Getting a lot of time to read has been the best gift from 2020 to me :) And here I am with another book summary for you. This is a special one for people aiming to become an Investor or a VC in Life.

Arlan Hamilton is the Founder and Managing partner of Backstage Capital.

Her story started from sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco airport, with nothing but an old laptop and a dream of breaking into the venture capital business - investing in 100 companies led by underrepresented founders by 2020.

And she achieved her dream in May, 2018 :) – much earlier than she thought.

Hamilton had no contacts or network in Silicon Valley, no background in finance - no college degree. What she had was fierce determination and the will to succeed.

Arlan Hamilton says:

"People tell you Money Attracts Money.
What do you do if you have No Money?
- Get the Information.
A privileged background, an influential network, & a fancy college degree are not prerequisites for success. The Best Music Comes from the Worst Breakups."  

12 LESSONS for all the ambitious startup people from Arlan Hamilton's book:

1. Get information

Google and all information resources are your friend. You need to have information to be confident when  you're in a room with the smartest people in the world. It's mostly free to most of us. You just need an internet connection.

2. Write your own headlines

Arlan writes her own headlines.  

"I type out my headlines years and months ahead of what I want to do." - Arlan.

She wrote years back, 'Arlan Hamilton's fund invests in 100 companies led by underrepresented founders by 2020'.

I have been doing the same for HelloMeets :)

3.  Be curious about people, product, and competition.

You don't need to stalk and worry, but understand everything. It all comes back to information. Look at the people who interview billionaires, they always get this answer from them, "I read everyday".

"Every single day of my life, I RESEARCH so I know a little more than yesterday" - Arlan.

4. Don't deny the world your voice.

Arlan had stage fright until she was 36. And she overcame it to make her dreams come true.

Note you aren't alone: 50% of the population is supposed to have stage fright or some form of it.

On this I could again relate to Arlan.

I couldn't even speak to a group of people off stage in 2011.  I overcame my fear of speaking by throwing myself into participating in a debate when I was 20. It was the first debate of my life & I came first & there was no looking back.

If I hadn't overcome stage fright then I wouldn't have been doing HelloMeets today.

You are not alone, in case you need to hear from me How I did it, you can read my story of overcoming the fear of speaking & now building HelloMeets here:

Overcoming Fear of Speaking & now Building HelloMeets
We all have a few fears in life and they aren’t by birth. We develop them along the way, depending on different things — City we are living in, our friends, family, things we have done and not done…

5.   Have a strong stance, a strong opinion about several things.

Not for the sake of standing out or making noise, but for the sake of listening to your inner dialog.

6.   Be Yourself so that people looking for you can find you.

7.   Think about a larger benefit of your success

"If I don't succeed, it's okay. But if I succeed, other people are going to benefit from me." - Arlan.

This keeps away all the noise from your life when you are going after something important.

8.  No one is "self made" in life.

There are so many who help you. Your success is a collaboration.

9.   There is no perfect time for anything.

Start a blog, Instagram whatever you want, TODAY.

"I was talking to Mark Cuban about timing for startups. Yes, in startups case timing matters. But that's not how I look at it. Don't compare your story with others.

People read about @Airbnb starting in 2008 with cereal boxes and try and follow a perfect timing. If you today, see a list of 10 startup ideas that will do good after COVID, it's already too late.

I look at people. Everyone has a different story. I am 39 now. Overall I took 39 years to make Backstage Capital happen." - Arlan.  

Look at what you love doing, stay at it & your timing will hit. Don't worry about funding. Bootstrap in that case.

10.   On hearing NO from others

NO to me is numbers game to getting a YES when you ask the next person or same person over and over again.

11.   Some of  the headlines you write for yourself won't get fulfilled.

But what you will get is going to be better than what you wanted.

12. Vision and Execution go hand-in-hand  

"You will never see me envisioning anything without execution and executing something without envisioning." - Arlan.

They go hand in hand. By themselves they are just hopes or work without purpose.

I will be sharing more book summaries with you. Here is the last summary I wrote on Ogilvy on Advertising.