Want to 10x your business? Try the strategy that most people fear.

Welcome to another publication of the Finance Founder newsletter! 🚀

Where I teach you how to build your own finance business and I give you an inside look at how I’m building a world-class Finance agency of my own.

Before we get to today's newsletter, here’s some of the content I’m consuming that you might find interesting.

What I’m watching

One of my favorite ways to relax is to have some soft, instrumental music playing while I stare at a roaring fire. 🔥Because I don’t have a fireplace in my home office (life goals!) I’ve turned to playing YouTube videos of fireplaces. Right now, I’m watching a Lakeside Autumn Rainy Morning video. See what you think here.

The strategy that 10x’d my business

This summer I hired a consultant to help me with some branding work. Fernando, 👋, and I spent about a month focusing on the skills I brought to the table, the type of work I liked to do, and the type of people I liked to help.

What we realized was that I love helping founders grow their businesses and that my experience in both debt and equity finance is rare. Bankers know debt and venture capitalists know equity investing, but few understand the intricacies of both.

One of the exercises that Fernando had me do was to start rebuilding my network, digitally. After almost eight years of working from home, my local network had faded. Years ago I had a huge local, in-person network. I was such a believer in networking that my first startup, GoGrabLunch (scroll to #12)) was a business-to-business networking site.

We decided on Twitter as my home base for building out a digital network.

To do that, we agreed on two strategies.

First, I built out a Twitter list of 100 people that I wanted to build rapport with. Then, I started interacting with and commenting on their content. For those 100, I focused on people who had synergistic, but not competitive business models. Or, people whose business model I wanted to emulate.

Next, for anyone who interacted with my content, whether from my Dream 100 or not, I sent them a message thanking them for their response. If we exchanged a message or two in our private DMs, I asked if they were open to connecting on a 15-minute call.

The idea here was that I opened up my calendar to anyone who wanted to network with me.

Of course, not everyone took me up on that offer. Most did not. But, a few did and those conversations were fantastic. A particular shoutout to Jack Bennett at Disruption Capital.

The key with those calls was that I went out of my way not to make it a sales call. I spent the time getting to know the person and asking about their business and if there was anything I could do to help.

The real agenda of the call was to learn about other people’s businesses and the pain points they were struggling with. If I knew I could help with a pain point, I offered to provide them with some insight from my experience or an introduction to someone else who could help them.

I didn’t try to sell them my services. I simply tried to add value.

Now, the reality is that they were usually interested in what I did and, since I was offering to help them, they often returned the offer.

This worked so well that I was able to add $22.7M in opportunities to my pipeline. That doesn’t count the two calls I have next week with people who heard about my services through this process.

The scary part of this strategy is opening your calendar to virtually anyone. I struggled with it at first myself. I worried about my time being chewed up with calls or salespeople using the calls to try and prospect me.

But, neither of those things happened consistently.

Even if they had, the tradeoff is the $22.7M I added to my pipeline.

Let’s hop on a call

I want to make the same offer to you.

If you’d like to connect with me for 15 minutes and get to know each other, feel free to use the scheduler below to schedule a date/time that works for both of our calendars.

There are a lot of ways we can work together, and I’m happy to explore those.

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Read past issues

Jul 14
"Known (Mark W. Schaefer) - Book Summary and Notes"
Jul 06
The surprisingly simple purpose of a seed round of funding
Jun 29
When it's an easy decision to pass on startup funding
Jun 15
Go-to-Market Made Easy: Your Roadmap to Customer Acquisition
May 24
Planning for a Second Act + a sabbatical
May 05
This isn't 2008. But, it's not that much better
Apr 20
Market Whisperer: Knowing Your Customer Better Than Investors
Apr 14
Energized > Rested
Apr 07
Numb the pain, silence the teacher
Mar 31
The Myth of the Big Exit
Mar 23
Growth Gears: Equity vs. Debt - Fueling a Startup’s Journey
Mar 16
A candid conversation about fear
Mar 09
The Technical Product Managers Guide to Go-to-Market
Mar 03
My goal was 100 financial plans. I did 10x that goal.
Feb 25
Poor MVP, no one likes you
Feb 24
Beyond Bytes: Why Interpersonal Skills are the New Power Tools for Success
Feb 17
This one question changed how I looked at contingency plans
Feb 10
From $100k -> $75M - this week's fundraising lessons
Jan 27
The next big finance opportunity
Jan 20
This is how long a startup funding round lasts
Jan 09
How I'd market a loan broker business
Jan 02
25+ years of finance experience in less than 5 minutes
Dec 28
How to have a stress-free relationship with money
Dec 17
How to buy a business with little money down
Dec 12
Want to 10x your business? Try the strategy that most people fear.
Dec 05
Why being loan-specific as a loan broker is best
Nov 28
The Power of Micro Markets
Nov 19
Defining success criteria helps remove analysis paralysis
Nov 12
Lessons from acquisitions
Nov 07
My business plan cheat code
Oct 28
Everyone is missing the real point about being overworked
Oct 22
Why you should have a "How to work with me" manual
Oct 18
Selling eggs - my quiet ambition
Oct 13
Breaking Free from 'Meh': The Hidden Impact of a 7 Rating in Life
Sep 24
From Software Engineer to Commercial Loan Broker
Sep 23
A personal message about the importance of your health
Sep 16
Is the SBA 8(a) program going away?
Aug 21
What is a search fund?
Aug 14
My guidelines for speaking engagements
Aug 07
The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Perfect Lender for Your Business
Aug 05
Built to sell - pricing strategies that work
Jul 22
My framework for building impervious value propositions
Jul 12
How to force tradeoff decisions
Jul 09
How I'd Start a Freelance Business Today
Jul 05
The Bookends of Product Management
Jun 28
From the C-suite to Product; How I got here and what you can learn from that
Jun 17
My Digital Detox Experience
Jun 10
AI copywriters wrote this blog post
Jun 03
The SBA Just Made Business Acquisitions Easier
May 27
The power of index investing funds
May 20
The most important skill for entrepreneurs
May 06
I churned out 46,000 words in 90 days using this writing process
Apr 29
⏰ NOW is the time to turn your finance career into entrepreneurship!
Apr 22
How to build your own financial plan in under 1 hour
Apr 15
Define your audience first, then design your product
Apr 08
Getting a business loan just got harder
Mar 25
This one question is jet fuel for productivity
Mar 24
Are the rate hikes over?
Mar 18
This tool removes decision fatigue
Mar 11
The one stat keeping us out of a recession
Mar 05
One key reason raising startup funding is so hard right now
Mar 04
My framework for quickly launching profitable products
Feb 16
What’s the average business loan interest rates?
Feb 13
Everything you need to know about business loan rates
Feb 10
This one tool made me a better entrepreneur
Jan 25
This one-pager is perfect for brainstorming business ideas
Jan 18
Stop making this mistake with your startup’s target market
Jan 11
Powerful tools for researching competitors
Jan 08
User persona template demo
Jan 04
They should take my Marketing degree away
Jan 01
How to confidently charge your worth
Oct 02
Building wealth with Restricted Stock Units (RSUs)
Sep 11
What I’ve learned as a startup analyst for an angel investing syndicate
Jun 24
My favorite economic analysis tools
May 29
Which SBA Loan Has the Lowest Down Payment?
May 01
The Power of a Decision Matrix
Apr 24
Things to consider when buying a business
Apr 17
Buy a Business vs. Start One
Mar 31
How do Micro SBA Loans work?
Mar 03
Common Investor Term Sheet Components
Feb 15
3 Step Process for Generating Business Ideas
Feb 06
Thoughts on <my first Angel Investment>
Jan 11
Lessons from writing over 1,000 words per day
Jan 06
There Are Two Main Types of Business Plans
Dec 09
The Best Pitch Deck Templates