As the new year approaches, we all make resolutions to improve ourselves in some way or another. When making your list of resolutions this year, go beyond treadmills and inbox organization, and include angel investing. Here are three reasons becoming an angel investor in 2015 can benefit you directly and immediately.
Reason 1: Angel Investing Is Cross-Training for Your Brain
I bring my own areas of expertise and interest to angel investing. Sometimes, though, I hear presentations from companies in fields I know little about and find them to be the most challenging and, therefore, the most enjoyable. As part of the evaluation process, my fellow angels and I engage in deep discussions that draw on all of our experiences and skills. Some of those skills are industry-specific, but others are business and market-based.
In this past year, I greatly expanded my knowledge outside of my management consulting background through these presentations and discussions. I learned about medical devices that create more efficient drug delivery and new algorithms for designing chemotherapy protocols. I heard from numerous e-commerce platforms and apps that want to deliver everything with just a click. I was exposed to environmental innovations that aim to eliminate hazardous waste from major industries, and clean energy products to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Take part in discussions with fellow angels about companies, regardless of the industry. You’ll be surprised by the vast knowledge you pick up.
Reason 2: Your GPS for Innovation Will Be Put to Work
Innovation is a journey, and angel investing takes you on that journey from the beginning. By hearing from startups in different industries, you will expand your knowledge in a direct and interesting way. Great ideas have fallen by the wayside because companies couldn’t execute a successful strategy. Angel investing exposes me to the different strategies needed to bring innovations to commercialization.
Reason 3: You’ll Actually Enjoy Some of That Networking You Are Supposed to Be Doing
Let’s face it: When you are a busy professional, you have limited time to make new friendships and establish new networks. Meeting a new set of people outside of work is often difficult to do, especially if you are “the boss” or in senior management in your own professional life. You often end up at the same events talking with the same people, which is a detriment for most of us whose success is dependent on the quality of our network.
For busy professionals, angel investing can be an efficient and effective way to connect with peers in different industries from different backgrounds. For busy parents, too, angel investing is a way to meet new people that are not connected to your children’s activities. Amen to that.
These are just three reasons why becoming an angel investor should top your list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions. Even if you don’t make a single investment in 2015, you can benefit from getting started today.
Barbara Clarke is a member of the DailyWorth Connect Program. Read more about the program here. She is also an angel investor in DailyWorth. You can find a full list of Clarke's angel investments here. This article is not investment advice, nor is it a solicitation to buy or sell any shares.