The Power of YES
When I was handling Mumbai Angels, a group of angel investors, I got several requests from entrepreneurs who are looking for funding. The process involved personal meetings with founders, studying business plans, analysing financial projections and looking at product demos. Based on their ideas and pitch, I often ended up saying NO to them, even before screening in front of investor members. The filtering process taught me one thing – The Power of YES.
How to change NO into YES
Saying no was easy – just stop engaging, ignore calls/emails or tell someone on the face, and nobody will hold you responsible for anything, as you have not lost any real cash. But I realised personally I was not learning anything. For every yes I said, I will dive deeper into the opportunity – do an in-depth study of the sector, meet competitors (and discover more invest-worthy startups), visit more places, and be assigned even more responsibilities. By saying a yes, I was truly responsible to angel investors as well as the startups, who approached me.
Stages of a YES
Investment decisions are not a black or white, yes or no type decisions. There are a lot of grey areas and various stages. A deal can be called off at any stage – even after papers are signed but money is not transferred. If you say no in the first meeting itself, you do not discover anything about the idea, entrepreneur or opportunity. But if you be positive and keep an open mind, then there is lot to learn and apply. Think of it – have you said a yes to an offer to do social work, or organizing an event, which was not a part of your course structure, or yes to attend a farewell party when you were completely tired. Now recall the experience of what happened after the event!
I conduct entrepreneurship workshops across colleges and schools, which means students and faculty help us in organizing the session. The faculty coordinator acts like CEO of the event, student coordinator plays the manager and I am just a guest trainer. The hosts get certificates, learning, books and above all the experience of doing something, rather than just going through the daily routine of classes and checking papers. I have personally put this thought of saying YES most of the times into practice. So next time, you are told to do something, say a yes before you consider a no.
Article originally published in : http://newindianexpress.com/education/edex/Starpreneur/2013/05/06/article1571347.ece