How Fundraising is Like Fishing

I meet a great number of entrepreneurs and have seen numerous approaches to raising funding. Some approach it as an opportunity to meet new people and explore another part of the entrepreneur ecosystem.  Others see it as a chore that distracts from the real business such as product development, selling customers, creating the next unicorn (take your pick). 

Some bring their sales skills to the process and are quite good at meeting investors, listening to their concerns, and closing the deal. Others expect the investor to be bowled over by the idea, the pitch deck, the rock-star team (take your pick) or otherwise. When that doesn’t happen they look at it as a failed meeting.

The key is to bring your best game to the meeting and treat it as you would fishing. In fishing you have to set the bait and be patient for the right fish to come along. Just like you can’t rush a fish to take the hook so you can’t rush an investor. If you don’t get a bite in one place you can move to another location or you can stay where you are and change the bait.

I see entrepreneurs setting specific time schedules for their raise. This is the same as casting the line and then saying “by 3:25 we will have our first fish”. The fish rarely work on your schedule. Investors won’t do so either.

While a fisherman can throw a stick of dynamite into the waters to expedite the process, this is where the analogy ends as you can’t do that with investors, patience is still key.

Hall T. Martin

Hall T. Martin is the founder of TEN Capital and a builder of entrepreneur ecosystems by startup funding through angel networks, funding portals, syndicates, and more. Connect with him about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies