I am frequently asked by founders my opinion on whether or not they should take on investment. I think it’s a little funny that folks ask me this knowing that I believe in self-funded businesses over raising money. I suppose many of these inquirers are asking because they want to hear the argument for not taking on investment.
Every other Thursday my operating partners and I used to meet to share challenges and experiences across our businesses. It was an incredible peer brain trust that helped us over businesses’ hurdles. We celebrated and discussed the good things we’ve accomplished. We offloaded emotional burdens and reminded each other that we are human. We helped each other with best practices. We shared experiences of how we overcame similar challenges. It was a pressure release valve, gas tank filler, and route map all-in-one.
Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Sue Heilbronner on her podcast, Real Leaders. Sue has the unique ability to create an excellent environment for an interview and asks excellent, probing questions.
My partner started RegOnline in 2000, I joined him in 2003 when the company was about $1 million in revenue, profitable, and growing about 100 percent over the previous year. Each year we increased our absolute growth and profit margin. Each year we took care of employees and customers better than the previous year.
One thing that I believe is immutable is that a leader gets the organization they deserve. If you’re not happy with your company, it’s your fault. You’ve set that reality in motion, either by hiring people that aren’t congruent with your values or by not taking action when your values are violated. What this assumes is that you, as a leader, have defined and articulated clear values to your team.