An important part of building large scalable startups is securing investment money. The cash infusion is important because it allows you to grow much faster than you would normally be able to grow. In winner-take-all markets, this can be the difference between success and failure.
Securing investment isn’t just for startups.
When you get hired for a job, it essentially means that your job is making an investment in you. Your boss has decided to place a certain amount of money in your direction, with the expectation that the cash investment will pay off in the future.
You could make a loose analogy with relationships also. They say time is money right? Time can often be more valuable than money, since you can never get time back. When someone decided to spend time with you, they are investing their time with you. The expectation is that the time is well spent, and that there is some type of reward/benefit for them. Relationships don’t always work this way, but I would argue that a great two-way relationship does: both people invest their time in each other, and both people help each other grow.
Securing outside investment can be a scary thing. It isn’t your decision. Someone else makes the decision to invest in you.
In order for someone to invest in you, you much either (1) be a good investment, or (2) seem like a good investment.
Both strategies will work, except that (1) will produce long-term benefits for the investor, and (2) will most likely will never produce any type of benefit. What follows seems clear. You should shoot to be (1). Be a good investment. With (2), you are just duping people, and it will never work out for you in the long run.
How do you become a good investment?
You can hope for friends and family to invest because they care about you, but at the beginning, the only person to who can definitely invest in you is YOU. You may not have money, but you have your own time. And, with that time, you can choose where you place your attention, what you learn, and what you do.
When you have developed yourself enough (emotionally, physically, mentally, tactically, etc.), you will simply BE a good investment. And when you are a good investment, you just be yourself, tell the truth, and it should’t be hard to get outside investment.
What are you after? VC money? The job? That awesome girl or guy?
Become a good investment, and you will get what you deserve.