In 2014, I was invited to an event where entrepreneurs get together to share successes and lessons learned from their failures. It was a very inspiring crowd of people from many different cultural backgrounds and industries.
The event had two main speakers and one of them was a billionaire entrepreneur. He shared his story of how he came up with his very first business idea and turned it into a very profitable business. He talked about the struggles of bureaucracy that came with setting up the factory needed to produce the products and the many headaches that came with it.
The billionaire shared some very valuable lessons about being first, competition, having a passion for what you do and having the right people around you.
Towards the end of his session, people were able to ask questions. He was very elegant and direct in answering all the questions and always seemed to have an answer ready until somebody said, “You have done some amazing things in your life and built large and profitable businesses. You have shared many great things about your past. But what’s next? What’s the next thing you are going to do? What else do you want to pursue?”
Throughout the entire session, the billionaire’s eyes were always focused on the audience and the person who asked the question. Now though, he suddenly looked down. It seemed like he was looking for the right answer on the floor.
It was silent for a few seconds until he answered, “That’s the question I hate the most. I have done everything in my life I wanted to. I have achieved everything I could think of. I have more money than I could spend in 2 lives. But I have no more dreams for the future and that sucks.”
It was an answer that nobody expected.
A New Breed of Investors
Over the past years, I have met many people who have very similar characteristics to the billionaire in the story above. They are all meaning seekers.
I have met countless executives and successful business owners who have been able to tick off everything from their bucket list and achieved everything society told them would lead to success and happiness.
Unfortunately, many woke up one day and realized that all the achievements in the world would not bring them the fulfillment they were craving for.
Many of them go on a journey of self-discovery. Some fall into depression and others decide that the way forward is called Contribution.
A portion of these wealthy individuals then becomes Impact Investors.
The Impact Investor is not only looking to make a profit from his investments but, as the name discloses, making an impact first.
The Umbrella of Making A Difference
I believe Impact Investors will be dominating the Angel Investor market in the near future. Here is a great article on Forbes that talks about this.
Impact Investors have little to do with charity though. It’s not about “giving away” money to feel better. It’s about the combination of impact and profit while putting the impact first. Without profit, this model is not sustainable.
The umbrella of making a difference is where disruptive entrepreneurs meet Impact Investors.
Every entrepreneur who is in the game to make impact, do something that creates positive change and who cares enough about making a difference, may wants to consider this growing new breed of investors.
Where to Find Impact Investors
More and more events pop up where Impact Investors meet. Here is an extensive list of such events.
Most Impact Investors are not very active though. Many executives and successful business owners I have met told me “I’m not actively looking for ventures to invest in but if the right opportunity comes along, I definitely consider it.”
Very often, these Impact Investors can be found through your connections and the connections of your connections. LinkedIn is a great tool to find these kinds of investors and so is Angel.co.
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