John May is Chairman Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association, a lead instructor for their "Power of Angel Investing" seminars, and is co-author of two books, Every Business Needs an Angel and State of the Art. He has been at the forefront of the angel investor movement since 1991 when he co-founded the Investors' Circle, in 1996, he co-founded & became executive director of the Private Investors Network.
If it's that inner drive that you can't help yourself, you have some vision that you're trying to meet, that's the real reason to take the plunge.
The real thing is to know yourself and to know what kind of motivation you're going to have to get through the good and the bad times.
That's what you're getting from an angel, and instead of a bank relationship, it's what I call a warm money relationship.
There could be any little thing that would keep us from getting together, but we better find that out before we get into the relationship.
Part of our judgment is how you understand how to pitch us because it's a mirror of how you're going to pitch customers.
You should develop your own set of advisors to help your company in times when you're not sure that you're on track and you need to get a check and balance.
You've got to show me that you're on top of expense line times, I'll help you figure when you're out of cash and whether you can afford those fringe benefits.
You have got to give me enough hooks to either suck me in or to let me back away and we won't waste each other's time.
How you decide to get to the early adopters may effect actually how you get the money.
If you don't have a good way of relating in the good times, as well as the bad times, it's going to be very hard to talk about the real nitty-gritty.
Don't pitch us, the angel as if you're going to make us a lot of money and then leave you alone so that you can make us money. What you don't realize is that most angels are cashed-out entrepreneurs who are self-made. We already have the money. So you shouldn't really pitch us that 'we're going to make you more money' what you should pitch us is that we'll have a relationship.
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