The CEO of Five Run, Fabian Oliva, came to us recently. He’s got a great product, so naturally he’s got a lot of interested investors, but also a lot of interested buyers. He wanted to continue bootstrapping, growing his company along his own trajectory, but he wanted to do it carefully, so as not to be left with the crumbs.
Fabian is going to succeed in getting funded and growing because he has three essential characteristics that make him an attractive investment.
Number one is his emotional intelligence. He’s a very mature, thoughtful person. He’s keeping his head on straight, and weighing all the options, even when there are very attractive offers on the table. In the startup world we tend to champion the young, bull-headed startups, with a success-at-all-costs type of attitude. We respect Fabian so much more that he was careful to manage his stress, his commitments, and the cost to his business, family, and friends.
Which leads me to the second quality, focus on the success, not the hype. Sure, Fabian could create a big media circus. He could say, “Look at me! I’m going to be the next Steve Jobs!” Even though Run Five has the potential to revolutionize the market, he’s not in it for the fame. He’s not blinded by the typical “raise money so my name gets on TechCrunch” motivation. If you’re excited to get tons of press so everyone can read how cool you are, you’re gonna fail. That’s not money in your bank account. You’re just creating higher expectations – which you won’t deliver on because you’re motivated by the wrong things. Fabian wasn’t like that. He was thinking through it like an adult.
Thirdly, and more concretely, Fabian is going to win because his product has traction. Five Run is an integrated piece of software that helps teach and train sales reps on the floor, helping them give data-backed sales pitches. It’s an like an iPad app used to help sell complicated stuff. He does this for Tesla, and runs all their sales support. He’s got a long list of clients that are household names. He’s got the product and data to back up his pitch to investors.
If you’re looking to grow your business instead of selling, we encourage you to look at your motivations and hone your emotional intelligence. What makes you attractive to investors? Know your own qualities and strengths – because those are just as important as the numbers. When you’re ready, reach out and say hello.