June 24, 2011

LOHAS – Raising Capital

If you’re in business for yourself, or thinking of starting a business, you probably have considered borrowing money.

LOHAS is going on right now in Boulder, Colorado.

LOHAS stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. This conference is all about doing business in the health and sustainability sector. Yoga, health food, massage, and even people who do business in the “spirituality sector” are among the target audiences.

This talk gave help to people who consider raising capital for their business. We divided up into several groups and decided what the biggest questions were. There were people with all levels of experience, from complete beginners to experienced entrepreneurs.

We heard people give “elevator talks”, which are short descriptions of their business or idea and what they needed the money for.

Lenders and media folk were present to advise us about how to present our message in an efficient way.

We talked about various ways of borrowing money. The “crowd” phenomenon came up, where a group of people acted as a lending source, like www.Kiva.org. We looked at valuation and a couple of rules of thumb emerged, like valuing your business as a multiple of revenues.

One of the main benefits of LOHAS is the contacts you make at the conference. This isn’t unusual, but if you’ve never been to something like this, a big takeaway is the people you meet.

Have any of you in the reading audience borrowed money for your business? I wonder if you have any tips to share. There were comments that the scene, the borrowing/lending scene has changed a bit over the recent few past years. I wonder if any of you can share any comments about that.

Stay tuned – tomorrow I’ll go to a few more talks and let you know how it goes.

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Michael Levin

Michael loves sharing what he’s learned about organic lifestyles like living off the grid and bicycle commuting. He calls it “lifestyle entrepreneurship”. He’s into organic gardening, mindful living, and realizes that we only have this life and each other. His favorite quote is “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.” (James A. Michener)