Sep 28, 2020

Success in a tough economy requires balance, not brawn

The economic environment under COVID is volatile, which makes temperance and a measured approach tougher than ever—and all the more impressive to achieve. This year, I’m particularly interested in partnering with entrepreneurs who exemplify an ability to reconcile opposing forces and tensions, even when under pressure. Here’s my advice for how to achieve this sense of balance—and why investors are likely to find the skill more valuable than ever.

Authenticity Balanced with Preparedness

I look for partners both in business and in life who are the real deal. The pandemic has put a lot into perspective, making it harder to justify investing time and effort with people who seem to lack authentic intent. I am a judge on Shark Tank, and every season there is at least one entrepreneur more focused on saying what he or she thinks the sharks want to hear than on what is truthful. These entrepreneurs turn everyone off and rarely walk away with a deal. People are skilled at sniffing out a gimmick, so be real, honest, and sincere—even when you have bad news to share. On the other hand, don’t confuse being authentic with flying by the seat of your pants…

Read more on Fast Company

COVID-19          Entrepreneurship          Investing

More from Daniel

Founders should follow these 5 steps to turn ideas into reality

You have an innovative and differentiated product that has withstood your relentless scrutiny and you are ready to go forth and conquer. (In other words, you’ve mastered what I call the “3 Cs of Entrepreneurship,” which you can read about here.)  Now it’s time to talk about how to build your ideas into reality. I approach this process by working through five key steps. It’s critical to give all of them your equal attention and to understand how they influence one another.

read more

Kind Snacks founder explains his ‘3 Cs of Entrepreneurship’ (as seen in Fast Company)

On last season’s Shark Tank, the judges heard pitches from two impressive entrepreneurs who struggled to articulate the key attributes that differentiated their product. They could not explain how their offering stood out from those of their competitors. It struck me that that they may have skipped a critical step along an entrepreneur’s journey: the part where we become our own worst critics.

An entrepreneur’s journey unfolds in three distinct, dependent, and yet entirely separate phases. While it’s important to start by dreaming without restraint, boundless brainstorms need to be followed by ruthless scrutiny. If and only if our idea stands up against comprehensive critique, are we able to go forth as the committed crusader and pursue launching our idea into the world. It’s very important that each phase be embraced fully and that once you move on from one, you move on completely.

read more

4 Tips for Empowering Team Members to be Themselves

A strong company culture prizes transparency, authenticity, and individuality, which in turn fosters an environment in which team members feel comfortable being themselves. This does not mean there should not be standards of professionalism and excellence, but it does mean that team members should have the space in which to play, make mistakes, and be creative.

read more