Are You Taking Any Prisoners?

There are some situations which are guaranteed to send me into flashbacks of my youth. In this case, flashbacks of my entrepreneurial youth…

I was exploring alternative ways to raise some development funding for a new product when a woman investor said to me, “I like your ‘take no prisoners’ attitude.” (Make no mistake about it, I much would have preferred that she had taken out her checkbook and written a big one. I was disappointed.)

I remember asking myself at the time, as I reflected on my failure: why do I not take prisoners?  Are women expected to?  I hadn’t ever been accused of ’emotional blackmail’ and still haven’t, but I guessed that would be the equivalent of prisoner-taking.

The good thing about flashbacks is how much you realize you’ve grown since the original experience, as you rethink what you wish you had said. In this case, I haven’t changed the part about what I said – and deeply believed:

If you take prisoners, you take on burdens and distractions. You will become the imprisoned one.

Now the only part that’s changed is my disappointment. The non-investment was a gift, for this one surely would have come with unwanted burdens.

So, my simple advice, whether you are an entrepreneur or not:

Take No Prisoners.

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