obstacles we overcame and how our large gaps slowed our progress. We both come from great families, but they’re not entrepreneurial. Not being exposed to entrepreneurship meant we had knowledge gaps. We didn’t know anyone who had the knowledge we lacked or who could open doors to decision makers, so we had relationship gaps. And our families aren’t rich, so we had capital gaps. Because of these gaps (I call them the big three), it took both of us two or three times longer to achieve success than it might have. We’re thankful we made it, but it was a long, rough journey. Now that we have the knowledge, the relationships, and some capital from our first companies, we could build another one much faster.
We also talked about different ways we can help emerging entrepreneurs who are where we were years ago—early in their journey and hampered by the big three. In my opinion, both of us are perfectly positioned to help. I think entrepreneurs with a desire to give back could be amazing investors. Entrepreneurs turned investors can fill the big three gaps and also empathize. They truly understand what early entrepreneurs are going through because they’ve walked in those shoes. Other investors can offer some of this, but the combination of all of it is rare, which is why I believe entrepreneurs can make terrific investors.
Of course, entrepreneurs must learn the nuances of investing in companies to do it successfully, but assuming they do, they’re ideal accelerators of the success of newbies.
If you’re an entrepreneur stymied by the big three, consider reaching out to an experienced entrepreneur in your space and asking them to invest in you!