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Title:#237: PIVOT! How One Trade Show Company Ended 2020 With More Cash Than They Started

Every entrepreneur’s journey is different. Our companies are different. Our experiences are different. Not every entrepreneur ends up running a unicorn. After all, that is why they are called unicorns in the first place. They’re mythical. They’re magical. And for most people, they’re unattainable.On today’s show, Sandra Shpilberg and I talk about alternative funding to venture capital, as well as a host of great examples of how to make your niche work for you to achieve the entrepreneurial dream—all while making a compelling argument for entrepreneurs to foster a beginner’s mindset at all stages of your career. Tune in for a lesson in unconventional funding and the impact being intentional about how you raise funds has on the long-term.Sandra is a great example of what it means to be intentional when you start a business, run a business, and sell your business. She knows how to stay focused, grow a company that aligns with her true vision, and sell a valuable and intentional business. What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast InterviewThree questions VC firms ask let Sandra (which let her know they will not be a good fit)How success came from differentiating her business in the market and going after niches her competitors deemed too dangerousWhat pushed her from a service to a software business and her unique take on the SaaS marketSandra’s reasons for following recurring revenue rather than VC fundingThe success she found doing a deep dive into her niche.What the beginner’s mindset is, from Sandra’s book New Startup MindsetWhy the beginner’s mindset is better than an expert mindsetThe impact of overconfidence is underestimated and the importance of staying humbleHow an executive coach helped Sandra think through the impact of two out-of-the-blue offers and what she wanted her exit to look like.Customers can be more like partners as you grow and the benefits of that relationshipSandra’s lack of seller’s remorse, despite selling early, especially in light of the pandemicThe VC formula and the rarity of seeing the success it sells you. Are You Growing The Value of Your BusinessTake The 2-Minute Assessment To Get Your Intentional Growth Score™ And 1-Page Vision Board.Are your company's current initiatives intentionally designed to increase the value of the business?Do you know what you want from your business long term and why?Do you know what your company is worth?Do you know the differences between Management, Family Transitions, PE Firms, ESOPs and Strategic Buyers?Does the business have a written strategic plan on how to achieve the desired normalized EBITDA and valuation? About the Guest:Sandra Shpilberg is the cofounder and CEO of a KOL discovery and management platform called Adnexi. Their mission is to accelerate drug development in order to benefit patients. This is her second startup after selling her first startup. In addition to being an entrepreneur, she is also the author of the bestselling and award-winning book New Startup Mindset: 10 Mindset Shifts to Build the Company of Your Dreams. Quotes:05:57 - “It began as a service. Then very quickly I realized that was just the beginning of the product-market fit for this particular need and there was more that our company could and needed to provide.” – Sandra Shpilberg11:40 -“My customers are paying for a product that works.” – Sandra Shpilberg13:25 - “Here’s a white man, he had to go to 70 meetings to get two. How many meetings do I have to go to?” “Instead of going to 140 meetings with venture capitalists, I’d rather go to 140 customer meetings because those customers are likely to buy my product and pay me to use it.” – Sandra Shpilberg16:40 - “What is it that I’m trying to do here and why am I doing it? It became easier when I was intentional about what I wanted to do to that I


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