Getting your startup funded is the best thing to happen for an entrepreneur. With the money, network and the mentoring he gets, he can chase his dreams in a much better way than possible. If there were no funding, a lot of dreams would never have taken off the grounds in the first place. But entrepreneurs have to understand that funding is simply a blessing or fortune that an investor bestowed and the real gift lies in you. To stay ahead in the race you will need lot more than an investor’s funds. From Prince’s perspective, funding can be seen as someone providing arms to you and asking to conquer whatever you planned to conquer.
Let’s look at some of the points that Machiavelli highlights in his treatise which an entrepreneur should observe with funding in background:
1. Strong foundations
Once funded make your foundations strong instead of simply running off for the chase. Strong foundation will be different for each entrepreneur but it will definitely have increasing knowledge base as one of the components. This is where the vision and the maturity of the entrepreneur play an important role. A sensible entrepreneur will always use the money to prepare for future course, spending it wisely and most importantly miserly.
Example of Julius Caesar is given nicely in the book and explained how he came to power with generosity of state’s money. When in power he became a miser and saved his kingdom. An entrepreneur seen partying on a regular basis and especially in weeks following funding, ruin is written all over him. For, he does not understand the importance of money and takes his fortune for granted.
For the medieval era funding Machiavelli writes “States that rise unexpectedly, then, like all other things in nature which are born and grow rapidly, cannot have their foundations and relations with other states fixed in such a way that the first storm will not overthrow them; unless, as is said, those who unexpectedly become princes are men of so much ability that they know they have to be prepared at once to hold that which fortune has thrown into their laps.”
2. Don’t rely on funding (any more)
Having received startup funding or not, an entrepreneur should never rely on it. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who have a nicely planned business plan. They know the details like the back of their hands and wait for funding to start. In reality, the whole plan of your venture should be made with the assumption that you will never get funded. If any funding does come, consider it as a gift and move ahead.
Business models that are highly dependent on funding face a huge risk. In words of Machiavelli “Such stand simply upon the goodwill and the fortune of him who has elevated them, the two most inconstant and unstable things.”It couldn’t be far from truth as the fortune and the goodwill of the investor or anyone in the world can take a turn any time. Relying on such factors can shut down your venture any day.
How many businesses you know closed because funding stopped?
3. Prepare for future
The road of entrepreneur is long and lonely. With the startup funding received, you need to prepare for a long journey. Investors would be looking for their returns at the earliest but you as a founder need to understand that nothing can be achieved in a short duration. Hurrying for returns will only endanger the whole plan without achieving anything.
Machiavelli warns you not to lose your focus and prepare for the bad times ahead. “It is a common defect in man not to make any provision in the calm against the tempest.”
Startup funding is a good opportunity for the entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. But the same should be treated as a good fortune and not rely on it. Rely on your abilities and hard work while preparing for a long run.