For the past four years I’ve poured my heart and soul into launching two companies. When the first didn’t get funded, I was dejected. The potential investors wanted to see a proof of concept, see some revenue, and I didn’t even have the website built. After all, that’s what the seed funds were for.
My second company, I spent over a year doing R&D, creating and nurturing relationships, and building a website. I lunched it in beta on November 1st, 2014 and started making sales right away to my limited audience. I was in proof of concept and in revenue. I had major advisors who thought it was a brilliant concept, especially since there was no one doing exactly what I was doing. They, along with so many others, saw the potential.
A week ago last Wednesday, I presented my company to one of the most prestigious Angel Investor groups in California, the opportunity of which is a long and difficult process, but I got in. That in itself was a major accomplishment, helped along by one of my big-time advisors.
Reflecting on how much I’ve sacrificed, how much my wife has put up with, how much of our own capital we spent to get to this point, this was my last hurrah, my Hail Mary pass… the final try. I was primed.
The presentation went better than well. I crushed it! The Angels loved me, they loved the project, they loved the branding, they saw the potential. Only they didn’t love it enough to get me to the next level— the coveted due-dillignace meeting. Therefore, no possibility of funding. I found out yesterday.
My goal of getting funded this year is now dead. I can’t continue or afford to bootstrap any longer, so this project is indefinitely on hold as I pursue other, more lucrative, endeavors.
My emotions are raw, having spent so much time, blood, sweat, tears, and money. The journey has come to a screeching halt. Plus, Chauncey was my muse, my inspiration for this company, and working on it has kept us connected in a very special way since he passed away two months ago. This was to be his legacy. This was his company.
For all that I teach others, be it artist or entrepreneur, it’s never been truer that we can execute flawlessly and do everything right to achieve our goals, but there is always something beyond our control that will happen. And that’s why the goal itself is not important. Just necessary to give us something to strive for, to give us direction, to learn from.
I set out to do what I wanted to do— start a company. I did it. That part was a success. Did I make it into the next billion dollar purchase by Amazon or Google? Well… not yet. Maybe not ever.
I’m so grateful for the journey, what I learned, the people I met, the products Chauncey got to try, for my wife’s love and support, and that of all my friends.