Kathryn Finney is an investor, visionary entrepreneur, philanthropist, and startup champion who is Founder and Managing General Partner of Genius Guild. She is the chair of The Doonie Fund and founder and former CEO of digitalundivided, a groundbreaking social enterprise focused on creating a world where Black women own their work. She is also the founder of The Budget Fashionista (TBF) and became one of the first Black women to have a successful seven-figure startup exit when she sold TBF. A Yale-trained Epidemiologist, she has been recognized for her pathbreaking work by the Aspen Institute, Entrepreneur Magazine, Marie Claire, Ebony, Inc. Magazine, Black Enterprise, and more.
About Build the Damn Thing: How to Start a Successful Business If You’re Not a Rich White Guy
This book offers a hard-won, battle-tested guide for every entrepreneur who the establishment has left out. Packed with references to BTS and “the great millennial philosopher” Beyoncé, this is not your average entrepreneurship book—Finney is not here to encourage her readers to wait for opportunities, but to break down the door and build their damn thing. With over a decade of experience, Finney empowers entrepreneurs to take advantage of their unique networks and resources; arms readers with responses to investors who say, “great pitch but I just don’t do Black women”; and inspires them to overcomes naysayers while remaining “100% that B*tch.”
In BUILD THE DAMN THING, Finney offers readers practical steps and advice as they embark on bringing their boldest and best ideas to life, including:
· Build your internal foundation: Finney states that the path to success starts internally. To build a successful company, a leader must be comfortable with uncertainty, risk, and the stress and challenges that come from building a startup. Companies that succeed are the ones whose founders built a strong internal foundation before executing their ideas.
· Name your price: You will face a slew of other challenges—to your bank account, your personal life, even to your mental health. It’s important to be very clear before you start to even build your company about the line you will not cross. Naming your price, aka recognizing your core values, and defining what constitutes a violation of them, is crucial.
· Know when to pivot: When things aren’t working, builders should know when they need to shift their strategy and try something new. Those with a fixed mindset won’t be able to envision a new path through the forest. Be willing to carve new paths. When something isn’t working, don’t give up; pivot to something new.
· Build a personal advisory board: Finney states that a personal advisory board should comprise of people who want to see you win, not just your company and they should feel comfortable enough to be honest with you. This group shouldn’t necessarily be your besties. While a few close friends or family members might be a part of this informal board, the people closest to us may often find it difficult to tell us what we really need to hear in difficult situations.
For all the innovators striving to build their businesses in a world that has overlooked and underestimated them: this is the essential guide to knowing, disrupting, remaking and building your own rules of entrepreneurship in a startup and investing world designed for and by the “Entitleds.” BUILD THE DAMN THING is an invaluable and comprehensive guide for founders who are done patiently waiting on the sidelines and ready to break barriers.