So you landed Venture Capital money for your start-up? Congratulations! That’s a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Now comes the next hard part. How do you spend all of that money?
Once it hits the bank account, as a start-up CEO, you need to start thinking like a VC. So here are a few suggestions about how to start spending those hot, steaming piles of cash:
- Buy champagne: If you’ve ever gone out on the town with a VC, you know that they can’t resist the bubbly. When you land their money, you need to start walking the walk if you’re going to talk the talk. You’ll need to learn about different brands of champagne so that you fit in among the suits. Drive to the nearest liquor store and ask for the top shelf brands of champagne. If you’ve raised several million in VC funding, ask for ‘Nebuchadnezzar of Armand de Brignac‘. Then take the champagne back to your new office, pop them all at once, and spray them at your colleagues. Don’t drink them: you’ll get enough of a taste with the drippings down your face.
- Take Uber to work: Once you land VC money, you’ll need to start showing up to work like you’re a Board member. So start using the black town car service from Uber. Even if you have your own car, leave it at home parked safely in your driveway. Download the Uber app, and request a town car each day to pick you up and take you to work. Each day when you arrive, wait for the driver to open your door. Step out of the car, and raise your arms to the sky in your best sun salutation. You have arrived.
- Catered lunches: If you ever had lunch with a VC, you know that they never pay for their own meal. So why should you? This is an assumed part of using cash in a start-up: catered lunches! Make a list of all of the restaurants that you wish you could afford, and find out if they offer catered lunch. Use a delivery service to ensure that the food arrives hot each day (tip well). Be sure to order about twice as much food as you actually will eat — you need to get used to seeing lots of extra food sit around the conference room after lunch is over. And if you’re working late, just order again. It’s all part of how they want you to use the VC money.
- Invest in Gold: Here’s some advice that I wish I had listened to when I landed VC money: invest in gold. Even after all of the bottles of champagne, daily town cars, and catered lunches, you’re going to have lots of leftover cash. You want to make sure that your cash is growing as you start your company. Invest in gold and the money will grow. Gold is now a sure-fire investment vehicle for start-up cash and you can’t go wrong. Don’t worry about diversification! You’re in a startup: if the investors didn’t already know that you are a risk-taker, they will now.
SWAMI SAYS: When you land VC money, you have about 18 months to spend all of the money before the investors re-up anyway. Don’t shy away from spending it like a VC. You’ve earned the right to act like you’ve already made it.