Have you ever felt like shouting, “Show Me the MONEY!!!” to someone? I mean really got in that place, like Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in the movie Jerry McGuire where he is dancing up a storm, laughing, and shouting at Jerry to “show me the money”?
What’s holding you back from asking for the money you need – for your business, for a cause you believe in, for others to sponsor an event or buy Girl Scout cookies from your daughter or niece?
Asking for money can cause an emotional response in many of us. Money is funny. It conjures up all kinds of judgments we make about ourselves – and our worth.
The truth is there is a secret code, like a secret handshake, for asking for money. It all begins with confidence and the belief in yourself and what you are asking for the money for.
Too many times I hear people say that they can’t figure out where the secret door is to the venture capitalists for their business or that if they found it, they can’t seem to speak the right language to stay in the conversation and engage those they have had the privilege to meet.
Asking for money comes down to a few things.
- What are you asking for the money for? Are you clear about that? You are going to need to articulate this specifically, so make sure you are clear about it yourself.
- Why are you asking for it? Is this a passion project? Are you looking for investors as equity partners, people with whom you will share your business? Are you looking for investors to give you the money to bridge you and your business while you build it and then you will pay them back? When? Are you getting a mortgage for your first home? How many people will you be able to help, serve or solve their issue, such as feeding people or providing access to clean water, if someone gives you the funding? Why is it so important to you to get the money?
- When you get it, what will you apply it to? Be prepared to specify what you are going to do with the money – and why.
- How do you feel, think about and manage money? This is pivotal. Fear is not an ally in these types of conversations. Confidence, competence and courage are. Be prepared to discuss fiscal management of the money you ask for. It’s essential that you know what you want to do with it, how you feel about it, and the words you use to talk about it that matter.
So when you are preparing to have your “Show Me the Money!” conversation with someone, practice makes perfect! Interview yourself about how you feel, think and interact with money. Get clear about why you want someone to invest in you and whatever you are asking for the money for. Most of all, check your emotions at the door. And I mean check in on them! Be honest with yourself about how you feel. More than that, check in on how you feel about whether you’re worth it or not. The truth is, you are whatever you believe you’re worth. And trust me, you’re worth it!
So Speak Up!
Be sure to attend the Speak Up Women Conference at the United Nations on March 5th which features a Speak Up for Financing Panel with rockstar women experts from the world of financing who can address your specific questions about financing and how to speak up for money.