The perfect example of the world gone mad… WHEN will ‘investors’ and everyone in ‘start-up’ world understand that people should be building real businesses, not ‘looking for funding’.

We have seen them throughout social media, in crowdfunding sites and all through the digital news. Entrepreneurs who are in fact simply looking for others to fund their dreams. Entrepreneur is a verb not a noun, so if you think you are one, then don’t look for funding, build a real business.

A real business is one in which you match your target customer needs with the products and services you can offer and everyone benefits. You make money and build loyalty from your customers and in turn your customers benefit from your ongoing improvements to your offer and the great return on investment they receive from engaging with and supporting you.

But too often, many so-called entrepreneurs focus solely on potential investors. They seek the short term cash to pay for the risk they should be taking on themselves. The potential risk of failure of their idea should be on their shoulders and not those of others. They should be throwing themselves into their project with passion, commitment and a dose of hard work rather than floating in a dream land through injections of investors’ cash to injections of investors’ cash.

That isn’t a real business. It’s an easy cop out when the so-called entrepreneur hasn’t really identified customers who create sustainable revenue streams and when they don’t actually have the belief in their vision and would rather someone else foots the bill.

And investors who pour their money into pre-launch or even pre-researched schemes with blind faith of returns of up to ten times their investment.

It simply seems THE thing to do right now. Either self-title yourself as an entrepreneur, build a business case with ambitious numbers and put together a skeleton of a product, or throw good money towards others who have little clue as to simple business economics.

I am not against crowdfunding, investment, entrepreneurs, investors, angels, VC funds, banks, visionaries, risk takers and dreamers. Far from it… Many of my most respected colleagues and professional associates are one or more of these things. I just wish that everyone would wake up and realise that for way too long now we have all been swept along on this crazy wave of ‘funding is everything’. It’s not. Go and build a real business.

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  1. […] this conversation, Rob shares his views about entrepreneurship, whether it’s innate or can be learned, the balance between disruption and emulation (but not […]

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