“Relationships matter – more than money, more than status, more than material things.” ~ Arlan Hamilton, It’s About Damn Time
Founders have characteristics that are not based on gender or race – they are extreme problem solvers with the ability to withstand high levels of uncertainty. They have tenacity, grit, resilience, and a high AQ! Adaptability Quotient. They follow their North Star, and they love the process.
One does not need a degree or pedigree to be a founder, but when you’re underrepresented and underestimated, you have to watch out for unconscious bias.
Our guest, Arlan Hamilton, is the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm that exclusively invests in companies founded by women, people of color and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. Her journey from Tour Manager for music groups to founder of a VC firm, is extraordinary. She had a backpack, a laptop and a dream of becoming the Robin Hood of venture capital.
In her recently published book, It’s About Damn Time, Arlan shares how she turned her big, hairy, audacious vision of launching her own investment firm into reality despite all the evidence that shouted “oh hell no!” Arlan was so committed to her mission, that she was homeless when Backstage Capital’s raise was finalized!
From the opening line to the final piece of advice, I was consumed by Arlan’s stories, strategies, solutions, insights and inspiration for founders and for anyone pursuing a dream.
As a founder of 4 businesses and a mentor/coach to newbie founders, I was delighted to find terrific reminders and new ways of viewing the startup journey.
Given my deep knowledge of and experience with Venture Capital, it is JAW-DROPPING to read how Arlan built Backstage Capital! Throughout It’s About Damn Time she shares strategies, tactics and mindset hacks that helped her persevere without a smidgen of “traditional” experience, connections, and let’s be honest “the VC look.”
The chapter on Resilience helped me go even deeper into accepting a painful, scary time in my life that required a lot of forgiveness. This period absolutely prepared me for my work in the world, as nothing else could prepare me. Thank you Arlan for reminding me these were “experiences built just for me.”
Being a founder is hard work, and in moments of profound discouragement, we need reminders of why we’re building a business, and why we are uniquely qualified to build our business for our customers.
We need role models like Arlan Hamilton who share their struggles and stories so we can forge forward under enormous levels of uncertainty and constraints.
Dear Founders – I gratefully share this interview with Arlan and It’s About Damn Time so you may be reminded and inspired to continue bringing your gifts to the world. ♥
Grab your copy of It’s About Damn Time here.
To learn more about Backstage Capital, please click here.
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Thank you so much for tuning in – I am genuinely grateful for your time and presence – and heartfelt thanks for sharing this episode. Stay strong, stay focused – and please remember – you’ve got this – Cheers!