Crowdfund Investing For Dummies
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In your business plan and in your crowdfund investment campaign pitch, you told the crowd what you needed to do, when you needed to do it, and how you were going to do it. Those are your milestones. Summarize them into bullet points and put them on a piece of paper.

In his book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits (Gazelles, Inc.) — which is a great read, by the way — entrepreneur guru Verne Harnish uses a very simple tool to help entrepreneurs hit their milestones. He tells them to take the list of milestones and break it into priorities. Figure out your Top 5 priorities, and then identify one priority that supersedes the others — the Top 1 of the Top 5.

For example, if you’re starting an organic farm, some of your tasks include getting the seeds and animals, buying equipment, and signing the lease on the land. Your first priority should be signing the lease; it’s your Top 1. Within that priority you have various tasks: contacting the land owner, reading the documents, having them reviewed by attorneys, and so on.

You need to spell out and prioritize each of these tasks (even the very mundane ones). Checking off these items (working on 1 percent at a time) will make you feel like you’re progressing. That’s what the Rockefeller Habits are all about.

Work on that Top 1 until it’s done, and then move on to the second priority. Tell people about your Top 5. Make it a game. Share it with your crowd. They’ll appreciate the fact that you have a game plan in action.

If you need help deciding what to do and when to do it, use the chart shown. It helps you prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency. On the vertical axis, you have Urgency. You assign each task a number from 1 (not very) to 10 (very) based on how urgent it is that you get this task done quickly.

On the horizontal axis, you have Importance. For each task, you assign a number from 1 to 10 based on its relative importance to your overall vision.

Charting tasks according to their urgency and importance.

After you chart your tasks, the upper-right quadrant of the chart is where you find the most urgent and most important thing(s) you have to do; anything that falls in that quadrant is a Top 5. Moving left, you have urgent but not so important things to do.

In the lower-right quadrant will be tasks that are important but not so urgent. And finally, the tasks that are not very important or very urgent will appear in the lower-left quadrant.

Do this exercise now, and organize your tasks based on your results. This is now your game plan for where to focus your attention.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Sherwood Neiss, Jason W. Best, and Zak Cassady-Dorion are the founders of Startup Exemption (developers of the crowdfund investing framework used in the 2012 JOBS Act). They deeply understand the process, rules, disclosures, and risks of capital formation from both the entrepreneur's and the investor's points of view.

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