Heather WildeCTO, Coach, Geek & Principaled Capitalist
Bio

Female Entrepreneur. Startup Veteran. Early @ Evernote & Spirit Airlines. CTO @ ROCeteer. Coach @ VegasTechFund & Seikouri. Mentor @ Womens Startup Lab & Food-X. Wants to Increase Diversity in STEM.



Recent Answers


I do happen to be an influencer / thought leader in my particular niche - with the network of colleagues and experience behind me that allows me to get meetings set - and I don't have many people reading my Posts on Medium.

My network, for the most part, doesn't read Medium -but I post there anyway just because it is another outlet for new people to find me on.

If you want people to take you seriously, you need to act the part.

I was recently at a very famous comedian's show, where he was testing new material. He was in a small room, not in the location he normally plays, and it was unannounced. Not everything was a hit (some was very funny), and he had a tape recorder to play it back later so he could further tweak.

As a professional, play to the smaller room when you don't have the spotlight so you can tweak your pitch and build that confidence. Then, when you call people, they will answer.



Be honest with her.

Tell her your concerns now, and ask that she give you the same courtesy.

The unique skills that you each bring to the table and the passion you both have is what can make the business successful - but only if you can communicate.

If you aren't willing to commit 100% right now, then tell her what you are willing to give - I'm sure she'll appreciate whatever you can give her, including your support.


There are different types of personality types, and when you are trying to sell to people, you need to know which you are dealing with before you start talking.

It is the old Sales trick - when getting hired as a Salesman at major firms, the interview was simple:

"Sell me this pen."

Anyone who started in on the benefits and features of the pen was shown the door immediately.

The people who got it were the ones who would first ask questions about how the other person wrote, what their ideal scenario is for writing, and let them describe things in detail. Then, they'd use that language to paint a picture of the pen.

Talk to your potential customers. Find out what 5 star vacations mean to them. What do they want, what don't they like. Then, use their words back to them, in their tone, making it sound as if their dreams are coming true in the package you have.

You'll get sales.

I'm happy to discuss further.


Ask yourself:

What do I want from a co-founder?

If your answer is:

Someone to take my idea and turn it into a product, that isn't a cofounder, that is a contractor.

You will be better served learning those skills yourself. If you aren't willing to put the time and effort in to develop your idea, no one else will be either.


This is simple:

If you don't have any money to attend events, then you tell your friend you can't come because you can't afford to come. If you are honest with your friends about your monetary situation, you may find that they enjoy having your company around and may pay for You to come with them sometimes, or instead will be considerate and find free things to do (hiking, free Concerts, etc.)

You should find something to do to get away from work at least once a week to balance your life out.


The main thing to do when looking for a co-founder is to stop looking for a co-founder.

Seriously.

Think about "what skills am I lacking to complete this business on my own."

Then, look for local groups that can help you to get that, whether it be a "boot camp" for coding, Some marketing seminars, something.

Your next step is to actually go out and do that thing.
While doing it, talk to people. Make friends.

Eventually (not right away), you will find someone you really click with, and you will talk to them about your idea, and they will be so fired up they will join you.


There are a few key traits that people look for in a manager, and the reason an employer asks for experience is to try to ensure that the candidate has honed them.

Those are:

"Big picture" thinking - you need to be able to detach yourself from the details and see the overall aim of your project. Someone with this skill will be more likely to understand when seemingly wacky decisions are made by corporate.

Resourcefulness - Budget cuts? Employees got the plague when you have a deadline? Thats not a problem for an experienced manager.

Overcoming objections - Everyone giving you excuses? Dragging out contracts? You can sail through this one with ease with the proper training.

Resource allocation - Are you putting the right assets in the right places? Are you hiring the right people? Are you giving preferred treatment? The more Experienced you are, the less Likely you will fall into this trap.

I am happy to go over your work history, resume and any experience you have had to help you find a way to overcome their objections - I am a CTO with a Liberal Arts degree, so I am a master at this.


That entirely depends on what feels right to you.

If you are going the shares route, I like this model, as it is fairly intuitive:

http://foundrs.com/

You of course need to have a valuation for your company in order to determine the amount of outstanding shares though, and you can do that in multiple ways, but this may help:

http://venturehacks.com/articles/seed-valuation

But realistically, you need to do what feels right to you.

I'm happy to discuss with you further.


You really need to ensure that you are starting a business for the right reason, as the life of en entrepreneur is difficult and not for everyone. (See my recent article here:

https://medium.com/@heathriel/everything-i-need-to-know-about-startups-i-learned-from-quantum-leap-ae2996b66210?source=featured

If you are absolutely 100% sure that you can do this and you have your family's support as well, then what you need to do is do a Venn diagram of what skills you have to offer, where your interests lie, and what customers in your area are willing to pay for.

With a year's worth of cash in the bank to support yourself (and, presumably your family) you are likely looking at consulting services to start rather than a full scale manufacturing/product operation.

If you do have an idea for a product to be created, you can go to a place like SCORE who can help you with your business plan and maneuvering through the SBA site. There are loans available to small businesses with 25 year terms currently from the government, if you are collateralized (which at your age, you are in a better position than someone just out of college.)

If, however, you want a job, then use your age as an asset rather than a detriment. I have worked with many people much older than 50 in tech companies that were hired at that age and we were lucky to have them.

Perhaps your resume needs tweaking, or perhaps the problem is you are applying for jobs in the first place rather than networking and showing peoe they can't possibly survive without you.

Either path requires effort, and I'm sure you are up to the task.


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