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Startup investors are not looking for mediocre companies. They’re looking for that one investment with the potential to chart their professional and financial future. In venture capital, “unicorn” is a term used to describe a privately held startup company with a value of over $1 billion. It’s kind of like “the one”. However, unlike dating, capturing the investments that change your life is often accomplished through a structured, strategic approach to sourcing the right opportunities.
Here are some other ways dating and angel investing are similar. If we applied the same amount of thought, objective setting and straight-up strategy to both ventures, there’s a good chance you’ll have better prospects in both.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
For most people, capital is finite. This means we inherently understand that there’s a certain pace at which we can pursue investment opportunities before we burn out on cash. This mathematical “restriction” forces investors to be methodical about building a portfolio and sustainably spend money and effort over as much time as it takes. For some reason, dating is often the opposite. It’s easy to become frustrated, impatient or even bitter when the third first date of the month is a bust.
Great angel investors develop a method, time horizon and thesis for investing and enjoy the process over time. Not a terrible strategy for finding a life partner.
Practice makes perfect.
Very few investors get to see ROI right away. Investing is like learning a language, which means you’re going you might be confused at first. Developing a network, community and understanding around the process of investing has been proven to develop comfort and confidence in the process.
There is a strong, repeatable framework for investing that provides outsized returns for VC pros. What’s your strong repeatable framework for meeting people that might tick the boxes for you?
Related: Getting Started With Angel Investing
It’s an art and a science.
Any investor who tells you they know how to pick winners every time may not be telling you the whole truth. The risk versus reward matrix in startup investing is all over the place. There’s an ambiguous amount of skill, intention and luck that brings investors close to their investment goals. And the same is true about dating.
Don’t go overboard on a dating system, principle or process. Let the magic happen when it can, but make sure you have a solid foundation.
It’s a resource-heavy pursuit.
Meeting the right match takes time and money. This is true in startup investing just like it is in dating. Rushing the process can mean brushing past life-changing opportunities, and it can also mean breaking the bank for the sake of expediency. The hard truth is that you can’t put a timer on these things, so keep your focus on the long game.
Offloading certain elements of dating is not a new concept. In some cultures, matchmaking goes back more than 2400 years.
The premise of modern matchmaking in relationships is focused on saving you time and accelerating your path to a limitless partnership with a significant other. The same is true in investing. You can meet a thousand founders to find the right fit, or you can trust the experts to filter the best ones for you. Working with the right partner can accelerate the process.
Be patient and be persistent. At the end of the day, we’re looking for a unicorn — in wealth and love.
Related: The Growth of Sustainable Investing