The Winning Psychology of Fundraising - How to do Investor Meetings That Convert

Hi friends, today I did a presentation for the Founder Institute's Funding Lab class of 2019.

In this video I go over the winning psychology of fundraising and how to use it to do investor meetings that convert (i.e. how to get investors to say "yes")

If you like this video you can learn more at or start my online program for free at

Let me know what you think!

Much love from Boulder


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Inner Journeying: The Fastest, Cheapest & Most Effective Healing Modality?

I want to quickly write about something I discovered in December 2018 that has become a big part of my life over the last three months.

I’ve been calling them “closed eye-journeys” or “inner healing journeys”. I started doing them after listening to Stanislov Grof describe the practice on Tim Ferriss’ podcast.

To give some history: Researches like Grof were studying the healing properties of various psychoactive substances in the 1950’s

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The End of A Chapter (And Beginning Of A New One): Kindara Acquired by Prima-Temp

A few weeks ago this press release went out and made public the news that Kindara (the company I founded with Kati Bicknell) was acquired acquired by Prima-Temp, another Boulder-based women’s health company.

This marks the end of a big chapter of my life, and I feel a mix of emotions announcing the news.

In 2009, a few months after I met Kati, we started talking about birth control. I asked her about going on the pill but she was having none of it.

She introduced me to fertility charting and the Fertility Awareness Method instead. When I was skeptical, she gave me a (big) book to read.

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Will Sacks
How To Raise Money : Step 1 of 10 - Preparing for an Investor Pitch

Note: i) this post was transcribed from this video, and ii) This post is the first in a series where I go into detail on each of the 10 steps in my 10 step framework for raising investor money for a startup. To read a summary of the entire framework click here

Hey guys, what's up? Today I'm going to talk a bit about fundraising. I'm actually going to go through the 10 step process to raise money for a startup that I used when I was running Kindara.  I used this same method to raise a friends and family round, a bunch of angel rounds, and a venture round. I'm going to go through it super quick because I get a lot of questions about this in my coaching and I just want to lay out a framework that you guys can use to go step by step by step until you have money in the bank. So let's go.

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How To Resolve Co-Founder Conflict

(Note: This post was transcribed and edited from this video)

Hey guys, I want to talk for a few minutes about cofounder friction and what to do if you're in a situation where you started a company with somebody and now it's not feeling sweet and it's not feeling good and there's friction and you don't know what to do.

So I see this a lot with people I work with because a cofounder relationship is a serious, intimate, long-term relationship, just like any other serious, longterm intimate relationship It doesn't always work out. And in fact it usually doesn't work out. Unfortunately working out is the anomaly and it not working out is more like the norm. And that's a big reason why so many startups fail.  So what do you do?

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Ten Steps To Plan This Year (or How To Run a Useful & Enlightening Yearly Review)

Every year around this time you'll find me alone in a cabin in the woods.

The reason is I like to take a day or two, clear space in my calendar, and plan the year ahead.

The goal is to get perspective on where I've been, recenter myself on where I'd like to go, and then use the resulting high-altitude perspective to plan out the route I'll take for this next year.  

I’ve refined this process over the last few years and it's incredibly useful for me.  I'd love for you to try it out and let me know how it goes.  

So here goes: 

What you’ll need: blank white paper, pencil, pen, colored markers or pencils, tape, a stapler, a file folder, your preferred journaling system (either digital or paper), and any notes from previous “Year In Review”s.

Here are the ten steps: ...

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Will Sacks
The Startup Survival Path (or Why Most Startups Die)

A business is either sustainable or it isn’t. For a business to survive it needs to be sustainable. Meaning it needs to make a profit, or easily be able to make a profit by cutting expenses or investments. 

Most startups are not sustainable, and that’s why everyone at them is so stressed, because they can sense impending death. 

This stress causes people at unsustainable companies to do dumb things. Focus on the wrong stuff. Make matters worse. This stress is a big part of why so many startups die.

It’s like you're staying at a cabin in the woods...

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Will Sacks
The Good Gift-Givers Great Gift-Giving Guide (or How To Eliminate Gift-Giving Anxiety)

Welcome to my guide on how to give great gifts! I've received a lot of feedback in my life that I give good gifts, so I thought I'd write down how I do it as a gift to you. I hope you enjoy the 7G! 

(and if you have someone on your list who likes innovative lighting, check out DiscoChristmas)

Preface: The Power of Gifts

Gifts are powerful. Gifts can bring joy, cement relationships, and even change the world.

A great gift is sometimes remembered forever, maybe even cherished lovingly after your death.

A great gift can...

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Will Sacks
How To Make A Lot Of Money (And Feel Good About It)

Today in the shower I mentally crystallized a really simple way to think about making a lot of money. 

First, I was contemplating the fact that money is not inherently valuable of itself. It's just ones and zeros on a screen or dirty paper in your wallet. What money is, is an idea that we use to signify value. And this is key: Value is what's valuable. 

So an easy way to think about creating wealth is to break it into two steps: 

First, create something of value and

Second, get the value you create to a lot of people.

And that's all there is too it. 

It's simple really, and mirrors my favorite Peter Drucker quote "Business is Innovation and Marketing". 

So which is harder? creating value or distributing it to a lot of people. For me, it's...

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Will Sacks
How To Figure Out What To Do With Your Life In 5 Minutes

Wondering what you're supposed to do with your life? Here's a process I came up with to figure it out in less than 5 minutes. Let's do this!

First a few assumptions:

Assumption 1: this process assumes fulfillment is what we're aiming for. Many people confuse achievement with fulfillment, but remember: fulfillment means achieving those things that are inherently meaningful to you, as opposed to chasing after things like money or fame that our culture tells us will 'bring us happiness'.  Blind chasing of achievement is a dead end. Most successful people hit this dead end at some point in life and it's a shocker. Happiness is a journey, not a destination, and fulfillment and meaning are what bring joy to life.

Assumption 2: this process assumes that you want to live a life in integrity with your values. Not society's values, your values. Many people have never taken the time to see the difference.

And Assumption 3: this process assumes that relationships (and the experiences of being in them) comprise one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects of being human.

Ok if you agree with me so far, here's how to figure out what to do with your life in a couple minutes:

Step 1. Define your values. These are the things you want more of in the world.

These can be qualities like connection, or fun, or things that interact with humans like robots, or oratory, or music. As long as they are things you value...

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Updated Calendar of 2017/2018 Regional Burning Man Events

Now that the big burn for 2017 is a pile of ashes, here's a calendar of the major regional events calling for your participation over the next twelve months. Clean the dust off your hot pants and venture forth to keep the vibe alive (p.s. let me know which events I missed and I'll add them).

September 2017

October 2017

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A Poem to Help Your Kids Feel Safe (Their Whole Lives)

This past weekend I held a friend while she cried and shook for 5 hours. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

My friend and I were talking about feeling safe as children. How every child is helpless and therefore needs to feel protected in order to fully develop. How true development, exploration and learning can only happen inside a container of safety.

And then my friend realized that she had never felt safe, seen and cared for. Ever. In her entire life...

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Psst!... How To Make A Great Product

So you want to make a hit product. How do you know if your plan is a good one? How do you maximize your chances of success? 

Releasing a new hit product is the best thing any company can do to grow and attract investment. A hit product can grow revenue and users exponentially with very little (or no) marketing investment and can be the rocket fuel behind a company’s ascent for years (think iPhone). 

And yet very few products succeed at being the rocket boosters they could be. Most new products either produce only incremental gains that don’t justify the time and expense of getting them to market, or actually turn out worse than the current product, or never ship at all. 

Building something users don't want to use is the number one reason start-ups fail. I believe this is entirely avoidable. 

In helping companies improve their products, I’ve developed a framework to understand if a new product is headed for success or failure. This framework is useful when working with product departments and executives to get them to think about product development in what I believe to be the right way...

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Will Sacks
When Bad UX Signals Massive Opportunity

Every once in a while I discover a business that is succeeding despite terrible visual and user experience design.

This is a real anomaly these days, because over the last decade as engineering and manufacturing have become commodities, design has emerged as the key differentiator for breakout products.

Pretty much these days, you need awesome design to win...

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