by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, ME
Founder & Executive Director, Break Diving, Inc.
T.R.U.S.T. is an acronym that I developed after first failing to raise money for a big project, and then six years later, successfully raising money for a big project. The first investor in 2004 backed out in the last minute, but the second investor in 2010 wrote the check I asked for.
I was determined to figure out why. I was determined to figure out why the first investor backed out, and why the second investor years later, wrote the check.
I did some soul searching, and this system is the answer I discovered. Why did so many people turn me down for so many years, and then suddenly, boom, people were giving me money?
Want to know the answer? Read on!
Part 1. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF INVESTORS (a brief summary)
- Why Finding Potential Investors Is So Difficult
The reason why finding investors is so difficult is because most people believe that they don’t know anyone who can invest in their projects. This is not true. The first problem is that most people don’t know where to look. People with money—millionaires even—are around you every day. Some may not have millions, but everybody—even your friend who works at McDonald’s—has some sort of paycheck. The question is: what do they do with that paycheck? I’m going to be answering that question in depth in upcoming posts.
- Why Your Investors Usually Say ‘No’
Once established that absolutely ANYONE can be an investor, it becomes clear that the # 1 reason why most people say no is because they would rather spend their hard-earned money elsewhere. That is it. There is no further discussion.
But… I will discuss this more soon anyway haha.
- Why Your Investors Drag Their Feet & Back Out At the Last Minute
Bottom line answer? They don’t trust you. That is it. They don’t believe you. They don’t believe you know what you are doing. They don’t believe they will ever see their money again They don’t believe parting with their money and giving it to you is a good idea. You want the truth: that’s it.
- Why Some Potential Investors Will Ultimately Say ‘Yes’
The good news is that you have found this article, and this article (and the ones that follow) are going to turn things around for you. Finally, you are going to become the type of entrepreneur who investors T.R.U.S.T.
PART II – HOW TO GET INVESTORS TO T.R.U.S.T. YOU
Here is the summary of what the acronoym T.R.U.S.T. stand for:
- T – Track Record: Most people, in trying to raise money for a project, try to raise money for something they have no experience doing. I was turned down numerous times when I requested money for scripts I wrote. I then took a different tack: I spent years doing short films, and doing them well, and eventually, people took notice and realized I could actually make movies. The money for full-length feature films followed thereafter, in part because of this.
- R – Rate of Return: Most people, in trying to raise money for a project, show almost no hard facts to prove to the investor that the investor may actually see his money again let alone have a fun time in the process. You need to remind the investor that he needs to be prepared to lose all his money, but also show the investor that there is actually a more than fair chance of seeing the money again, and maybe even a profit. And… that it’s going to be one wild and fun ride in the process!
- U – Unique Investment Opportunity: Most people, in trying to raise money for a project, fail to show why their investment opportunity is dramatically different from all of the others that are available. You need to give the investor some bragging rights. Investing in an entrepreneurial project needs to be sexy and exciting. If they want boring and traditional, you can give them the phone number of your mutual fund advisor.
- S – Systems & Savvy: Most people, in trying to raise money for a project, completely fail to convince anyone that they know what they are doing. You need to show that you’re a savvy entrepreneur; that you understand how to run a business; that you have systems in place, i.e. a clear plan and a well-constructed framework of moving parts, to actually take the invested money and turn it into the above mentioned return on investment.
- T – Team: Most people, in trying to raise money for a project, completely fail to assemble a team worthy of investment. No one can do it alone, regardless of their abilities. The best projects always tend to be team efforts, and here is your chance to impress your investors by showing them that other people trust you. By assembling the right team, and a team that together also has a track record, you help to create the above-mentioned framework of moving parts.
So yeah, it’s all about T.R.U.S.T.
TAKE HEED: If you fail to have any piece of this puzzle, you are going to have immense difficulty raising money. Without a track record, you have no history of success. Without a rate of return, there is no point in investing. Without a unique investment opportunity, they may as well invest elsewhere. Without systems and savvy, you’ll never convince them that you know what you’re doing on this particular project. Without a team, you are a one-man army, and everyone knows what happens to the one-man army: he eventually burns out.
Sure, you can probably raise money without one of them, but it makes the fund raising process all the more difficult.
What about not having two of the T.R.U.S.T requirements? In that case, it is nearly impossible.
If you are missing three or more, it probably is impossible.
This is but a short introduction to my T.R.U.S.T. method of fundraising. I plan to write a new article about how to implement the T.R.U.S.T. system regularly, in an effort to help show you that raising money is possible, and that it’s not as difficult as everyone makes it out to be.
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