Angel Investors Network - January 2020

JANUARY 2020

NEWS

A New Year and a

NEW DECADE

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

or many people, the start of a new year, not to mention a new decade, represents a time to plan. They’re setting goals and establishing a framework for the year. There are countless questions to answer and details to hash out.

When I set goals or help others set goals, I look at it backward. I want to start at the finish line and work back to figure out exactly how I’m going to get there. When you figure out where you want to be, you can look at the next important question: How are you going to get there? Think about where you want to be 10 or 20 years down the road. What future do you envision for yourself? How do you want to live? What does your business look like? Are you retired? When you answer these kinds of questions and when you know what you want, it becomes easier to work backward to figure out how to accomplish your vision. Looking at the big picture — 10 to 20 years out — can seem daunting at first, but it can help put things into perspective as you work back and set five-year goals or one-year goals. It can even be helpful for quarterly and monthly goals. One way to help put a 20-year vision into perspective, or to set long-term goals, is to write yourself a letter. Try this thought exercise: Put yourself in your own shoes 20 years from now. Write down the details of your day to day, your career,

your family, and anything else going on in your future life. How do you spend your time? What kind of home do you live in? What kind of people do you surround yourself with? How do people perceive you? How do you perceive yourself ? There are many different questions you can ask, but these are good starting points. It’s about answering the question, where do you want to go next? Presumably, in 20 years, you will have accomplished many of your goals and will be living the life you dreamed of. Write from that perspective. This exercise can help you determine what many of those goals will be. Again, work backward to create the framework. As you establish goals, long-term or short-term, it’s also important to determine your capabilities. Many people think they are capable of handling it all. Realistically, however, when you try to handle it all, it can push you to the brink — and closer to burn out. We all have so much energy, both physical and mental. The better we are at utilizing our energy, the better we’ll be in the long run. Consider these questions: What are you good at? What do you like to do? What are your strengths? Weaknesses? One way to determine your capabilities is to create a love-hate Punnett square. In the top left quadrant, write what you love to do and what you’re fully capable of doing. In the top right, write something you love to do but aren’t capable of doing. In the bottom left, write what you

hate to do but are capable of doing. Finally, in the bottom right quadrant, write down what you hate to do and have no talent for. Let’s say one thing you love to do is painting, but you lack talent for it. You put it in the top right quadrant. You can shape a goal around it and approach it as something you need to work on. Maybe you need to practice, or perhaps you need to find an instructor or coach who can give you pointers as you work on improving. Or maybe you hate developing spreadsheets for your team, and you’re not particularly good at it either. It might be something worth delegating to someone who would put in a “love” quadrant. This is all something to consider as you set goals. This Punnett square can be applied to just about anything, personal and professional.

As we set off into the new year, here’s to setting goals that take us to where we want to go.

–Jeff Barnes

P.S. If one of your goals is to expand your circle of influence, consider joining our Inner Circle. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to successful people who are further along on their journey. It’s one more step you can take to branch out into the wealth atmosphere and make incredible connections!

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ith the start of the New Year, many people are looking ahead to the months (and years) to come and setting goals. But before you can really look forward, it’s important to look back. As you set goals, reflecting on the past quarter, year, five years, or decade, can prove immensely beneficial as you decide what’s next. We don’t always like to sit down and reflect on the past. Many people, especially in the entrepreneurial space, have a forward-thinking mindset. They’re always looking ahead and pushing toward the future. As a result, reflecting on the past can

you embrace those things that didn’t work out and you learn from them, you can move on. And when you move on, you don’t experience that same level of regret, if any regret at all. In reality, we’re well positioned to learn from our past failures and successes. It’s a trait we can use to further our success. When you get down to it, reflection is an important and necessary part of the learning process. It serves as an analysis of where you have been, what you have accomplished, and what you didn’t. As the Harvard Business Review puts it, when you reflect, you give your brain the opportunity to completely process this information. Some of us live such fast-paced lives that we are unable to fully absorb what is really going on around us in any given moment (and if you are able to absorb it all in a fast-paced moment, you certainly have a superpower!). In reflection, you also have the opportunity to interpret events. Everything we accomplish — or don’t accomplish — provides us with information we can use as we plan for the future. After all, if you aren’t learning from your past, you cannot be as successful as you desire in the future.

be challenging. Often, people avoid reflection because they don’t want to reflect on things that didn’t work out — in other words, they want to avoid the feeling of regret. Reflection isn’t about focusing solely on failures; it’s about embracing them and moving on. When

The Importance of Reflecting ON THE PAST YEAR Prior Experience Informs Future Goals

Unlike many members of his family, Yasyf Mohamedali didn’t go to medical school. Even as a teenager, he was far more interested in technology and entrepreneurship. In fact, he launched his first business while in high school, reselling domain names for websites. While attending MIT, Mohamedali found a way to leave his mark on the medical field too. It all started with Joe Kahn, a Harvard student from South Africa, who suffered from an undiagnosed medical condition. This unnamed illness caused the young student to have bouts of high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. Worse still, Kahn was unable to get clear answers from doctors and was often sent from one specialist to the next without so much as a follow-up appointment. Kahn’s struggles navigating the health care system, despite having access to some of the best medical facilities in the United States, made Mohamedali realize just how unique his own access to care had been. Growing up as the son of two physicians in rural Canada, Mohamedali never struggled to get medical advice at a moment’s notice. “Whenever I got sick, I just called a doctor in my family,” he explained in a 2018 interview with the MIT Alumni Association. “I want people like Joe to have that kind of relationship with their care.”

their patients, track their progress, and coordinate treatment with other care providers. Leveraging his experience in the tech field, Mohamedali designed Karuna to integrate digital medical records with patient-preferred means of communication, from SMS to WhatsApp — all without breaching the strict HIPAA privacy regulations. This way, users can make appointments, send automatic reminders for medication refills, and hear from patients at a moment’s notice. Karuna, which means “compassion” in Sanskrit, is poised to bring doctors and patients closer together and keep people from slipping through the cracks in the health care industry. According to Inc.com, the startup has already raised $1.3 million from investors. It looks like Mohamedali is well on his way to making health care more accessible for all.

So, the two university students founded Karuna Health. This online platform helps doctors keep in contact with

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WITH THESE 5 TIPS REFLECT Reflection isn’t just sitting down and thinking about the past 12 months. We’re not all wired to think like that. Some of us are more visual, while others prefer to have a more formal discussion about changes. But more than that, many of us might not know where to start. Here are a few tips to help turn regular reflection into a healthy habit: DOCUMENT YOUR REFLECTION. Write down your thoughts in a journal, a Word document, or even a spreadsheet. The idea is to rely on the tool you are most comfortable using. The right medium for reflection helps bring more thoughts to the forefront of your mind. TALK WITH A FRIEND OR COLLEAGUE. Often, reflecting verbally can put the past quarter or year into greater perspective. Even better, you can turn it into a conversation. This is a great option when you want to segue into talking about future goals. SCHEDULE TIME TO REFLECT. We’re all busy people. It’s rarely practical that we can spontaneously find time to reflect during the week. Committing to a time means you’re more likely to do it. Put it on your calendar — and if you’re talking it out with a colleague, make sure it’s on their calendar, as well! DON’T GO OVERBOARD. Put as much energy into reflecting that makes sense to you. It might be 10 minutes or it might be three hours. If you have a lot to think about or discuss, give yourself the time you need to do it. Or start small and work your way up. OPEN YOURSELF UP TO HELP. Again, many people don’t enjoy taking time to reflect on the past, whether it’s reflecting on yesterday or the past year. It’s not always easy. Asking a colleague or coach for help, for example, can be a great way to get started. They can ask you questions and you can work through the answers. Reflecting never has to be something you do alone.

It’s also interesting to look at the numbers. Harvard researchers found that those who spend time reflecting saw a 23% boost in productivity (for this study, they looked at those who spend 15 minutes reflecting at the end of each day). In a separate Harvard study, researchers also found that people who reflected on their day were happier and experienced less burnout in the workplace. This year and as you look forward, reflect on where you are. Reflect on what brought you to this point. Look at your successes (and missteps) and think about what you can learn. Then, set your sights on the future.

Solution on Pg. 4

JOIN THE ANGEL INVESTORS NETWORK Inner Circle Learn how the wealthiest leverage Angel Investing to generate 10x, 100x, and even 1000x returns on their capital without working an extra minute!

Visit our website for more information: AngelNetwork.com/Inner-Circle

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What’s Inside: 1 2 3 4

Where Do You Want to Go Next?

Look to Your Past to Look Forward Entrepreneur Spotlight: Yasyf Mohamedali

5 Tips You Can Use to Reflect on the Past Year Sudoku

Optimize Your Business With Eric Ries

WITH ERIC RIES’ ‘THE LEAN STARTUP’ Jump-Start Your Business

downloads, and raw page views.” Anyone can generate immediate hype for a product, but it’s another thing to maintain constant engagement and experience growth of consumer interest. With a good MVP and continued improvement of your service or product, your business will see that growth and also retain customers. Ries’ guidance does not end with MVPs and vanity metrics; here are some other key takeaways that will keep you on the lean startup path when it’s most daunting. “Remember if we’re building something that nobody wants, it doesn’t much matter if we’re doing it on time and on budget.” “Customers don’t care how much time something takes to build. They care only if it serves their needs.” In the epilogue, Eric’s intellectual honesty shines; he readily admits that some readers may take his theories as a means to justify their past business actions. But he encourages everyone to use his book instead as a guide for what they will do next in their entrepreneurial journey. “It’s the boring stuff that matters most.”

After reading just a few pages, it’s easy to see why everyone raves about Eric Ries’ invaluable manual “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.” Ries is a fantastic writer, but two aspects of his writing style separate him from the pack of typical business writers and keep you turning pages: He is intellectually honest and cheerful about his business insights. Eric takes a common notion in business — “fail fast, succeed fast” — and breaks it down into a system that works for businesses and keeps consumers happy. “The Lean Startup” recommends the use of a minimum viable product, or MVP, to gauge demand before you embark on major product development. Forbes describes an MVP as “a product with only a basic set of features, enough to capture the attention of early adopters and make your solution unique.” If you jump into building the best product possible before measuring what your consumers actually need, you risk wasting a lot of time. Market research can tell you a lot, but MVPs can tell you

even more. Plus, if your initial rollout is successful, you can respond quickly to consumer feedback and tailor your final product to specific needs. Throughout his book, Ries emphasizes the importance of consumer feedback for the success of your business, but he also warns against putting any real value in vanity metrics, which TechCrunch describes as data points, “like registered users,

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