This Entrepreneur Reveals What She Learned From Telling Investors About a Major Misstep She Made

Guest Writer
Contributor
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cherae Robinson, founder and CEO of Tastemakers Africa, a mobile app for booking experiences in Africa, found it challenging to transition from running a bootstrapped company to one with outside capital behind it.

When she received an influx of cash from investors, along with revenue from a sales push, her first thought was to grow. Robinson, a New York City resident, believed that the best way to scale would be for her to fly to African countries to get the program off the ground. In one month, she went to South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria -- and spent $20,000.

Related: More Than Money: 4 Tips to Find the Right Investor for Your Startup

“Our money was dwindling down,” she says. “When we tried to figure out how much we had grown we realized that we did very little.”

The last thing she wanted to do was tell investors that she made a mistake, but she learned from the process that VCs are a tool to help your company -- and not just an entity to impress. “Your job as a CEO is not to look good in front of your investors, it’s to grow your business,” she says.

From this experience, Robinson learned three valuable lessons: humility, fearlessness and collaboration. After pivoting its model, which now includes influencers in each country to help create authentic, unique experiences for travelers, the app has scaled up.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.