Your goals for the funds. -- While considering a raise, be absolutely clear about why you need the money. You should be able to articulate exactly where you are now, where you want to go and how the money will help you get there. Be as detailed as possible with your "use of proceeds" and weave the financial resources into your roadmap and strategy. You must be able to share this same story to investors and substantiate it.

Andrew Thomas

Becoming short with my team -- While facing a big deadline that was going sideways, I allowed the stress of the moment to overcome my sense of positivity and patience. As leaders, we need to stay sharp and grounded during good times and bad. I realized that my communication became cold and to the point, and I stopped leading with gratitude. A quick apology and affirmation of respect and mutual purpose got us back on track.

Andrew Thomas

Article: From Surviving to Thriving: 4 Ways to Overcome the Mental Toll of Startup Life

There is a side to startup life that we don't like talking about. It's not as glamorous as funding announcements or product releases, yet can mean the difference between success and failure. As a founder of SkyBell -- a home security company developing a Wi-Fi video doorbell you answer from a smartphone -- I've completed partnerships, helped raise millions in funding and shipped our product to … Read More

Sending a thank-you note is always a great idea to thank a customer. You can make it even more powerful by including a brief sentence or two about why you appreciate them beyond just being a customer. Be sincere and your customer will savor your honest appreciation and praise.

Andrew Thomas

Mention: 11 Mistakes to Avoid as a New Boss

Not communicating clearly. Susceptible to the demand of wearing many hats while starting up, I gave incomplete instructions to team members regarding their tasks and roles. I assumed they knew all the details in my head -- yet I did not share these with them. I've fixed this by taking more time to explain the task or role and what success looks like. I've also created a safe space for them to ask … Read More

Andrew Thomas

Prevent distractions. -- Many hours each day are consumed by distractions that are not always pertinent to your daily objectives. The best solution for this problem is prevention. A good first step is to create a routine for each day and resist any temptation to deviate. Next, restrict answering emails to a defined blocks of time and do not take phone calls from people you don't know. Maintaining your boundaries is critical.

Andrew Thomas

Article: Raising Money? Don’t Make These 7 Mistakes

Ready to raise? Excellent. Fundraising for your startup is equal parts thrilling and challenging. Your approach to fundraising will have a huge impact on your success and, more importantly, your ability to attract the right investor. One way to prepare for your pitch is to learn the common mistakes that founders make while raising early rounds of capital -- and how to avoid them. I learned t … Read More

Show progress on your milestones. -- A major reason for an update is to show where you are in executing your vision and achieving the milestones necessary to reach your goals. Remind investors of what the initial milestones and goals were, and then share how you reached them — or why you did not. You can also use that time to share new updates and perhaps new avenues to change your strategy. Show your investors that you are always focused on carrying out your strategy by giving them a transparent look at your progress against your goals.

Andrew Thomas

Show progress on your milestones. -- A major reason for an update is to show where you are in executing your vision and achieving the milestones necessary to reach your goals. Remind investors of what the initial milestones and goals were, and then share how you reached them — or why you did not. You can also use that time to share new updates and perhaps new avenues to change your strategy. Show your investors that you are always focused on carrying out your strategy by giving them a transparent look at your progress against your goals.

Andrew Thomas

How to Meditate. -- In 10 short minutes you could easily learn a meditation practice that you can take with you the rest of your life. Meditation helps calm your mind, ease stress and bring clarity to your everyday life. My productivity increases whenever I meditate consistently and noticeably declines when I fall out of my routine. Watch a YouTube video or read a quick blog post on how to meditate. It’s easy.

Andrew Thomas