“Help! I’m Losing Money!”

How Abandoning My #1 Rule Cost Me

Angel investing at its best is a really risky business. But risky does not lose money. Bad risks do. I’m losing money because I left my number one rule, my key discipline. Be all in. Over the years, whenever I’ve been involved in a business after I’ve invested, I’ve only lost money one time. Give […]

Why Early Stage Involvement Is Critical for Success

What I Have Learned in 24 Years of Angel Investing

“What do you see as the responsibilities of a Chief Operating Officer?” he asked. “A COO’s mission is to execute on the company’s strategy,” I replied. This was a high-level question. I gave a high-level answer. We then slowly moved our discussion to some useful advice. The kind he could act on when he got […]

An Entrepreneur’s Success Depends on the Quality of Their Questions

What I Learned From My First Months as a Paid Coach

When I decided to get into coaching entrepreneurs, I had some high-minded ideas on how I wanted to help. I learned that what I think they need and what they need are two different things. I thought they needed holistic advice on business, family, and faith. After all, it is clear to me these three […]

How I Became an Angel Investor

And How I Learned the Hard Lesson That Typical Angel Investing Is Not for Me

In May of 1992, I left a startup on less than good terms. After leaving the corporate world, I was aching to get back into startups. I found one and jumped in as their chief operating officer and president. They had great intellectual property but couldn’t figure out how to monetize it. I had a […]

First Steps to Angel Investing

And the Thrill of Being All In

“I’m thinking this investing in startups is exciting,” said my good friend. Ted is a senior executive for an F100 company. As we were talking at a Christmas party, he told me he’ll be retiring next year at 58 years old. To me he looks 40. Great Leader, Great Angel I consider him a great […]

4 Questions That Reveal What’s Important To You

What kind of entrepreneur are you?

“The first thing I do with someone who asks me to mentor them is ask four questions,” said Alan Urech, one of the most dedicated and experienced mentors in the Atlanta startup community. Learning from Alan I was just leaving the Grace@Work Bible Study that met in the Atlanta Tech Village Speakeasy room off the […]

The Barometer of True Entrepreneurial Success

What Is Your Formula for Fun?

“I’m working as hard as I’ve ever worked, and it’s just not fun,” said Nick, a new entrepreneur. “Why not?” I asked. Applying Massive Effort “I put in a massive effort, and progress is measured incrementally. I want it all to go faster. I want to get the product done. Then I can sell it, […]

10 Critical Lessons Before Writing the Check

Blake Patton’s Insights for Early Stage Investors

I am a fan of Blake Patton. I respect him as a husband, father, community leader and friend. He is also this year’s local keynote speaker for the October 6th Atlanta High Tech Prayer Breakfast. Blake started Tech Square Ventures three years ago. In this short time he has: Raised Tech Square’s initial fund Tapped […]

3 Things a Clear Entrepreneurial Vision Accomplishes

“We are suffering from advisor whiplash,” Fred said. “What are you talking about?” I asked. “We are aiming to raise money for our startup. We’ve been fortunate to meet with lots of really qualified angels and advisors. The problem is everybody has an opinion on how much we should raise and on what terms. Net […]

How an Article in Fortune Changed My Life

On a business trip in 1986, I was flipping through Fortune magazine, and I came across an article about Ronald Perelman. Here’s how the article began. REVLON CHAIRMAN Ronald Owen Perelman has a penchant for contrasts: a tangy personal life and the practice of Judaism, fancy restaurants and junk food, earsplitting rock music aboard his […]