5 Powerful Ways To Bag The Elephant

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In the movie Wall Street, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) through a lot of perseverance and hard work managed to bag the elephant, Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas).

Things have changed quite a bit since Wall Street as the hustle days of cold calling have been replaced by digital cold calling, namely emails, newsletters and social media which, not only are not nearly as effective because of its impersonal nature, but because it is much easier to disregard them as spam with the push of a button than it is to try to hang up the phone on someone while they are talking.

Though there are several ways to bag the elephant, there are 5 big ones, in my opinion, which produce the most favorable results.

1)   Know The Elephant

Knowing the elephant is one big way to bag the elephant. The problem however is, believe it or not, knowing the elephant can often hurt you more than it can help you if you don’t approach things the right way… (we will discuss this topic in my next post on how not to lose your elephant after he is in the bag}

Knowing the elephant is always the easiest way to bag the elephant so long as you know what to do as there is a big difference between knowing the elephant and bagging the elephant.

In order to bag the elephant that you know, you must understand the perspective of the elephant and put yourself inside the mind of the elephant.

Fact: Elephants get pitched every day for investments.

Fact: If you pitch the elephant simply because you think you are in with the elephant you will be dishonorably discharged from the circle of the elephant quicker than you can say, “Oh, no you too?”

The best way to bag the elephant you know is to work backwards. Knowing the elephant is only beneficial when you take into consideration what the elephant actually needs.

The best way to explain this to you is to give you an example:

My friend Fred (rest in peace) knew an elephant at the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart. Fred was smart. One day, while having lunch with the elephant, he asked the Wal-Mart elephant (let’s call him Bob) what he was looking for or what items and categories could be improved in his stores.

Bob told him what he was looking for and Fred worked backwards. He went to factories all over the world explaining what he was looking for. Fred knew what his elephant wanted and where his prices needed to be.

By working backwards and understanding the needs and wants of the elephant, and by feeding the ego of the elephant by putting the elephant in a superior position, Fred made a small fortune.

2)   Know the gatekeeper

If you remember, Bud Fox got very friendly with Gordon Gekko’s Gatekeeper, Natalie.

Fact: If you don’t get close with the gatekeeper, your chances are extremely small you will never get through the gate to meet face to face with your elephant.

Fact: Most elephants choose callous, rude and intolerable gatekeepers.

There is a reason for this. Elephants get bombarded with calls from people trying to bag them. This is why the elephants pick gatekeepers who know how to sift through the BS that comes in on a daily basis.

In order to bag the gatekeeper you must find out what he or she likes and work on your relationship with him (or her) with the same passion as if that person was the elephant him or herself.

3)   Bag the Competitor Of Your Elephant

Fact: The elephant always has a nemesis or two (underestimation).

Fact: Elephants are extra-ordinarily competitive

Getting the interest of the elephant’s competitor will get inside of your elephant’s head. Elephants are typically vain and will think, “why didn’t he (or she) approach me?

It doesn’t matter if the elephant’s competitor is not a good match for you or not. Use the elephant’s competitor as bait to make yourself more desirable.

4)   Promote Your Elephant (even if they don’t know you)

One of the biggest benefits of having a digital presence is the accessibility it gives to reach anyone at anytime.  Don’t confuse that between being able to get someone to actually pay attention to you anytime. Here’s a fact that may help you with that part:

Fact: Elephants love their ego’s fed.

Find a way to promote your elephant in a way that is visible to them. Even elephants like to get bigger. If you have developed a strong digital presence whether through social media, a blog or some other platform, mentioning your elephant in your blog or in social media is often the best way to get recognized as that person will like to re-circulate any information that is said about them.

Don’t just try this once. If you want to reach out to an elephant you need to be consistent in your promotion.

If they have a blog, make comments on your elephant’s blog and try to establish a relationship the best you can.

Note: Don’t ask for anything when you start promoting your elephant’s content or they will see right through your intentions. After some time has passed and your elephant has acknowledged your presence and some appreciation, you can try to establish a personal relationship and go from there.

5)   Play the numbers

Don’t wait to establish a relationship with your elephant to move on to the next elephant. Call 500 elephants a day. Be relentless in your pursuit of bagging an elephant. Take every shot possible and hold nothing back.

Some of the most successful people in the world started off cold-calling on Wall-Street. I was not one of them but Gary was and to this day, Gary still doesn’t hesitate picking up the phone to bag any elephant that he has an interest in bagging.

The Wrap-Up

Hopefully this has given you some better insight into the art of bagging an elephant. Figure out who are the elephants in your market you would like to target and then go out and take action!

Please be sure to let me know any of your experience bagging elephants below and if there is anything I missed, add your thoughts and I will be sure to respond!

One last note: I’m not through with the elephant. If you enjoyed this post, I recommend you read Gordon Gekko Was Wrong.

Have a great day!

 

MJ

5 Ways To Raise Money For A Business The Wrong Way

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I don’t know a lot of things. I do, however know a thing or two about how to raise money for a business the wrong way as I have operated in the middle of the table on quite a few occasions. If you are wondering where the middle of the table is that a fair question. The middle of the table is where you are putting two parties together and you are acting as a conduit to make the deal happen. A deal-broker to some degree if you want to call it that.

I have also had five businesses over the last twenty-one years in which I was on the side of the table that was in search of the investment (the asking side)… and I have made countless mistakes during that process. This is one of the main reasons why Gary and I started this blog, as we wanted to provide advice for entrepreneurs who may not know where to go or what to do. Though we eventually were able to secure the investments we were looking for, it was not without some very hard lessons learned along the way. It is also important to note that probably the biggest mistakes is not understanding the difference between finance and capital, which is very important to know when looking to raise money for a business .

The following are 5 prevalent mistakes entrepreneurs make when they raise money for a business the wrong way.

1)    Ideas Don’t Cut It

 The most important thing to understand is that investors do not fund ideas. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that they will get their company funded on their idea alone. This is one of the biggest misconceptions entrepreneurs have when raising money for a business. Funding startups on Ideas alone are very rarely funded without various other factors taking place that makes the company attractive for investment.

2)    No Revenue

Trying to get a company funded with no revenue is extremely difficult. One reason is that if an entrepreneur’s idea is worth their salt, the investor wants to see them gather revenue to show proof of concept and market viability. They also want to see that the entrepreneur is not looking for them to do all the work.

3)    Valuation Too High

Many entrepreneurs don’t understand the concept that 20% of something is worth a heck of a lot more than 100% of nothing. Often times, offering higher equity to a potential investor or strategic partner is better, as it creates more of a vested interest in the company succeeding when the investor has more equity.

4)    Focusing Too Much On The Cash

Another one of the common mistakes in business that many entrepreneurs make when trying to raise money for a business is not taking the many other things that are relevant in order to make a business succeed. Entrepreneurs will look at the cash alone when the real secret to the success of most businesses lies in the value of strategic partnerships. Money alone quite often is not enough. In a strategic partnership, the entrepreneur uses the resources and expertise of their strategic partner to leverage their strength far greater than any amount of cash can cover.

5)   Looking for an investment too early

Many investors and VC’s will tell entrepreneurs that the product or service is too early in development for them. One example is a technology company that doesn’t have the technology prototype ready and is looking for the investor to fund the prototype. The problem is there is far too much risk involved. I was in the middle of that one about a year ago and it was not fun.  Another example is trying to sell a fashion brand without making samples. These two examples are great places for pursuing startup capital or seed funding. Seed funding will allow an entrepreneur to get the necessary things done in order to put themselves in a position suitable for investment.

I have seen the above five mistakes first-hand, some that I made myself, and the rest (like I said) sitting in the middle of the table. I think that if you can avoid these mistakes you will greatly increase your chances of succeeding in securing the investment you are looking for.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to explore a more in depth look at starting a business and raising money, Gary and I have shot 4 FREE product training videos that we have created that provides a much deeper and comprehensive look into starting a business. To visit that section, click here now.

Have a great day!

MJ

Using Capital The Wrong Way – My Painful Story

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Many aspiring entrepreneurs are misled into pursuing a capital investment without taking into account financing, which is the key component that gives your company its ability to grow. The majority of start-ups I come across look for capital without taking the necessity of financing into consideration.

I have learned this lesson like I have learned most of my lessons, ‘the hard way’, when Gary and I started our first business in college in 1991. Continue reading “Using Capital The Wrong Way – My Painful Story”

7 Reasons Why I Will NOT Invest In You

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Investing in a start-up to me is one of the trickiest things to do as I have been on the losing (and winning) ends of both sides of the table on several occasions.

To me, there is no real difference between the investment of money and investment of time, except for the fact that the latter is normally more painful as time we can never get back. Continue reading “7 Reasons Why I Will NOT Invest In You”

10 Ways You Will Screw-Up Raising Capital & Tank The Deal

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Whether you are looking for an investor or a new customer, I think there are very clear reasons why someone will not invest in your brand. Having been fortunate (and unfortunate) enough to be on both sides of the table, and also being fortunate (and unfortunate) enough to succeed (and fail) at raising capital on multiple occasions, hopefully this will shed a bit of light on some of the prevalent mistakes people make when entering the investment waters for the first time. Continue reading “10 Ways You Will Screw-Up Raising Capital & Tank The Deal”

What NOT To Do When Raising Capital: The Jack of All Trades … Is a Jackass

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When pursuing an investment for one of my fashion brands, Gary and I met with a gentleman who represented a group of investors.

The man was recommended by a friend in the financial world who knew of several companies the man had successfully completed securing investments for over that past year. We were happy to know that the man was on a roll, and had credibility as far as raising money. Continue reading “What NOT To Do When Raising Capital: The Jack of All Trades … Is a Jackass”