Over the next several weeks I will be posting my reflections about “Winning Angels: The 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage of Investing.” Although this book mainly applies to investing, I will try to apply its principles to business practices overall. It is my hope that you and I will glean some vital information that will either enable us to have confidence in investing or gain general business knowledge. As always, discussion or comments are welcomed.
“Winning Angels” was published 2001 but still holds essential information for a novice angel investor. The underlying theme is that “You must lose to win.” Now reading this may give you a sense of pause but if you consider it for a moment, any inventor or highly successful person will tell you that their biggest lessons were learned in their failures. Michael Jordan did not make the basketball team on his first try, and Eric Dyson was not successful in making one of the most popular vacuums on the market either. This is not saying that losing is fun but more or less don’t be afraid to take a loss because one day, with effort and sound decisions, it just may be a win.
I would like to introduce a notion called, “Lose Smart.” The premise of this notion follows along the “Winning Angels” theme with investing and fuses with small business pitfalls. Let me be clear; I am not saying open a business to close it shortly after, more so, learn from others mistakes. Garner information from reliable sources whether in investing or small business. You want to have an effective mentor or mentors that will steer you in finding your niche. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions or running into road blocks. Roadblocks now can be flies on your windshield later.
After reading the chapter on Sourcing from “Winning Angels,” it further solidifies my beliefs in the power of working in teams. Typically people tend to shy away from working with others because it seems like there’s always that one person who is content riding the coat tails of others. However, this book highlights exactly why working in groups, networking in groups, or taking a less active role can be beneficial in your present and future business deals. In addition, it provides the novice an opportunity to work in a Learning Community, where each has their own level of expertise and experiences to provide sound feedback and information.
Sourcing is evaluation (Amis & Stevenson, 2001). As an investor or small business owner, you have to know what works for you and what can yield your desired results. Amis & Stevenson break down sourcing into four categories, here are my takeaways:
Preparation – Educate yourself and remain abreast on your area of expertise whether in theory or practice be as knowledgeable as possible.
Networking – Provides you the opportunity to glean from others who have more experience and also provides you an opportunity to either co-invest or partner with someone with similar interests.
Visibility – This goes along with networking but also instills trust within the working community because your reputation will proceed you. If you are known for making great business decisions, people will be more apt to work with you in the future.
Focus – This ties in with preparation. Whether investing or going into business, it is never a good idea to invest in something you know very little about.
Amis, D. & Stevenson, H. (2001). Winning Angels: The 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage of Investing. London: Financial Times Prentice Hall pg. 33