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In Albert Einstein’s world, defining problems is more important than finding solutions.

Startup world is no different.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, let’s define what makes you more investable than the next person. Here goes:

“The potential for being a viable, scalable venture, which delivers a substantial return for investors.”

Daniel Mumby

Importantly, those investors include you. Because in most new ventures, founders are the first investors and have the most skin in the game at the beginning.

The art of being investable

So, who has the most to lose and the most to gain from a new venture in the early stage? Yep, that’s right, you!

Think of building capital not as the mission, but as a part of the strategy for achieving your vision.

What does this mean for you? Get creative. There are 28 separate sources of investment besides venture capital.

And if you do it right, they are all inter-connected in a broader strategy for venture success. You should try to find the right amount, at the right time, from the right source, for the right purpose.

Look at funding as a pipeline, rather than an event. Leverage forward, backward and across your funding strategy rounds.

Forget about your idea, and think about the problem. Do you need a headache tablet or a vitamin pill?

Why do I ask? Well, for every venture you hear about which has been invested in externally, 994 others didn’t get any outside investment.

Think like Einstein

So, what would Einstein have done if he was confronted with this challenge?  Famously, he once said:

“If I had 1 hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and only 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

Albert Einstein

Successful ventures look for compelling answers to real-world problems. They all have an existing audience with a real need.

If you can’t identify the audience and understand their pain before you start, you are probably wasting your time trying to fix anything.

So, set aside some time today to think like Einstein. Practice makes perfect!