Hi, I’m Ken Aldrich and would like to introduce myself and perhaps give you a reason to listen to the series of blogs I have created, called “The Dream Toolbox”.
I am a serial entrepreneur and funder of seed stage companies. What that means is that I have founded a series of new companies on my own or with partners (11 to be exact) and have also been a source of financing for a large number of startups founded and managed by others (probably 50 or more, but I have lost track).
In those two roles, I have prepared and reviewed a wide variety of business plans, interviewed the founders (or been one myself) and have seen what worked and what didn’t work as people tried to make their dreams a reality.
Three critical things have become apparent:
Success has little to do with race, gender, or where the founder started on the economic ladder.
Academic degrees don’t matter much, but broad-based knowledge and intellectual curiosity matter a lot. More specifically, skills in the use of language to persuade and inform, basic experience in the world of business, and specific skills related to the dream itself are critical.
Finally, a passionate desire to create something new and valuable to the world is an almost essential ingredient.
This is the framework in which I have created the blogs that make up The Dream Toolbox. I hope you will listen and find them helpful.
For more than 40 years, I have been engaged as a self-employed entrepreneur: first in finance and real estate and then, for the last 20 years, in creating and funding start-up companies. I have founded 11 companies, ten of which were successful in varying degrees, and helped fund perhaps 50 more, some of which were spectacularly successful and some were failures. I learned a lot from both outcomes, including the obvious: success is a lot more fun than failure. But I also learned that in the US, failure is not fatal and can be a stepping stone to future success.
My initial training was as a lawyer and I worked for a major LA law firm for about 4 years before leaving to get some business experience and, finally, to start my own businesses.