Have you taken a business loan to scale your company, to bet on yourself? My guest Arielle Loren, the founder of the only business funding mobile app designed for women in business, 100K Incubator, discusses real, strategic debt options you should actually consider to scale your business faster.
During our conversation, we uncover some of the reasons many women entrepreneurs opt for bootstrapping their businesses instead of accessing capital.
We unravel the reality that the lack of knowledge about these additional funding options is leading to frustration and self-doubt for many women entrepreneurs.
Plus, we discuss the emotional impact of feeling like you’re not understanding the behind-the-scenes financial strategies of other successful entrepreneurs.
Arielle reassures us that, “Even if we mess up, it’s just money, and we can always make more.”
In this episode, I share a personal story about receiving unexpected money from a respected industry colleague and how as entrepreneurs we need to be prepared and adaptable when it comes to finances.
Overall, in this episode you will find valuable insights into the world of women and capital, empowering female entrepreneurs like you to consider alternative funding options and overcome your fear of accessing capital to accelerate your business growth.
- Many women entrepreneurs choose to bootstrap their businesses due to incomplete information about the role of capital in scaling.
- Having a detailed plan and understanding the different layers of funding can alleviate the fear of accessing capital.
- It’s important to embrace the possibility of making mistakes with money and view it as a learning experience.
- Accessing capital can help businesses grow faster and reach their goals more quickly.
- The three levels of funding are: under $3,000 per month in revenue, $3,000 to $9,000 per month in revenue, and over $9,000 per month in revenue.
- Angel investors are more likely to invest in businesses with traction and proof of concept.
- Debt is the easiest form of capital to access and can be a valuable tool for scaling a business.
00:01:00 – Why do women entrepreneurs choose bootstrapping over accessing capital?
00:08:49 – Challenging the fear of being broke and changing money mindset
00:23:32 – Accessing capital for a venture without conscious planning
00:33:48 – Finding angle investors is based on relationships and networks
00:41:53 – Debt should not be attached to personal identity or shame
About The Guest
Arielle Loren is the founder of the 100K Incubator, a business funding mobile app designed specifically for women. With over a decade of experience in helping startups access capital and grow, Arielle has been featured on platforms such as BET, the New York Stock Exchange, and Forbes. She holds a master’s degree from Harvard University.
[00:00:00] kate: Welcome to this episode of plenty. I am so excited you’re here and I’m so excited to introduce you to my guest, her name is Arielle Lauren. We met here in Miami, actually on Instagram as you do. And she is the founder of the only business funding mobile app, which is designed for women. To access capital to help them grow to their first hundred K.
It’s called a 100 K incubator with over a decade of experience with her groundbreaking framework for helping startups access capital and grow and scale more quickly. Arielle has been featured on BET by the New York Stock Exchange, Forbes, and more. She got her master’s at Harvard. She is brilliant, she’s insightful, she is wise, and I am so excited for you to tune in.
Kate: Hey, welcome.
[00:00:54] Arielle: Hi.
Kate: Thank you for being here.
Arielle: Thank you for having me.
[00:01:00] kate: Okay, so something happened, I know you know the story, but something happened with you that was a huge moment for me, when you actually asked me to come be interviewed for a series you were doing around women and capital. And you said to me, Something along the lines of, Why do you think women don’t go after funding?
Like any sort of capital sourcing for themselves, And why do women in general, and you can probably share the statistics on this, Go for bootstrapping their businesses? And it was, revelatory for me because as a women entrepreneur, it had never occurred to me to access capital other than using a little credit card debt here and there or a line of credit from time to time, you know, as needed.
And so thank you for opening my own eyes up to the land of women and capital in a way that it never occurred to me. And I want to ask you that question back, which is, why do you think so many women entrepreneurs Go the bootstrapping route instead of accessing capital to accelerate the growth of their businesses.
[00:02:09] Arielle: You know what? That’s a fantastic question. And I’m so glad that it had the impact that it did on you. I think honestly, it all goes back to programming. And so I feel like how we are programmed as entrepreneurs in general in this country in the United States specifically is that there’s the whole bootstrapping story, but it’s an incomplete story, right?
And so oftentimes when people are looking in from the outside, they assume that an entrepreneur who is scaling is literally just doing it with their revenue and their cash flow. But oftentimes there are other layers financially that play into being able to scale at a faster pace. And so it’s capital.
It’s capital. It’s getting the business loan. It’s potentially having investors. It’s also yes, potentially using business credit cards. And even before you get to the point where you’re able to get capital for your business. A lot of people also use personal debt, you know, as well, to be able to scale.
And so when you don’t know that that’s what people are actually doing, you make the assumption that it’s just a revenue thing, and it makes it a lot harder and a lot more frustrating because you’re dealing with incomplete information.
[00:03:17] kate: And what happens to people emotionally when there’s that gap between understanding what’s actually happening behind the scenes and that the people scaling.
The fastest are accessing usually additional capital sources versus what it looks like in front of the scenes when you don’t know, you know, back of the house and you think, well, there must be something wrong with me. So what’s happening? What happens there for people? Can you unpack that a little bit.
[00:03:44] Arielle: Well, yeah, you think you suck at entrepreneurship. You’re like, what’s wrong with me? Like, I can’t get my business to work. And it’s like, yeah, because you’re dealing with an incomplete tool set. Right. And so if you have a really beautiful idea, I’m not saying go take 100, 000 loan out on a brand new.
Concept. What I am saying is that you might need 10,000, 20,000 to get started to test strategically, right? And when you have that that first layer of capital to be able to actually test your idea, to see if it works, to see if you can make some money the insights that you get, the data that you end up getting, if you know what to look for ends up really being something that could potentially, you know, change your outlook and change your life when it comes to your business.
[00:04:26] kate: So before, let’s okay, So something that comes up with a lot of people in my community is I can’t be trusted or I don’t trust myself with large amounts of money. Maybe there’s been past experience. Maybe there’s some sort of ancestral trauma around it. Maybe they’ve just been told You’re not good. I don’t know, you know, there’s a lot of things.
How do you work with people or have in the past around feeling like even 10,000 which, yes, in the grand scheme of funding, is small. But for most people, 10, like just handing somebody a check, that feels like a lot of money. So, how do you work with people or recommend that folks move through that feeling of like, I can’t be trusted and therefore I’m going to hold back because I’m afraid I’m going to blow it or fuck it up?
[00:05:22] Arielle: Yeah. So, number one, you have to have a plan, right? And so I think a lot of fear has the ability to expand because you don’t have a plan and you don’t feel secure in what you’re actually doing, right? If you take the time to actually map out, like, okay. This is my concept. This is what I’m looking to do.
This is my target audience. This is specifically how I’m going to reach my target audience with this particular campaign. I’m going to run my campaign on these platforms. I’m going to be looking to run ads and spend this amount of money, you know, on those ads to reach this target, you know, audience, right?
I’m going to stop at this point if I don’t see results, right? So if you have a plan that’s actually very detailed in terms of testing your business concept I think that definitely takes off a layer of the fear. So that’s number one. Number two it’s okay if you fuck it up. It’s just money. It’s just money.
Even if you blow the whole 20, you blow the whole 50, you blow the whole 100. It’s okay. You can make more money. You know, and sure, will you be uncomfortable? It may even wreck your credit, it may do a lot of things, right? But at the end of the day, if you really think about it in a 20 to 50 year, like, bird’s eye view, is it really going to matter that for about a year or two, yeah, things were uncomfortable and it was fucked up?
No, it just feels not good in the moment. And I think that’s the piece that we have to learn how to release, right? You’re going to fuck it up. As an entrepreneur, that’s part of the journey. If you don’t want to fuck things up, Maybe pick a different path career wise in life, but in this career path, there will be very abundant years There will be years that are kind of like meh and then there will be years be like, ah, shit.
And those are all things that are just realities. And so I wish I could tell you that, oh, if you do your plan, step one, two, three, four, five, like, you’re never gonna make a mistake. You know, or have an uncomfortable situation with money. That’s not true. It’s going to happen at some point. It may happen in the beginning.
It may happen later. It may happen in the beginning and later.
Yeah, that’s just part of it. That’s just part of it.
[00:07:28] kate: So, one time, I was sitting in the audience of a big conference next to a friend of mine who was a very well respected public Person in my industry and I happen to look down at my email and I got a notification that there was a PayPal Transfer that had just been made from her business to my business because I was an affiliate of hers So it’s just like this funny moment I was like, oh, hey like your business just sent me money in this moment and she goes she goes that’s on a credit card right now. And she had gone through some personal changes in her life and it was so sobering for me and so helpful for me to, because at that time she was like further along in her career and I had all these stories I was telling myself about what that meant.
And yet behind the scenes she just had told me that the affiliate payment that she had just sent me Was on a credit card and I was like, whoa. So I’m curious. What did you learn? In your culture growing up, around what was okay and what was not okay in terms of talking about money, because one of the things I love about you is how straightforward you are talking about money, and I’m curious, is that hard earned, or were you just raised like that?
[00:08:49] Arielle: So, in my household, the programming was… To go to school, go to the best schools and to get some sort of six figure corporate job. That was the programming, right? And so entrepreneurship, while you know, both of my parents definitely have had entrepreneurial ventures. That wasn’t like their primary source of income, and so oftentimes it was presented, I would say particularly by my father as very risky and not something to put all of your eggs in that particular basket.
So a lot of my money work had to go around my programming that the only way I was going to be successful was if I got a corporate job. And so there were many years, I’d say the majority of my 20s I spent, like, really having to reprogram myself to, like, know what’s possible. So there were a lot of books, seminars, teachers, a lot of even just experimenting, you know, with myself.
I even allowed myself, especially when I first graduated from undergrad, to, like, have, frankly, about two years where I didn’t. Really have any sort of job. Right? So I was just traveling and earning as I go. I think I was blogging at the time or, you know, whatever that was. And yeah. And I, I had to release my fear of what it meant to be broke.
Mm. And once I did that, and I really was like, okay, like this is what it means to have a negative bank account and to still be able to eat. This is what it means to Only have a couple hundred dollars to get you through the month and you figure it out. This is, you know, like all those things, like when you just confront the fear, like confront it, it’s okay.
And then I was like, oh, I’m still alive and in fact I’m actually having a lot of fun. Wow. Look at that. It completely changed my relationship with money. And so when I did finally come back to the States and really started to build my business, go back to grad school, all of those things I had already.
I had that experience of what it meant to, yeah, just not have a padded bank account. Now, I want to say this also with the layer, right? At the end of the day, my experiment is very different, you know, from someone who potentially like doesn’t have any sort of family security. At the end of the day, had I made a phone call, even though my bank account was at a certain point, they would have sent a ticket for me and brought me home.
So I think that’s very important, right? Because there’s there’s levels to this, right? But I will say for myself coming from a pretty upper middle class, you know, background. Yeah, I didn’t. I knew that I just it was more so just a mindset thing for me that I had to work through. And once I worked through that, it definitely put me in position to be able to take bigger risk as an entrepreneur.
[00:11:29] kate: Yeah, and to put money in its place. As not the source, right? Yeah. Right? Not your source and not the thing to organize your entire life around. A woman I know, Manisha Thakur, I just read an article where she identified the difference between money problems and money worries. And I thought it was so insightful to identify that.
She has a new book coming out called Money Zen. And what you’re identifying is really a moment. Where you brought yourself into relationship with What actually was a money problem versus a money worry and so often in our lives we are our behavior Can be for decades clouded by money worries Meaning there’s actually not a problem, but we’re afraid about when a problem might exist, but you actually just went ahead and lived that problem in your own version, knowing the extra layers of support that were there.
But I find that for many people who are living in profound states of financial pressure and stress, they have money worries, not actual money problems. And so there’s some liberation in what you did to just allow yourself to just be like, Oh, that’s what it is. And like, yeah, maybe it’s like not how you want to live your entire life.
But, you know, but it’s not like, That’s like the worst thing that’s ever going to happen to you. That’s powerful. That’s really powerful. Like, how did you even know that it was possible to reprogram yourself so that you might know that there’s a possibility outside of a corporate six figure job as a goal, or like as a financial possibility?
[00:13:08] Arielle: To be honest, I really didn’t know. Yeah. I was just following my promptings. So what that looks like is that, I’d say probably the last year that I was an undergrad, I just kept feeling this nudge to move to Brazil. It made no sense. I have no family there. I have no friends there. I did not speak Portuguese.
I had never been to Brazil. But I just, it was one of those things, like, I have to move to Brazil. I have to move to Bahia. I need to be there. I don’t know why I need to be there, but I need to be there. I had studied abroad in college, so I was familiar with living outside of the country, but yeah, I really, I just had this urge and I knew that I needed to do it.
And so I quit my job that I had just gotten, you know, out of college. And I told everyone I was moving to Brazil. At the time, I didn’t actually even know how I was moving to Brazil. I didn’t have the money, really. I think I had, like, the security deposit that came back from my apartment in New York.
And then, I had my last paycheck from my job. But that wasn’t doing anything. I think at the time, I was making maybe 40, 000 per year. And, yeah, and then I just started telling people and I think I In college, I had read the alchemist, and so I knew that there was something about, like, really stating my intentions deepening my belief, and just moving with the momentum, and as I started to do that and telling people I was moving to Brazil without even having a plane ticket or a place to stay things opened up, you know one of my family members said, hey, I have a whole bunch of points, you know, on an airline, like, I would love to gift you these points and get your ticket.
Awesome. Perfect. And then, you know, I ended up finding a place to stay, you know, as well that funny enough was me finding a Craigslist ad right for an artist in residence program in Brazil. And I’m sure if my parents knew that they would have been like, but I did and I got on Skype with the woman. And she seemed cool.
I liked her energy. And then I found out, like, through a mutual friend as well at, at NYU that there was also some other friends of hers that were down there. So I was like, all right, well, worst case scenario, if this lady is not it, you know, then I have some other friends of friends that I might be able to hook up with.
And, but it was honestly because I, I had already started the process of moving towards it. So to loop it back into your question about the reprogramming, really, it was just. And I was taking the leap to kind of get out of, I guess what we would call like the matrix. You know, that space to myself to be able to just think, cause I couldn’t think in New York.
And so once I got to Brazil, then it was like, okay, you are out of the rat race. What do you want to do? And that’s when everything opened up. And that’s when I had frankly, a lot of time during the day to read, to study and to reprogram myself. But it wasn’t like, Honestly, I just needed to stop the noise and once I stopped the noise, that’s when I had the space to actually think through what was next.
[00:16:00] kate: So before we started the interview, we were talking about how you skipped a year in college. And I just want to ask some questions so that people understand that the matrix that you were in, just knowing that we’re all in different matrices, right? There’s some collective ones, but there’s different layers for different ones of us.
So can you tell me like At that time when you left your, your first job in New York and went to Brazil and like popped yourself out how many years would you say you had been deep in sort of that academic, you know, more, how would you, I’ll have you describe it, because I don’t want to put my words on you, but like describe that matrix that you were part of.
[00:16:44] Arielle: Yes. So I would say five to seven years. Okay. So when I got to high school I came from a household and I’ll even narrow that in. In particular my father had very high expectations in terms of what my academic career was gonna look like. And so and I’m grateful for that. It, there’s definitely benefits that came out of, you know, that standard that was set.
However, it led to burnout in five to seven years.
So I was in all honors, AP track, everything, extremely intense workload. Two years into that, on top of being in honors and AP classes, I also started taking classes at a community college so that I could. I basically graduate school in three years, save some money, you know, but also it’s an accomplishment.
Something you can put on a resume. Right. And so my junior and senior year of high school, I was not only in honors track AP track. High school, but then at night I was going to community college and during my summers, I was also going to community college. So do that for two years, then go to college for three years.
And I did walk in with enough credits to be a sophomore between community college and AP credits. And so when I got to college, frankly, I was already burnt out, but I truthfully found NYU to be a lot easier than my high school career because it was so intense. It was so intense. And so, or rather, I was definitely prepared.
Let me put it that way. And so. So being at NYU I was still in that cycle of feeling like I had to do the most though. And so instead of just being like, okay, I’m going to, you know, do a major and like kind of not coast, but just take a normal college experience. I’m like, you know what? Like maybe I should go get an extra certificate at night, you know?
And so I did and I went and I got a certificate in producing, right? Wow. I wanted to learn film. On top of, you know, my regular liberal arts studies, right? So, and I was interning and doing all the things that you usually do in New York. It was a lot. So five to seven years of kind of nonstop intensity, day and night to then graduate and to start working immediately.
I just, I was, I was like, this is not it. I wasn’t happy. I was in New York and should have felt like I made it and I had a, you know, apartment in the financial district with some roommates, but I was just like, I’m miserable and I don’t want to be miserable. And I had at least for a year felt when I studied abroad and didn’t actually have that same intensity of two programs at once.
I felt what it was like to be at peace and to have a very different balanced lifestyle. And so I knew that leaving the country was next for me and that’s when I was just, I was in that Brazil momentum and then I eventually left.
[00:19:34] kate: So how long after you got your first job out of school did you leave?
[00:19:34] Arielle: maybe 11 months? I think I lasted about a year.
[00:19:38] kate: Okay, and then how long were you in brazil before you came back about a year?
[00:19:40] Arielle: Yeah, about a year, then I came back, but then I shortly after moved to the Dominican Republic. So that was like, I would say probably I was out of the country for maybe about two years off and on.
Okay. Yes, and then moved back and really got into school and then yeah.
[00:19:56] kate: Okay, so then you went and got your MBA. Yeah. Okay, what happened between leaving the Matrix and having all this time during the day to deprogram yourself and then deciding you were gonna go to Harvard? Like you were like gonna go like right back in.
[00:20:10] Arielle: So, I’ll be honest, that was actually my father again. Okay. Because I didn’t want to go to graduate school. Huh. I, I had reached a point in my career where he well, I would say where I was just like, I already went to NYU, like enough, like I’m, I’m done. Like my resume looks great. Like. I don’t need to go to graduate school.
I felt that very deeply. And he was just like, you know, you should really go get your master’s. And so actually what I ended up doing, I have a master’s in management. I don’t have an MBA. And so he was like, there are hybrid programs at Harvard where you can go and study business, but you don’t have to be there full time.
He’s like, so I know that you are tired and you would like to not be fixed on a campus. So what about if you do a hybrid? And so I did that. Did my hybrid program took me about because I did a part time. I didn’t do a full time. It took me maybe about three years. Okay. And then I finished. And I will say looking back on it.
I’m glad I did it. It ended up working out. But yeah, I definitely had had real symptoms and experiences of burnout. Yeah. And then, okay.
[00:21:13] kate: So I know I’m just like asking you your linear story, but I’m very curious about it. So, so at at what point, like what then transpired where You became acquainted with this world of entrepreneurs and accessing capital.
Obviously, you were, you know, you were in a world learning about management, so that’s connected. But I’m just curious, like, what, what was the next step?
[00:21:35] Arielle: You know, my introduction to business actually wasn’t grad school. My introduction to business was in college. I interned for a marketing agency. And so I went to a digital marketing agency.
And so this was back in 2008 when like Twitter was kind of just launching. And there was this ad that was on Facebook. And they were like, Hey, you want to get paid to be on Facebook all day? You know, are you a college student? You know? And so I went and I filled out the application and me and another super dope young woman were selected to be their first kind of digital marketing interns.
And so I entered this world of like, Oh, people are making money online. And so I was like, Whoa, like companies are paying like these young 20 something year old kids like to run marketing campaigns and they’re gonna be a lot of money. And so it opened up a career possibility that I frankly didn’t even know existed.
And that was my beginning of my journey in terms of really studying social media and understanding what it was and. That’s what my first job was in, you know, after after school. And so building businesses on the internet and, and helping scale businesses on the internet, it started for me in a corporate sense.
However, it then transitioned into helping startups, you know, as well, but it all started in college. So I actually was in that space before I even got to grad school.
[00:22:51] kate: Okay. Yeah. And you, so you and I started in the online world around the same time, even though you were in college and I was. I was doing whatever I was doing in New York, like realizing that you could be a blogger as a job.
Yup. Which was amazing at the time. It was. It was like. It was. This feels pretend. Wait, so I can send an email, I can like write a blog about what I’m interested in and send an email and put a link to this stuff and then I can make money? Yes. I mean it was so mind blowing. Okay. Okay. So at, at, at what point did you first need to access capital for a venture?
And how did you go about it?
[00:23:32] Arielle: You know, I’ll actually say I started my marketing agency without any capital, kind of, you know, I, I definitely use some personal credit cards, so that does count for sure. But it wasn’t this like. It was like, conscious thing where I was like, Okay, I’m going to take this credit card and I’m going to use this credit card to be able to launch my business.
It was more so like, Okay, I’m going to go into consulting full time. I have some bills and things and that I need to pay. So I’m going to use the credit card and the cash that I’m earning. And we’re just gonna make it work. Right? So that was, I would say, my first informal use of capital. I became a lot more strategic in terms of getting capital when I actually started 100K Incubator.
So it was more so actually like my second business that I really got into that space. And that was because I had to do a full build out of a platform and technology. And I realized, like, I had built a pretty successful six figure marketing agency. But it didn’t feel like I had enough to be able to really float building an entire platform And to transition into all the production needs that I needed to do to hire people It just it wasn’t there.
And so that’s when I really I would say got into okay Let me go after capital strategically and actually take it out under the business’s name And so that’s I would say my first official.
[00:24:52] kate: And when you did that, did you have the plan like you suggest to people?
Kate: How did you know how to do that?
[00:24:58] Arielle: Because I had been consulting in the marketing space and because I had very well rounded business training from going to grad school.
And then also when you’re working with startups, your job is never just your job. And so. Even though I was hired oftentimes in like a marketing and sales capacity, because I understood finance and numbers, I would oftentimes still be on that side of the business as well. And so I wasn’t doing like accounting or anything like that, but the best marketers are the ones who understand money.
You have to understand your spend, you have to understand your, your customer acquisition costs, like all of those things. And because I was so good at it, I understood like, Hey, If you could just get me like 10, 000, like I could blow this launch out of the water, you know? And so once you understood the power of capital because you understood the marketing machine, that’s really, yeah, when you when you’re able to strike gold and so I had started doing that with clients before I’d even gotten to the point of starting my second business venture. And that’s why. Yeah, it was really honestly that real life experience that taught me the industry. Yeah.
[00:25:57] kate: So you, you knew how to test, you knew how to have a proven concept and you knew how to know the numbers to basically say, like, if I input this over here, I’m going to get this.
Like I know that exactly. You didn’t have to have the thing of like, ah, what if I blow through, you know, this money. And also we know. That that would be okay too, because there is more where that came from.
[00:26:18] Arielle: Exactly. There’s literally an unlimited amount of money out there because it is pretend.
[00:26:19] kate: Okay, so, how did you go about getting access to capital to build out 100K Incubator?
[00:26:31] Arielle: So I would say that in the beginning for us it was actually payment processor loans, right? And so because we were running a lot of our. Our agency payments. So my LLC was for my agency and then I built 100 K incubator as a product that was under that LLC. And so I was running my agency payments through PayPal, Stripe, you know, et cetera.
And they. And I was like, Oh, I was like, I’m like, fantastic. I was like, so basically if I say yes to this loan, you’ll take a percentage of my sales until the loan is paid back. So I don’t even have a monthly. Loan payment. There’s obviously an interest fee that’s attached to it. Fantastic. But you’ll give me basically an advance on my sales And so it worked out really well.
I used that capital to get the business started And then I learned about other like merchant cash advance, you know companies again There are many different types of funding that you can get get into that, you know at a certain point but for Like quick turnaround, fast money, oftentimes merchant cash advances while their interest fees are definitely a lot higher than like if you go through a traditional bank or if you go through like the SBA and the government.
It’s, it’s fast money, you know, and I wanted to move fast. And so I, I didn’t want to wait three months to get approved for an SBA loan. I wasn’t really trying to do that. And there are other documents that are required to even be able to do that. So if your taxes aren’t showing a ton of profit, you know, et cetera, it’s going to be hard to get approved for traditional.
Like lines of credit and things of that nature. So so yeah, so I used a lot of merchant cash advances. I used a lot of payment processor loans. And then eventually I transitioned into using more so like business credit cards, business lines of credit and things of that nature. But I started payment processor loan, merchant cash advance, business credit card, then into business loan.
[00:28:18] kate: Okay, so backing up for some people, this is going to be obvious, but Why would somebody who is running a business want to access more capital? We’re going to ask the basic question.
[00:28:32] Arielle: Yes, to grow, to grow faster. Faster. That’s the I think that’s the key. So I wanted to launch the platform and I wanted to be able to scale fast.
I didn’t want to have to do little by little like, okay, you know, we’re bringing this amount. So we’ll take 10 percent of what we’re earning and we’ll reinvest it back into, you know, growth strategies. I knew especially kind of being the expert in the field that I’m in, like I knew what I was doing.
And so I just needed the capital. And so. When you get to a point where you understand how your systems work, and you understand how to get customers, it just becomes a, a money, a money problem. That’s it. Like, you just have to go get more money. And so, once you know how to get more money, you just go get more money.
And that’s what it is. So, yeah.
[00:29:17] kate: I love that. Okay, so what are the different, so if somebody is listening and they do have a good plan, and they do know their industry, and they do know that they have a tested product, and they do want to grow faster, what are their options? You already shared some of them from your own story, but what else is there?
And like, how do we know? So obviously you have an entire business around this, so like, you know, just share what we want to hear. But like, what, where does somebody get started? What should they be, what, what are some of the questions they might be, want to be asking themselves to determine which capital sources are the best for
[00:29:52] Arielle: them?
Yeah, so I’ll give you guys the blueprint. So at 100K Incubator we break funding down into three levels and it’s based off of revenue, right? So if you’re earning under 3, 000 per month, and that could be zero, like if you’re earning under 3, 000 per month. We recommend a couple of different types of capital, but they’re mostly linked more so to your personal income.
So, you can probably get approved for a business credit card, you know, even if you’re just starting out, you know, because they’re also looking at your personal credit worthiness and they’ll approve you based off of that for the most part, so long as you have some personal income to also back it up, right?
But you will be a guarantor on that card. So, even though it might not fall under, like it might not show up on your personal credit report, if something goes wrong, you will still be held liable. So, you can usually get approved for business credit cards like that. Also. You can definitely go after a personal loan, which would be under your personal credit report.
Again, that’s based off your personal income. You can go after a home equity line of credit or a home equity loan which is going to be using your home or a piece of real estate that you have as collateral. Great interest rates on that, but obviously you have to own a piece of property to make that happen.
Or you could also do crowdfunding, you know, and that’s. Reward based, debt based, equity based, and that’s like all the campaigns that you see where people are raising money for the different business ventures that they’re part of. That’s crowdfunding. So those are usually your options when you’re earning under 3, 000 per month.
And I know a lot of people are like, well, you know, why does it have to be on my personal credit report for some of those options? Well, your business isn’t making any money, so somebody has to guarantee that, right? So usually you end up in some capacity being your first investor. Just what it is. Okay.
Thank you. You’re welcome. Let’s say you get past that 3, 000 per month kind of space so then that’s when you hit level two and that’s when really the world opens up. So that’s when you can go after your business lines of credit, your business loans even the payment processor loans that I was just speaking about, whether that’s, you know, depending on who your payment processor is, PayPal, Stripe, I think yeah, there, there are a bunch of them.
So Square. They often have capital programs, right? But you have to be generating revenue through their payment processor for them to even offer that to you. Also, you can go after government back loans. So that can be with the SBA or CDFIs community development, financial institutions that, you know, lend to small businesses, right?
But again, you have to be able to show that you’re a business and you’re generating revenue and. Usually that’s required. It’s not to say they don’t do some startup approvals, but usually they like to see some sort of like, yeah, income that’s already coming into your business for them to approve you or you need to have a solid personal income to back up the loan.
Okay. So yeah, so you have a lot more business oriented options around that. And I’d even say like a lot of pitch competitions we talk about a lot of people will be like, Oh, but. I can’t just pitch if I have an idea. You can, but if someone comes in who has an actual functioning business, you have some pretty heavy competition.
And so we always say like once you tip into that level two kind of threshold things get a lot more open for you, right? Then that brings me to level three and level three is like when you kind of hit that six figure mark in your business, right? So you’re earning at least 9, 000 per month in your company.
Okay, so that’s usually when you can start looking at angel investors. You can start looking at, you know, just more of that investor equity based world world. And again, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions to the rule. There are some angel investors who like, I just like your idea and I want to invest.
But oftentimes most angel investors want to see some sort of traction, right? And so if you can show like, no, I’m on track to do at least six figures, you know, maybe I’m even far ahead of that. That’s very interesting to them. So we always say that that level three is great when you’re trying to get into that investor space because you have some proof of concept and you’re showing that you’re already on that six figure, you know, process.
So those are the three different levels of funding that we teach and if you can kind of figure out where you are in that, then you have a much stronger likelihood of getting approved for the capital that you need.
[00:33:37] kate: Amazing. So let’s say you’re in, I, I feel like with with level one and level two That feels pretty clear, but like level three.
Let’s say how would somebody find an angel investor?
[00:33:48] Arielle: Yeah, you know what are these people? There’s there’s no blueprint for that. Yeah, you know a lot of its relationships, right? And so you have to be around people who have a certain net worth. It doesn’t mean they have to be filthy rich It’s not that but they have to have disposable income that they’re looking to invest beyond what they’re doing with You know, maybe their 401ks or IRAs, you know, their stock portfolios, et cetera.
They’re looking to take investments that might be quote unquote more risky, but also might generate a much larger return. So you have to be in that circle. There, I would say angel investors also are everywhere. You’d be surprised that maybe your aunt or you know, your grandparents, your parents your friends.
You have no idea who’s sitting on what oftentimes and so I always say if you can package your business and present it and again, have your numbers in order, et cetera, and explain like, this is where I’m at, I’ve tested, you know, when I put a dollar in, I get three out, you know, here are, here’s proof of what I’ve been able to do.
Those are things that angel investors love to see, you know, that like you have a concept, you’ve tested it and you really just need capital to be able to scale that. That’s definitely something that would be of interest to them for sure.
[00:34:59] kate: And what’s the difference between like seed funding and angel investor and venture capital?
[00:35:04] Arielle: Yes. That’s a great question. So the venture capital world works in kind of different levels. So you have pre seed, seed, series A, B, C, and it can go kind of up, right? I won’t get into like all the different levels, but what I will say is that angels tend to invest usually at the pre seed and the seed level.
So pre seed is usually when you’re just, you have an idea. That’s it. No traction, no proof, nothing. It’s very hard to get people to invest at Pre Seed, but there are people who do it, so that’s just something to know. For seed usually you have some sort of traction. So you either built some sort of user base You may have even started generating revenue.
And so you have proof of concept and so angels also like to invest at that space The venture folks so venture capitalists or venture funds rather. I think I’ll put it that way They particularly are looking for very
So I think that we’re looking at high growth companies, right? And so they want companies that are going to be making an exit probably in 5 to 10 years max. They want to see like 9 figure plus exits. And so if you’re not looking to grow your business at a super fast rate over 5 to 10 years and reach that level of revenue, I’d…
Venture the venture world is not going to be for you. And so it’s a very kind of specific subset of businesses that the venture world is interesting is interested in versus the Angel world is more flexible So they might say like actually like, you know This can be structured as a loan and then like, you know, basically you pay me back the loan plus interest, you know Or if I do want to like really angel invest from an equity standpoint I just want to be and this point, you know, like there’s, you have a, the bottom line is you have a lot more flexibility with angels versus the venture world.
It’s very exit, yeah, it’s like a whole other paradigm.
[00:36:53] kate: Right. Okay. So something I was sharing with you before that comes up in our community is kind of this feeling of like, why, like this world and this world in quotes, meaning like, I don’t even know what that is, but this world of reaching beyond and getting to dream of scaling and growing bigger and, and being able to create something that’s bigger than ourselves, right?
Or just any kind of abundance. And that could be in terms of like a housing situation or an education scenario or you know, an entrepreneurship dream. What comes up is this kind of core feeling of people like me don’t. get to have good things. And I’m wondering, to what degree do you see that feeling, or that belief, holding people back, especially women, from going for it in terms of accessing funding?
And has that ever happened with you? And and then third, like, what do you do about it?
[00:38:01] Arielle: Yeah, so I can’t say that on a personal level I ever had the like belief that I wasn’t worthy of capital. How great. Yeah. That didn’t. So awesome. It just wasn’t part of my programming. Like, I was like, no, I was like, I can get a loan.
Why not? I can get a credit card. Why not? Like it’s, there was no barrier there for me. However I’ve definitely worked with a lot of women that that barrier was there. And so I’ll say that when I started 100k incubator the reason why it’s even called 100k incubator is because I was targeting women who were earning less than a hundred thousand dollars in their businesses.
I wanted to help them hit their first figure. I wanted to help them hit their first six figures you know, by getting capital and scaling faster than probably what they would be able to do if they just did it through revenue. Right. So when you’re working with that particular demographic of women.
A lot of stuff comes up because they’re very new in their businesses. They’re in a very early stage in their businesses versus a lot of the private consulting work that I do is usually with entrepreneurs who are already in that multiple six figure, seven figure, eight figure kind of space. And they’ve already figured.
figuring out what capital is right? So now it’s just about what type of capital do I need to go after? And how do I do this more strategically to be able to scale a lot faster? So two different subsets. However, what I’ll say at the at the end of the day is what we said earlier. It’s just money, you know, and really, worthiness should be.
It’s not like you’re going to a credit card or a grant or an investment. It’s just money. And I think at the end of the day, it comes down to speed and it comes down to ease, right? If you want to be in the hustle of bootstrapping and having to figure out like, okay. All right, you know, we’re going to take this percentage and reinvest it back into the business.
And we’re going to scale at this rate because we’re only going to be working with our own cash flow. More power to you. Like, that’s absolutely fine. There’s some people that that’s probably what’s best for their nervous system. Mm hmm. There are other people who are just like, I want to sit in more cushion.
I would like to have access to more money than I quote unquote might need and I want to be able to move faster. And so if you know that that’s you and you’re open to having more money to be able to build out your dream, you know, and to be able to test things and to scale concepts, then I would say go after the capital.
And, and that’s really at the end of the day, all of, all of what it comes down to. Mm hmm. I love
[00:40:38] kate: listening to you talk about this because I realized through knowing you, I would have identified myself as a bootstrapper, but then I realized, no, I used personal credit cards at the beginning. From time to time, we’ve had a line of credit that we’ve used just for extra cushion through hard times with Mike’s illnesses, or just.
So to realize that I too have been part of the, you know, of, of entrepreneurs accessing capital, I don’t know, it’s somehow really helpful mindset to really see the possibilities in that, that there’s always more than where that came from. There’s always a way to get access to money if we need it. And also I’m really glad that you brought up that it is related to our nervous system and what’s gonna feel good Is it and and so I’m curious around the concept of debt. I run into in my work people who have been programmed that all debt is bad and dangerous and shameful And so what are your thoughts on debt as a concept and how can we relate to debt, especially from a business perspective so it can be utilized for us as opposed to feared?
[00:41:53] Arielle: This is what I’ll say about debt. It still goes back to your comfort level, right? There are some people where they’re like, I don’t want to owe anyone anything. And so. If it is not a structure or a setup where you’re gifting me money through, like, a grant I’m not interested. And that’s fine. Like, there’s no shame in that.
You’re not doing entrepreneurship wrong. Like, you can totally do that, and that’s 100 percent fine. And then there are other people who are like, No, like, I, I could use some help. And the truth is that out of the three categories of capital, grants debt, and equity, debt is the easiest to get. Yeah. So it’s like, it’s a lot easier to get a business loan, credit card, you know, et cetera, than it is to usually get a grant because so many people want the free money or to even get an investor because usually there’s just a higher level of vetting and criteria and alignment that needs to happen to be able to get an investor.
So if we’re talking about easy access to capital to get you more than what you may need. Debt is going to be the pathway that’s going to be the first door and the easiest door to walk through and so when it comes to just the grapple with I owe someone something, you know, or that being attached to some sort of shame you know, I think I really see the business as the business and then I see me as me, right?
The business is an entity in and of itself and there’s a certain amount of capital that I know is required to be able to push that vision forward, right? And so this can kind of even get into some spiritual stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s really not my business about how I get the capital to be able to push the vision forward.
It’s just my responsibility as the steward. To push the vision forward and so if it comes in the form of debt if it comes in the form of an investment If it comes in the form of a grant if it comes in the form of revenue and profit It’s fine, you know, and I think it’s like so long as you are balanced and again, so long as you understand the numbers It’s not a big deal and and I think that’s the piece where it’s like we attach our personal identities to the loan and The loan has nothing to do with your personal identity.
You are who you are, regardless of any money. And so if you can get clear about that and really stand in your own power and know who you are, regardless of what’s happening in your business or, you know what funding you’re receiving or what funding type you’re receiving you’re going to be in a much healthier place.
And that’s really, I think what the focus needs to be on.
[00:44:27] kate: Okay, so as we wrap up here, I would like to know if you could go back in time and tell your, you know, let’s say like 20, well, you probably graduated at 21. Or maybe even 20. So, to go tell your young ass self something about like a piece of money wisdom that you could go back in time and deliver to your young self just going out into the world making your own money really in fullness for the first time.
What would you want to tell yourself?
[00:45:02] Arielle: I would tell myself not to attach my identity to money. You are who you are. You are who you are, you’re great because you are, and there will be very abundant years. There will be years that are tighter. There will be years where, yes, you’re going to have a lot of debt, you know, in the business.
And there will be years where not so much, you know there will be years that are very cash abundant. There will be years that are not, but at the end of the day, you’re still doing the work. You’re still on the path that you were put here to be on. And so, if you are committed to the path and you’re committed to doing the work, then everything else that’s happening around you in terms of the money is not really that important.
Of course it impacts your lifestyle and those are all wonderful things, you know, but it really just all comes back to the vision and the work. And the work that I do that I’ve been privileged to do is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And so, bring on more capital. That’s what it is.
Bring on more capital. Yeah. And
[00:46:02] kate: finally, what does the word plenty make you think of? How does it make you feel? What does it mean to you?
[00:46:10] Arielle: Hmm. Plenty feels like more than enough. And it feels like the undercurrent of my life. I always feel like in some capacity there is more than enough. It’s just about tapping into that undercurrent.
And just knowing how to access it. I love
[00:46:27] kate: that. Thank you. So, if people want to connect with you, find out more about your work, where should they go?
[00:46:33] Arielle: So if you want to connect with me, I would say find me on Instagram at ariellauren. If you want to learn more about 100k Incubator, you can go to 100kincubator.
com. But yeah, I mean, I’m, I’m pretty accessible, you know, so Instagram, slide in the DMs, LinkedIn, very easy. Amazing.
[00:46:49] kate: Thank you for taking the time today. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. You’re
[00:46:52] Arielle: welcome. Really appreciate you. Thank you for having me.
[00:46:55] kate: So thank you for tuning in to another episode of Plenty.
All of the details, everything mentioned in the show, and also how to connect with Arielle is in the show notes. So make sure if this episode resonated with you, please share it with someone, like, subscribe, and we will see you for the next episode.