Investor Connect Podcast

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

In running a startup, it’s important to focus on the essentials of the business.

In your strategy planning, identify the Must-Dos.

The Must-Dos have to get done.

Beware of the Nice-to-Haves.

If you hear yourself saying “wouldn’t it be nice if we did this?”, it most likely will be taking you away from the essentials.

Here’s how to protect your time in the business :

  1. The first rule is to say “no” and often. This frees up time for the Must-Dos.
  2. Watch out for commitments that are recurring such as meetings that happen every week. If you can’t say no completely to a commitment, then bound your commitments.  
  3. Don’t signup with open-ended projects that aren’t well defined. Focus your efforts on the core aspects of the project, such as building the processes and enabling others to carry the project forward.
  4. Skew to the activities that can grow then scale.

Look for activities that directly contribute to the Must-Dos and focus on those.  

Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Let’s go startup something today.

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Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Focus_on_the_Must_Dos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes back Mike Smerklo, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Next Coast Ventures and author of “Mr. Monkey and Me”.

“In Mr. Monkey and Me, Smerklo draws on his broad range of experiences and mistakes as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Using lessons he learned from renowned entrepreneurs, he developed the SHAPE formula — Self, Help, Authenticity, Persistence and Expectations — which gives readers an actionable approach to mental toughness that will help any entrepreneur start, grow and run a successful business. An anti-memoir, Mr. Monkey and Me features practical tools and the “other stuff” you don’t normally learn in classrooms or business books, such as the mental hurdles you have to overcome, the risks you have to take, and the sacrifices and mistakes you’ll make to become a successful entrepreneur.”

Mike is an experienced entrepreneur, investor, and business leader driven by the desire to turn ideas into reality. Having bought and scaled a small business into a publicly-traded company worth nearly a billion dollars in value, he has a deep understanding of the hard work, dedication, and grit that truly powers successful entrepreneurship. Today, as the co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures, Smerklo is a champion for a new generation of entrepreneurs building disruptive companies in big markets. His new book, Mr. Monkey and Me, is a “real talk” guide for entrepreneurs who want to cut through the noise to cultivate a mindset that supports greatness.

You can purchase Mike’s book at

Mike can be contacted via email at, via LinkedIn at, and on his website at

Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Mike_Smerklo_book_review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST