ICYMI: The What, Why, and How of Building a Billion Dollar Business
We talked about:
- What “big” means
- Why it matters
- How you actually do it
- And —**BONUS** — the 2 secrets that make all the difference
Here’s the FULL SLIDE DECK with a bulleted summary below.
The only thing missing are my awesome jokes (LOLZ) and the great audience questions.
You have to be in-person for those! 😂
GO BIG: The What, Why, and How of Building a Billion Dollar Business
The Ah-Ha → Think Bigger!
- Where are all the women (in VC and large startups)??
- Many social, external things holding women back
- Within our control? More women thinking big!
- Look in the mirror → I need to think bigger too.
- BHAG set: 10 female-founded unicorns in the Southeast in the next 10 years
The What → Unicorns
- $1B valuation
- $100M ARR
- ~10 years to build
- 500-1000 employees
- 10% employee option pool
- 10% - 75% owned by the founder (depending on funding rounds)
The Why → Huge Impact
- $100M to employees
- $100M - $750M to you (founder)
- Help thousands/millions of customers
- Make the world better
- Be an example, open doors for others
- Generational wealth, philanthropy, investor
The SECRET → Bigger Is Not Harder
- It’s hard to build a small company too. (Ask any entrepreneur!)
- Building a big company is not 10-1000x harder.
- But the impact is 10-1000x bigger.
P.S. Women do tons of hard stuff all the time!
The HOW → Big Market, Start Small
- Small but growing. Think billions + trillions!
- Software has great margins + scale.
- Competition is good.
- Small slice of a big pie.
- Be in the path to revenue.
2. Start SMALL
- Read “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzgerald
- DO NOT build tech to start!!!!!!
- Follow the money.
- Look for authentic demand.
- Social post (Greenzie)
- Waitlist sign up (Atlanta Ventures Studio)
- Community of target users (Salesloft)
- Manually solve it (Carpool Logistics, AdPipe)
- Consulting (Unboxt, Zinnia)
- Customers pay upfront
Spoiler Alert: You can learn tech or find a co-founder! Many tech founders and CEOs are not engineers.
THE HOW → 10 Tips To Raise Money
- WATCH: The real reason female entrepreneurs get less funding (Dana Kanze)
- Talk about The Money
- Show **real** customer traction (not pipeline or hypotheticals)
- Know your metrics & industry metrics
- Go to Pitch Practice → pitchpractice.co
- Prep for Q&A
- Pitch your worst first
- Lines not dots
- Who has $$ that cares about this problem?
- HAVE YOUR CUSTOMERS PAY YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE HOW → Unicorn Founder Traits
- Learning - grow as your company grows
- Selling - sell to customers, investors, employees, future employees. You cannot outsource this! But you can learn it.
- Resilience - successful founders leave high paying jobs (and don’t go back 😜)
- Authenticity - do it in your own style, lean into your strengths
- BIG MARKETS! - great people who pick small ideas don’t build unicorns
THE (other) SECRET → Everyone Has Doubts
They seem wildly confident but even the most successful founders have doubts.
- “I got lucky.”
- “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
- “We’re making it up as we go.”
- “I hate public speaking.”
They do it anyway.
So can you!
What other advice do you have for building big???
If you attended, what was your favorite takeaway? Any that I didn’t mention in the recap?