Yesterday, 20th October was a holiday. Unfortunately for us entrepreneurs, a holiday in the middle of the week sets you some days off, because whoever you are planning to see in the coming days will have taken days off to take advantage of the holiday plus the coming weekend.
I decided to take a rest too and watch the new series ‘StartUp’. I expected it to be a Silicon Valley kind of type of series, but this was totally different. I could definitely relate to the series. 10 episodes down and I have to share the top 5 things I learned as an entrepreneur.
For those who have not watched the series, it is about a genius girls called Izzy, who has been working on GenCoin, a digital currency for over 5 years. She pitches to different people without success. Nick believes in her and decides to invest money into the business. However, that money is not Nick’s. It belongs to Nick’s father who stole from gangs and corrupt individuals. Some of the money belongs to a gang leader called Ronald.
So, let’s go!
Always have a contract
Izzy Morales owned the company 100%. Nick believed in her and decided to invest. Ronald was slowly converted and they decided to invest. They put in their time, their money and their networks to support Izzy’s dream. They went through rejections, insults and also endangering their lives to make this business a reality. However, when they landed a big investor, the investro was quick to note that there was never an agreement between the three of them, so he shoved Nick and Ronald aside, and there was nothing they could do. Always have contracts with anyone you are dealing with. check out some contracts you need for your startup .
Read your contracts
Investors, suppliers, business partners will ask their lawyers to draw up contacts. Have you ever heard of death by a 32 paged document? I feel they do this for a purpose and most of us skip through to the ‘I agree to the terms’ . However, most will include a few things that you never discussed. So always take time to read your contracts. If you do not understand, check the third point.
Get a lawyer
Lawyers are expensive. However, there are some that are fresh from law school and ready to work for some money on the side. Put them on some retainer or engage them per project. Ask them to go through the contracts especially when you are engaging individuals that can greatly affect your business. It will put a dent in your pocket, but it is totally worth it.
Fake it till you make it
Ronald, the street smart guy suggested that they take all they have and invest in an office space with some tasteful furniture, employees and interns. That way, they can easily invite clients and investors, who will take them seriously with a physical location. However, this can be tricky as you will have introduced overheads that need to be paid monthly, so if your business has not started generating revenue, you will need to get working capital to sort that out.
Never leave a soldier behind
When Izzy’s investors asked her to drop Nick and Ronald, she decided her dream was bigger than any of them, and she was quick to drop them. The three of them were the heart of GenCoin. She quickly came to regret her decision; unfortunately, it was too late for her, as her investors had taken over her business and kicked her out.
The team you start with know the pains of setting up a business. Their support is what makes you pull through those hard days. Always consider them first when it comes to big bonuses or equity in the company. They are the ones that actually have your back.
Those are the five things I took home after watching the 10 episodes. If you learned anything else, share with us in the comment section as we wait for the second season