“3 Ways to Make it Happen…When You Think You Can’t” was originally posted by hint Founder & CEO, Kara Goldin, on LinkedIn here:
I’m Not Good At That
The other day an entrepreneur talked to me about raising money for their company. This person said, when it comes to raising money they just aren’t good at it. My response was: “Well…when are you’re going to get good?”
That’s the best advice I have for entrepreneurs: you need figure out how to get good at those things. If you’re an entrepreneur who has an idea for a business, you have to learn out how to finance the business, how to launch product, how to grow sales, how to hire a team, and all sorts of other things. People have dreams and people have passions, but ultimately it comes down to working out how you’re going to execute. Then, you can make almost anything happen.
For me, I’d never raised money before I launched Hint. Although I had a minor in finance, I was a communications major in college who had worked in media and tech on the product marketing side. Raising money was a big black hole. I didn’t have a finance background. I had no idea how it was going to happen. What I did know: In order to scale my business, I needed to take the time to figure that out.
1. Let Go Of Perfectionism – Let Yourself Just Do It
It’s really about having the confidence that you can Google something these days, look it up, and develop a whole new skillset and vocabulary. It’s knowing you can get good enough at anything to make it work. For me, the key scary moment was when people said a term I didn’t know. That meant stopping and taking notes as soon as I heard a term like “inventory financing.” I thought, “I know what inventory is and I know what financing is. But what does that mean? What exactly is the difference between inventory financing and other types of financing?” All of those terms were a foreign language to me. None of it was brain surgery. It’s just like any other problem – it’s about spending time to find out exactly what you don’t know and breaking it down step-by-step.
2. Don’t Let Your Mind Rest On That
Your mindset matters. Letting your mind rest on the notion that you’re not good at something is not useful to you. Everybody has that block. It’s easy to give an excuse why something isn’t getting accomplished. “I’m not great at hiring people.” “I’m terrible at losing weight.” Or whatever. People hold onto theories about how bad they are instead of focusing on everything they’ve done right in their lives. We all do it. View this as a challenge that you can get over. The whole idea of saying “I’m not good at…” or “I could never…” is a cop out. If it’s getting in the way of you achieving some other goal that you really want to do, you’ve got to shift to the positive. You CAN do it. Of course you can.
3. Use Your Network. Wisely.
If you’ve identified something you don’t know—yet—it shows you where to focus. Find people who can help you get good about it. When I founded Hint, I remembered that I have a whole network of people who work in different areas who can explain things to me. If I didn’t really understand a term or how it was applicable to my business, I could ask people. And I also learned that I had to frame the question as well and tightly as possible. If I had someone come to me now and say ‘explain capital raising?’ it’s so broad that it would be difficult to say, ‘Okay, let me give you years of my experience in trying to explain this to you and how it might be applicable.”
Really, it’s all about jumping in, and learning as you go. That is the advice I gave my entrepreneur friend. We all have unique strengths and weaknesses. You can do extraordinary things that are really remarkably right that may seem hard to other people. And when it comes down to it, it’s your job to fill in the gaps.
The ball is in your court.