In this episode, we talk about why putting all your dreams in someone else's hands could be a disservice for yourself.
What do we need you for? This is a question that you might hear from investors or from people that seemingly have power over you, and seemingly have power over your dreams, right? They're like the enablers of your dreams. And if you don't have something proprietary to show them or something proprietary for yourself in terms of your character, your trace, your abilities, you might hear this question where what do we need you for? And this question is a little condescending and sometimes I don't know, it could even be a little racist.
The reason I bring this up is I actually heard two different people mentioned this type of story. So the first person I actually got off the phone with him pretty recently is this young gentleman, he is working on a cannabis startup and through this program called Social Equity, from what he was explaining where for a lot of people that were incarcerated due to marihuana, they're trying to make it right because now that marijuana is legalizing, they want to make it right for people who have served time for marihuana and what they're doing is for those people there actually offering out marijuana licenses or cannabis licenses to be able to distribute and sell marihuana.
So he is one of these few people that are eligible for this license and because he is eligible for this license, he has a lot of investors coming to him that are interested in this asset that he has, and these investors, what they're telling him is they actually don't want him in the day to day business or anything like that. They will just pay him a salary to essentially just shut up and do nothing, but he doesn't want to do this, right? Because this guy, he is a visionary, He has a vision, he has his asset and he actually wants to develop it. He just doesn't want to take money.
So this is how investors think, right? They want to exploit, they want to extract. But this young man, he is a visionary. He wants to... he has a much better future envisioned for himself where he doesn't just have to sit back and take money. Yes, he wants to do things right. And when he wants to do things and he's getting approached by these investors and he's telling them how he wants to be involved with. The investors are saying "Well, what do we need you for?" Because the investors believe that they have all the advantages they have the capital to get started. They have all these different things. I mean, all they really need is this asset and what they're actually doing is they're threatening this person for this asset saying "If you don't play nice, we will take it from you".
And this actually reminds me of this comedy special I saw on Youtube with Dave Chappelle. How Dave Chappelle was sharing his story on what really happened behind his deal with Comedy Central. So the whole thing is his show, Dave Chappelle's show. The Chappelle Show on Comedy Central was a huge hit. Like I remember me and my friends, we would redo those jokes, you know, we still redo those jokes, so it was like a huge hit, and everyone pretty much thought that Dave Chappelle walked away with millions and millions of dollars. But the thing is that's not the truth at all.
The truth is, Dave Chappelle signed a contract that put him in a very raw deal, and the reason he signed this contract is that this very show, The Chappelle Show is being streamed on, well it was being streamed on Netflix, but it was being streamed on HBO and all these other channels. And Chappelle was infuriated because he pitched this very show to HBO. And HBO said no, they liked the idea, but they were like, we can just replace anyone with Dave Chappelle, what do we need you for? And Dave Chappelle kind of goes to the story on how there's been a lot of monsters in the industry that will just take things from you.
So his first example or first experience where someone just took something from him was when someone stole a joke from him. They started out borrowing and then they just took it from him and then now with this whole Comedy Central thing, Dave Chappelle, I mean he made a lot of money for a lot of people, but he didn't get to take any of this money for himself and he feels that they just took it from him, right?
So he's pissed off because one, they were unable to see the value in him. I mean, Dave Chappelle literally is a prodigy. He's been doing this since 14 years old. He's a community genius and he walked away from that deal hurting, right? And the whole thing is they took it from him and now this young man that I just spoke to, he's facing the same dilemma where these people are like, what do we need you for? And then because he won't play by their rules, they want to just take it from him.
I think the point of this is when you try to put all your dreams, hopes, and aspirations into someone else's hands, you are doing yourself a disservice, you're probably going to put yourself in a situation where you think you're getting a good deal and you start giving up equity and then you realize that you're not getting a good deal at all.
And for other people, there's this concept and it's actually a concept that happens from the music industry a lot is where they will shelve artists, right? So in terms of shelving artists, what happens is record labels, they will actually hand out record deals to everyone; that was kind of like a hidden secret back in the day. They will actually hand out record deals to everyone and what they'll do is in the contract, they actually won't support this artist. And because the artist will get frustrated and they want to get their music out, they'll start doing all the work and stuff themselves anyway, without any of the label support.
And this is good for the label because the label owns the rights to all the content and the name for this artist. So, the more of this artist wants to be heard, wants to get his or her music exposed, the better off the labels are. So labels will just sign deals with everyone and then they will shelve them hoping that these artists will actually try to do things on their own so they can get the lion's share from that thing.
This thing happens all over the place. It's not just in the record industry, it's also in the VC industry, and when you're putting all your faith in other people and you're starting to give away control of your vision, your equity, this is where you're starting to hurt your company. It's so much better instead of chasing the big money and chasing the speed, which has a low probability of success anyway, it's so much better if you just empower yourself and start working on your start-up on your own terms. And if you follow that GPDS framework, this is how you can actually skip investor funding.
And if you don't know about the GPDS framework. If you go to theverticalmethod.com. So this is about the vertical method, right? You have to go to theverticalmethod. So, theverticalmethod.com, it's a 65-minute audio course, which will go into how you can skip ambassador funding by going vertical. And I think this is a game-changing course for a lot of people. Because now, instead of the focus being on business plans and pitch stacks, the focus is actually on creating value for the founder's audience. This is Robin Copernicus. Boom bam. I'm out.
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