Raising Money And Moving Past Imperfections

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By Sonya Lee (User Experience Design Consultant, Mowie Media)

Being Asian, I have learned from my Chinese parents and family to aim for perfection. The viral Troll.me image of “You are the 99? Why not 100%?” strikes a deep cord in my soul because it is so true!

It is this sense of perfection has both helped push me to owning a design consulting business but also held me back in taking my next new venture, Wine and Food Travel, to the next level.

Sheila Lirio Marcelo of Care.com hit the nail on the spot when talking about raising capital for startups. She elaborates, “When are you ready to raise money and start a business, it isn’t that we [as women] lack confidence. It is rather that we have an image of perfection that gets in the way. We always criticize guys for not doing dishes – but honestly, it’s our own issue! When women say they’re not ready, its often that perfection that stops us taking risks.”

Deena Varshavskaya, Founder of Wanelo, adds to learn from your mistakes, while Leah Busque, Founder of TaskRabbit, encourages everyone to push forward from where you are (as a designer or developer) to transition into being an entrepreneur.

What I’ve learned from Women 2.0 PITCH Conference is to:

  • Ask questions, seek mentors and advisors.
  • Don’t let your fears hold you back. Most importantly, don’t let your quest for perfection hinder you.
  • There isn’t any ‘one size fit’s all’ strategy or process in starting a company and raising capital, so be inquisitive with your peers, investors and board of directors – “Treat them (a board or advisor) like you would a friend, a fellow human being in life”, adds Care.com CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo.
  • Learn to move past your own imperfections and allow for growth through constructive criticism.
  • According to Deena Varshavskaya, one should “expect 30 to 40 rejections” when pitching for funding. You might get a lot of “No”s before getting to Yes, but that will all be worth it in the long run in getting your startup funded.

Raising capital can be a tricky process, especially when you don’t know where to start. Here are some great tips to start with.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Sonya Lee is a User Experience Design Consultant at Mowie Media. She is an entrepreneur and founder of Wine and Food Travel, a company designed to connect consumers with artisanal and boutique food and wine purveyors around the world. Her combined experience with companies such as Disney and Warner Bros. has lent to her expertise in marketing, social media, brand development and advertising web design. Follow Sonya on Twitter @mowie.