Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Here’s a true story of how a promising candidate blew the opportunity to pitch to me.

(The names, details and identifiable information has been anonymised)

So, I don’t mind genuine people using LinkedIn to make contact. It’s not how it’s supposed to be used, but often it is the only way. However, once connection is made, unless I actually know them, I will disconnect them until we do business together.

So I was invited to connect by an entrepreneur who was offering a unique proposition, so I accepted the invite and emailed him to ask if I could help. He then sent me a proposal on an NGO to promote immigration and asked if I wanted to crowd fund. Within the same email, he explained he was about to travel to New York later that day to pitch the project to the UN. The trip would have cost more than he had raised on the crowd funding site.

I explained that I was only interested in commercial ventures but if he had anything that met the criteria I would be happy to meet up in person.

He replied asking for my contact details offering to pass me to his PA for her to arrange a meeting.

At that point, I politely explained that I don’t deal with PA’s. I also explained that he should not be spending mine or other investors money on frivolity. I disconnected from him on LinkedIn and declined the meeting.

So the lessons:

I appreciate we all have our pride, but don’t let that get in the way of achieving your goals. You asked for investment, so chances are you really need it. Don’t think I’m going to allow you to squander my money and don’t think I’m an easy touch. If you raise money now, successfully conduct your business for a few years and generate some of your own wealth, then and only then can you indulge in NGO’s, a luxury lifestyle or a PA.

Until then, don’t worry about your image, I admire and respect you more than you know.

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