Home > Summer 2015 > Would You Rather Be Right Or Successful?

Would You Rather Be Right Or Successful?

High Gold Debra Seed owns a company called Travel Acquaintances. She was able to get on the show and pitch the five venture capitalists on CBC’s Dragon’s Den for a $125,000 investment. But things went off the rail quickly.

Seed’s company matches single, like-minded travelers for discount vacations on-line. Seed made it about half way through her initial pitch before she appeared to become rattled and losing her memorized lines. It’s hard for a Gold to want to do the perfect presentation, never mind being extremely nervous. But Seed should have read the newsletter on how to present, because she was immediately interrupted by one of the investors.

Number one problem for Golds is being interrupted (if looks could kill…), the second problem was hiding her disgust when the investor asked “do you guarantee action?” Excuse me? Barely hiding her disgust, she replied that it was a “friends-type” trip without strings attached. Again, the question of “action” came up. But her black and white mindset claimed the investors were looking at it the “wrong” way. Wrong? I thought this pitch was to grow the business? But the investors kept up their feedback that customers “want action, they want strings attached!”

The big problem was that Seed has invested $250,000 already, with only $10,000 in sales over the past two years. Unfortunately, more than half of it was actually spent on advertising! After that, rapid fire questions started that are hard for most Golds to deal with: We want you to make money! When? How? And so on… Seed replied that she wanted to change her business plan. But the investors replied it had taken her $250k and TWO years! Yes, the “perfect” plan, once decided on and written down, is hard for Golds to abandon, and change is a difficult issue for most, including Seed.

The additional investment was, in large part, to hire a marketing consultant. What? Note to Seeds: Find a high octane Orange, give them 25% of the company, and let them loose without interference, the perfect plan, a lot of restrictions, or wanting to be right more than happy. It’s NOT about hiring a company – it’s about a partner with the marketing and networking skills that wants to win and succeed and has some skin in the game!

All five investors declined to get involved, and Seeds seemed ready to pass out. Unfortunately, off camera, her feedback was that all of them were rude, inconsiderate, and should apologize. How sad she missed the point in so many ways.

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