Sherpa /‘shuhpa’/ noun a member of a Tibetan people living on the high slopes of the Himalayas.

Climbers have been hiring the Sherpa people for over a hundred years to help with their ascent of Mt. Everest. Why, when a trail is already there and that trail is marked on a map? Because the Sherpas have mastered those routes, they understand the climate, and can identify the short cuts and pitfalls.

Sherpaing /‘shuhpa-ing’/ verb the act of being a Sherpa.

We can be your Sherpa as you grow your business. Where traditional coaching may end with selling you a trail map, our Sherpaing services mean we join you for the journey and actively plug holes in your business as you strive for your own bootstrapped summit.

That includes looking for short cuts and identifying pitfalls too. Pitfalls and short cuts that are dynamic and dependent on the nature of your business, the economic climate and the stage you’re at.

For example, let’s say you’ve had a small seed round and need to raise another seed round. You have had an offer of $2M at a pre-money valuation of $2M (2x the valuation of your initial round), and a second offer of $1M at a pre-money valuation of $7M. Which should you take?

It depends on the context of course. Let’s add some:

  • it’s Q1 2008
  • you have 6 months runway assuming you take the $1M offer
  • business is good, the economy is good, financial markets appear to be positive, the $1M offer is from a highly reputable firm and a Series-A round at the end of the year looks like a slam dunk
  • your original seed investor is extremely keen for you to take the lower raise amount at the higher valuation

What you don’t know:

  • the 2008 financial crisis is rapidly approaching and due to hit in 6 months making another raise at that time much more difficult
  • your seed investor is in the middle of raising their next fund and needs to show massive leaps in portfolio valuations

It’s hard to imagine not being aligned with your investors but it can happen. It’s not malicious, it’s just another pitfall you need to be aware of. Imagine taking the $1M and then being stuck with a $7M valuation that makes your next raise even harder…

We can’t raise money for you but we have the experience to Sherpa for you. To leverage the short cuts and guide you around the pitfalls while, at the same time, filling in for you and doing some heavy lifting in the business - some extra lead gen for your Sales team; some short term Sales resource to bridge a difficult time; managing a crucial hiring process; or some combination of these and other special projects.

That’s what we mean by Sherpaing.

To discuss how we can Sherpa for you: