Lately, I’ve been in talks about selling some equity in Product Club for a big chunk of capital.
Firstly, wow - it’s both flattering and bizarre. On paper, my business is not worth investing in. But apparently the speculative punt is all on me, and where I plan to take it.
Secondly, I’ve spoken to some people about it, and each conversation swings me from “hell yeah” to “hell no” and back again, and vice versa. I’m hesitating with my decision because I don’t know what the right thing to do is.
It’s worth an ego check here too. Getting serious investor interest is a lovely way to have your ego stroked. Am I considering it because it validates I’m doing something right? Or because objectively - it will help the business grow to help more people?
I’m fortunate that the investor is considerably transparent and upfront with their intentions. They’ve said the capital is primarily to allow me to focus 100% on growing the business. As the thorn in my side right now is supplementing my income with freelance work. Balancing baby, a pandemic, nurturing a community and developing a product is not possible. It’s too much. Something’s got to give.
Ahead of our next chat, we’re both writing a pros and cons list. Here’s mine:
- Financial breathing room to focus solely on Product Club, without having to supplement income with branding project or UX consulting.
- I can start automating/delegating aspects of the business.
- I’m the sort of person who does well with a gun to their head. Having accountability to an investor makes me want to pull my trousers up a bit.
- Having a non-exec board member helping guide the business feels coming across a Sherpa whilst scaling Everest. Sure, I lose some equity, but I can start to reach the lofty heights of my vision.
- Can help to raise more capital and incentive to exit later down the line
- An investors’ network is always useful.
- I am giving away a chunk of the business before I can explore and capture its true value. I could be giving away a lot when I’m only a few meters away from striking gold.
- Accountable to shareholders means an inevitable loss of freedom. (Not so easy to pivot or stop)
- Change in the opinion of the direction of the business down the line could lock me into something I don’t want to do.
Note to self: If in doubt, trust your gut.