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Timothée Demoures & Eloquens.com 🏋️ the new heavy weight champion of the customer acquisition arena (#7).

Episode 7 🍍90×9.co

Timothée Demoures is a French Entrepreneur and the Managing Director of Eloquens.com. After a successful run at Strategy&, Tim decided to take a dive into the startup ecosystem of Paris. Fueled by adrenaline and passion he is the Managing Director of Eloquens.com, the world’s leading marketplace for ready-to-use tools and business know-how (in finance, strategy, marketing, startups, legal, technology & more).Tim is also the VP of Key Projects at the startup studio adVentures. Tim’s experience includes: managing a wide spectrum of business projects and investor relations for startups as noteworthy as Wimi. 

Links mentioned in this podcast include…

  1. Connect with Timothée Demoures HERE via LinkedIn
  2. The Y Combinator channel on Eloquens
  3. The link to TMDP’s channel on Eloquens




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Eloquens Team Photo

Timothée Demoures & Eloquens.com 🏋️ the new heavy weight champion of the customer acquisition arena (#7).

Timothée Demoures is a French Entrepreneur and the Managing Director of Eloquens.com. After a successful run at Strategy&, Tim decided to take a dive into the startup ecosystem of Paris. Fueled by adrenaline and passion he is the Managing Director of Eloquens.com, the world’s leading marketplace for ready-to-use tools and business know-how (in finance, strategy, marketing, startups, legal, technology & more).Tim is also the VP of Key Projects at the startup studio adVentures. Tim’s experience includes: managing a wide spectrum of business projects and investor relations for startups as noteworthy as Wimi. 

IN THIS EPISODE, HE SHARES: 

  1. The crucial questions he asked himself when he first joined Eloquens
  2. A few surprising lessons that he learnt when he took over the team
  3. How he motivates the team throughout the highs and lows of the start-up journey
  4. What obstacles he was surprised to face in the earliest stage of Eloquens
  5. A few bits of wisdom on how to manage funding

Your links, as promised: 

  1. Connect with Timothée Demoures HERE via LinkedIn
  2. The Y Combinator channel on Eloquens
  3. The link to TMDP’s channel on Eloquens




Share this episode

Listen to this podcast on your favorite platform:

iTunesSpotifyBreaker
OvercastPocket CastsRadioPublic



Full transcript

Introduction

Welcome to the 90×9 podcast, here we talk about the who, how & why behind explosive startup growth. I’m your host, Adi, previously I was the Fast Growth Executive at the million dollar pineapple, the main sponsor of this show. Now, thanks to you lovely people for bringing explosive growth to this podcast, I’m officially the Head of Growth & Operations at 90×9. Really? Yes, last week we passed more than 2000 plays in Paris alone. Exciting times people, we are officially playing on 9 platforms in more than 10 countries! So thank you for tuning in and sharing with your friends. 

A quick note about our main sponsor: if your startup is ready for explosive growth, then you want to checkout The Million Dollar Pineapple, the only Consulting Firm to specialize in growing startups to $1MM in revenue within 2 years guaranteed, GUARANTEED. If your startup is ready for this type of growth then go to 1in2.co, I will include this link in the show notes & now for today’s episode. 

Adi 🍍

Hey everybody and welcome to another episode of the 90×9 podcast, today we have Timothée Demoures, the managing director of Eloquens.com with us. Before we dive in, here’s a quick overview, Eloquens is basically a hybrid of Quora and Amazon, and it is the biggest new heavy-weight champion in the customer acquisition arena. Many thought leaders in the marketing, finance and business development arenas are flocking here to acquire new users, customers and clients. Mainly because the platform allows you to showcase your intellectual prowess by publishing books, excels, methods, video tutorials and other resources for sale or for free.

One of the biggest ways it sets itself apart from Amazon is in the publishing process; on Eloquens it is painless. You’re not forced to publish a hideous plain text document. You actually retain the freedom to control the aesthetics (fonts, images, layouts) of your own work. This coupled with the Beta launch feature for new works, are two of the many reasons that huge players such as Y Combinator and Neil Patel, are already published on the platform. 

Tim, welcome to the 90×9 podcast. I really appreciate you taking time out of your hectic schedule to come on the show to walk our first time founders through the platform and share a bit about the origin story. 

Tim

Hi Adi, thank you for having me on the show. Hello everyone, as Adi mentioned I am the current Managing Director of Eloquens.com. In a few words, Eloquens.com is the leading marketplace for the sharing of ready-to use know-how online, for any professionals, students and professors in the worlds of Finance, Strategy, Marketing, Leadership, HR and even now Technology and Science. We currently have 250 authors publishing in their own Eloquens dedicated channels and 70,000 registered users from 186 countries (50% from the US and other English speaking countries).

People come to Eloquens for four reasons:

1: Boost their personal brand,

2: Acquire new leads for their business,

3: Generate an additional revenue stream,

4: Network and the pleasure of helping others.

Adi 🍍

For those of you a bit late to the game, Eloquens is turning into a rather large player within the customer acquisition arena. How old is Eloquens?

Tim

Eloquens is going to celebrate its 3rd birthday this coming weekend. We launched our first version of the platform the June 15, 2016.

Adi 🍍

No way, so your company is as old as my daughter.

Tim

Yes exactly. Actually, I’m having my first in October.  It reminds me of the first times with Eloquens. People tell me it is quite similar. I’m looking forward to these times where things can synergize a bit.

Adi 🍍

I literally walked this same path three years ago, I had a web design project due four weeks after my daughter was born. The two biggest pieces of advice I could give you for growing a family and a startup at the same time:

1: Count your hours of sleep like a tally instead of expecting to get 8 consecutive hours. At first babies sleep in roughly 90 minute increments for a total of 17 hours a day, so you can still get your 8 hours of sleep and have your brain function, it’ll just be in 90 minute increments. 

2: Eat one meal out of the house with your spouse each week, because it is so easy to go into survival mode and forget about your number one teammate, but you won’t survive as a family if you don’t carve out at least one weekly lunch to regroup and get back to the basics of you functioning as a team.

Tim

Absolutely, these are really great tips. It’s funny because I can relate to the startup mode where sleep is also super key. It’s very easy to go in beast mode when you are passionate about your idea and just spending 15-16 hours a day working on your idea. But it’s really a marathon so you have to take care of your sleep and use it as a really strong weapon to get great ideas on board.

Also, the interesting thing is you have to be quite resilient, it’s like  when you have kids, it’s going to be a long game, so you have to be ready to take hits. You have to expect things to take a long time, so having that kind of mindset is a key differentiator.

Adi 🍍

There we go, the tie between parenting and startups, it sounds like you are ready. Babies are so much easier than startups, because unlike startups babies are built to survive.

 How long ago did you join the Eloquens team?

Tim

I joined the Eloquens team in January 2016, so that was a couple of months before the first launch and it was really at its infancy stage at this time. At that time the President of adVentures Startup Studio was looking for someone to transform his vision into a working business, and I felt it was an excellent challenge and great environment in which I could express my entrepreneurship skills. 

Adi 🍍

What made you choose Eloquens as the place to dedicate your time and effort?

Tim

That’s a really great question, because I think you really have to fall in love with what you’re working on. It takes as many questions as it would in your private life, I’d say.

First, I think the idea of being a startup leader and being an entrepreneur appealed to my personality, as I was slowly discovering and how I was bit as a kid. I was coming back to the roots of who I was as a person. I loved creating & building things for others to experience or have a look at. When you come in at an early stage in a startup, especially as a Managing Director, you have to be all rounded you can deploy your creativity in all sorts of domains, build, test, fail, learn and start again until you get it right. It’s really fun and rewarding, unlike some aspects of the corporate world which I appreciated much less.

Another decisive factor was the personality of the 50 year-old experienced entrepreneur Antoine Duboscq, Founder of Eloquens. He is also the President of adVentures Startup Studios. I thought that having someone alongside you on a day-to-day basis with his kind of experience and expertise in building scalable startups, not just as a mentor but as a part of the team, is a massive factor in increasing your success rate.

Adi 🍍

What questions did you ask yourself when you were looking at joining Eloquens?

Tim

I had at least 100 questions in my head, which I probably asked myself at that point. If I had to pick a few, I’d say that first:

1: Is entrepreneurship in a startup studio environment a lifestyle that I want? It’s really key because you’re going to spend years working in that situation so if you’re not comfortable with it, that’s going to be tough. In my case it was, so perfect.

2: Do I really love the problem we’re addressing?

3: Am I going to love the long and complicated day-to-day journey to reach our uttermost objective? Most of the day to day things are not that fun and you need to love the process not just the final goal.

4: How I would fit with the team and the culture? In my case the team was quite small when I arrived, but knowing that you have a good bonding with the team is just so key. Especially with your cofounder, I had the chance to work with Antoine a couple of months before on other projects so when I took on the leadership role it was just so much easier to get things started.

Adi 🍍

What were a few surprising lessons that you learned when you first took over the team?

Tim

That was a big thing actually because I had managed teams in past and previous experiences in sports, rugby for instance, and other organizations at university. But having that kind of real life situation, made it for me, totally original. If I had to highlight three things, I’d say that first:

1: You’re working with a team that you did not originally pick, which means that you have to adapt your style and then build on top. That was new to me, because I had to think a bit on the human level first.

2: Working on a blank state can be quite stressful. There are hundreds of directions you can go into. The key is to make quick experiments which will give you indications on whether to continue, adjust or stop.

3: You have to let your intuition guide you. Sometimes, if you’re too rational with too much organization, it just kills it. As an entrepreneur, you have to think and work like an artist with a rational mindset. Tough mix but a necessary one.

Adi 🍍

That’s so true. With The Million Dollar Pineapple we actually put into play what we called Testing Fridays. If new team members came from a corporate background they were very hesitant to participate in the beginning, but then they came to love it. On Monday we were going to start a new initiative and we all had to commit to it, but on Friday we could throw any idea out explore any theory and there was no wrong answer. Everyone had to throw out their crazy ideas because one of these crazy ideas is going to be pursued the following week.

Tim

That’s actually great, it really resonates as well with what Google did originally that Friday day, if you remember? It’s definitely a mindset you need to have. I have to say on our end we didn’t pick a specific day for this kind of thing, perhaps we will in the future.

What we do is basically each individually try to say “Ok out of the 100 initiatives we can take in a given week, 20 have to be crazy.”

We have to embrace novelty, expect to spend time taking risks and not get any results for it, and in all kinds of domains. We could be trying a new feature, a new marketing campaign, or a new way of communicating. There are loads of ways we could go into that.

One of the things I like to say is that innovation does not belong to specific founders. Everyone has leverage at their own level. They voice their ideas and concerns. What I say to my team is that it doesn’t matter if 80% of what you are going to say is something we already know, is a bad idea, or someone has already said it. The key is really a repetition of certain things. It might just be a seed that you plant into someone’s mind to be a real killer that will grow the business.

Adi 🍍

In a startup, the pressures of highs and lows really force you to operate like a sports team. I love that you mentioned that you play rugby because I equate the startup space to a game of rugby rather than a game of golf all the time. Only people who have played understand the full      

meaning of that, but what are a few things that you do with your current startup team to keep the bond as strong as the one that you had with your rugby team? 

Tim

That’s an excellent question, to be honest it is really key. Of course there is the obvious drinks, restaurants in Paris, and also talking about other things than work. But I’d say the key thing is really what happens on the ground, on the pitch if I had to equate it to that analogy. One of my key things is saying well you have to come back to human skills, notably being brutally honest and trying to hunt for the truth as a team. You’re not necessarily playing against an identifiable competitor, but you’re always aiming towards a vision. Making that path, that journey to that vision a game is something that creates a very strong bond because you then get to celebrate victories (even small ones), to try something new and it works, and try to stimulate your teammates when there is something new we can explore.

Adi 🍍

Paris? That is not a bad place to launch a startup.

Tim

Paris is great. There’s a vibrant startup community there and it is very international, if you want to build a startup outside of the US. Today, we work in a multinational environment. The key is to connect with a lot of people and Paris is a good place to do that.

Adi 🍍

I’ve actually worked with a few startups where they had one office in Paris and one in NYC and that was how they kept a pulse of both continents. What did you do before joining Eloquens that lead you here?

Tim

Before I joined, Eloquens I was actually strategy consulting at a top firm, Booz & Allen Hamilton, which is now called Strategy&, part of the PwC Group. I didn’t really appreciate the experience I had there. I was really enthusiastic before, I nailed the interviews and loved the cases, but the actual job itself lacked a bit of meaning in the long run. I couldn’t really use my energy and business creativity to its full potential. I was really looking to contribute to a vision I believed in and something that would have a global impact, like having a baby so you could see it grow over years and years.

Eloquens’ mission statement made a lot of sense at a personal level. It’s “Making Know-How a Common Good” is our motto. During my Strategy Consulting, I experienced first hand how many smart slides and methods were built by fellow consultants, and many of them unfortunately lay sitting on their harddrive all day, when other consultants at the other side of the world, would have loved to have a peep at them for inspiration for their own consulting missions. It was such a waste of assets so building Eloquens to value all of this, made so much sense.

Adi 🍍

I would have loved to have access to something like this when I was in Business School.

Tim

I imagine. It’s funny because we actually have quite a number of students who are on Eloquens and who enjoy using the platform during their MBA. We also have an increasing number of MBA students who are publishing their resources of things they have learned during their MBA or in their internships on Eloquens to boost their personal brand. They come to the states as a published author, not by publishing 100-page book which is a big step for most people, but sharing something they thought would be useful for others. Recruiters like to see that as well. If anyone wants to use Eloquens in this way, we would be happy to help you.

Adi 🍍

That is very true. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve stepped into meetings with prospective employers and clients who have asked, “Okay I see that you’ve ghost written a few books but are there any books that you wrote and published yourself?”

Tim

Exactly

Adi 🍍

I put that one up on Eloquens just so I could have something to point to and say “Actually yes, you can kind of see how my brain works with this book”. 

Tim

Absolutely. By the way, have a read at it if you haven’t. It’s a really great book, I think it’s worth it. Adi did a great job.

Adi 🍍

Thank you. So let’s say I’m a Do-It-Yourself entrepreneur looking to identify a few solid resources to guide me on my first startup endeavor. How does the Eloquens algorithm help me to sort, filter through all of the resources that are currently on the platform?

Tim

As you could imagine, algorithms are super key to get the right kind of resource and to the right person. With thousands of pieces of content up there, it’s a must have, otherwise it’s spaghetti. We’ve had to invest a lot into algorithmics.

We’ve basically worked it out in three levels:

1: All published tools are rated and reviewed by a community of users and therefore the best content is picked up by our algorithm. It pushes the great content to the top and bad content to the bottom. Very simple things, but really helps. 

2: We’ve organized the site so that someone looking for startup resources have access to published tools. Author Channels on the one hand and Eloquens Categories on the other are a good way to narrow down your search to specific themes or types of content. It’s a mix of YouTube & Amazon, channels and categories.

3: And third, our new algorithm fine-tunes the resources suggested to users based on the proximity of other users who have been on the same path before. It’s a comparison of their viewing behaviour and past downloads to the rest of the community – like on Netflix. In this way, when you’re, for instance, if you are looking for a SaaS Financial Model, you will very quickly be redirected to other useful tools published by other authors, with the famous phrase “how did they I know I needed this?”. Long live mathematics, statistics, and algorithms. That’s how it works.

Adi 🍍

It’s really funny because some people they hear the word algorithm and they immediately freeze. But all it is is technical optimization when you’re working with the algorithm from the app user end. If you’re using hashtags you’re actually helping the algorithm to sort your content. I think that’s something that is going to become more and more prevalent within the marketing space is understanding how the algorithms work and how you can work with them to make sure that your content is properly categorized and put in front of the right people. What other advice would you give to someone navigating around the platform for the first time?

Tim

Spend time exploring, comparing contents, downloading a few to see how you resonate with them, and what level of skill you are at currently. We’re a vibrant community, meaning you can ask questions directly to the authors, who may be hard to contact via other routes. As you are talking about something they have created themselves, they are very happy to Q&A about it. We also have two other places: discussion feeds on tools themselves and categories, where other users can answer your questions. It’s our mini-Quora. And if you want to publish anything yourself, there is a ton of tips and resources that we give out to new authors, so make good use of them.

Adi 🍍

I think the way that you push somebody through to publish their book, it’s much easier, and a smoother process. The user experience is much more pleasant than, let’s say the one on Amazon. With Amazon Kindle, I had a client who is a little bit older and frustrated saying “I don’t know how to work this, just do it for me.” To which I responded, “Well, have you heard of Eloquens, could we publish it there instead because I think you’d appreciate the author’s side of that platform?” 

Tim

Absolutely. I totally agree with you, our objective was to optimize:

1: The publishing process so that it is as easy as putting up a video on YouTube.

2: On the user’s side, instead of roaming around the internet trying to find quality things, we have everything in one place. It’s our job to try and organize the content in an user friendly way.

Adi 🍍

What were some obstacles that you were surprised to face in your earliest months at Eloquens?

Tim

Building a startup is tough to be honest. I expected it to be easier, when you read the books you think “Ok I’ll follow the method and it will work”. But I would say fortunately, it was a great challenge!

I think my motto became “Challenge yourself, jump off the deep end, and learn to swim”. If I had to pick a few major obstacles I would say:

1: Learn to love to fail – 90% of the people you talk too are going to reject your idea so if you get the door slammed in your face, it’s not a big issue, and you will learn things anyway. 90% give you info, insights on what to improve and where not to go. It’s valuable. It’s like gold mining.

2: Working with limited resources – when you are used to the corporate world, especially Ivy League where funds are not a big issue, when you have to have a startup garage mindset here, the rules of the game change. The reason we work with limited resources is mainly to help us focus on the essentials instead of spending energy and funds to build non-crucial features or processes for the business.

3: Never let go. Sometimes, you have to try 10 different strategies to get someone on board or come to a conclusion. Don’t take a no answer for a no. Keep trying & thinking.

4: Managing the pressure of having new ideas all day and night for the business. Embracing these “aha” moments but also learning to unplug for family and leisure – is also key. You have to manage the tension for both it’s a marathon to build a startup, not a 100m sprint. You work with the time you have at your disposal.

Adi 🍍

At The Million Dollar Pineapple I would tell people to look for the “Yes”. Because if they focused on the no’s, they were going to quit within an hour because that’s how quickly they would hear ten no’s. Where as if they were focused on the yes and looking for it as if it was a hidden treasure hunt, they were so focused on finding that yes. When a no hit them, it just washed right off of their back, and they were more likely to react with “oh that’s not the door opening for me, I’ll knock on the next one”. “This isn’t the strategy that’s going to work, I’ll try the next one and they were much more resilient if they were focused on the end goal. My end goal is just to find one yes because I only need one yes to get to the next step.

Tim

It is such a necessary mindset to have because you’re doing something people have never done before. You have to accept to be crazy and to focus on getting these wins, these exceptional things you thought in theory you would never get. In the end with persistence and good fortune manage to reach. 

Adi 🍍

This is a fan favorite question. What are some tools and tactics that you use to manage your time and team effectively?

Tim

There’s a few things. First, is a question of mindset. Again you have that 20% time focused on exploring new expansions for the business. It’s really key; it’s a good framework. There are so many things that we have now at Eloquens, in terms of features or marketing phrases and ways we can communicate that come from us taking these risks and exploring these new areas.

Second, have great tools to work with, especially an efficient teamwork & collaboration tool to maximize your productivity. We use Wimi at Eloquens, (a combination of Google Drive, Trello, Slack, Skype and Google Agenda). It makes things more centralized and easier and we know where to go and where to find things. It makes the work fun too. Software is really cool. 

Adi 🍍

How did you find out about Wimi?

Tim

I actually found out about Wimi because they’re a Parisian startup and we got acquainted with them. I worked for them as well for some time before, so it was an easy win to get to that. My advice is to explore it. I know there are other startups who do similar things. These new collaboration tools all-in-one are just a super-productivity pack for entrepreneurs. Most of them have startup offers so you can easily get on board.

Adi 🍍

I think that’s one of my favorite things, all these companies working with startups are beginning to realize they need the first two years free. Segment and Intercom are offering your first two years are heavily discounted or they’re free because they realize, “If we stay with you in the early years, you’ll stick with us in the long run.” I’m going to have to check out Wimi, because the combination of the text sack is what I’m juggling right now. 

Tim

There are other tools such as Intercom, HubSpot, other things for CRM. The tools are one thing. It’s actually quite easy to get the names and start working with them. The most important thing is the team. Beyond the tools, it’s learning how to empower them, tell the truth about where we are and also making their experience with you, a success for them. Some people are not going to be there for years and years in your startup, so you can make it a great stepping stone in your career if they’re going to give their max for your vision. Humans come first in the equation; tools don’t solve some problems. We are in the world now where we have to combine the power of tools, but also the power of basic human interaction. Time to relearn and focus on that.

Adi 🍍

For first time entrepreneurs, they should look at tools as giving the professional athlete the right sneakers. They are not going to run the athlete or give him the stamina or muscle development he needs to be successful. They’re just going to make whatever he does that much more efficient. Something I’ve done with various startups I’ve worked with in the past is every week asking the different team members assigned to me, “Is there a tool that can make your job easier and make what you are doing more efficient?” 

Tim

I like that mindset. As a startup leader, your objective is to try to put your teammates in the best position to perform at their best. It’s going to be played on different fields so you can’t guess for them, but if they know they can count on you as a way to achieve their objectives, it just works way better than if you’re trying to micromanage or get your hands on some more details. 

Adi 🍍

Especially if they come from a large corporation where they are thinking, if I don’t pretend I have everything I need, they are going to replace me. They have to realize, no, we picked you and now we want to equip you. Let us help you, help us. 

Tim

You aren’t hiring their time; you’re hiring their potential and their capacity. That’s one thing that’s interesting in startups is the way you work is totally different from corporations. Startup entrepreneurs look like cheaters. Most of the time they just lay around trying to look for information in a passive mode. From the outside, that’s how you would see them. Then they make a huge sprint. The people who are going to come and work for you are going to be kind of awkward and crazy people. Let them express whatever their age, skills, and pasts since it’s really an open game. It’s a fair game. Whoever is best, wins and stays.

Adi 🍍

All’s fair in love and war and startups. You are a funded startup. 

Tim

That’s true. We are a part of a Startup Studio in Paris. We are funded by the Startup Studio for the seed states, thus the initial cash to actually build the first version of the platform to test whether we are on the right track on not. And then the Studio can continue to fund if it’s a great solution and we’re on the right track. Then we can have outside investors come in, and that’s where sometimes there are quite a number of pitfalls.

Adi 🍍

Some people hear funding and think it’s getting $20 from their parents to go to the grocery store for whatever they want. They don’t realize everything that comes with every single dollar from that check they are handed. Could you share a few bits of wisdom on your experience with being funded by VCs, just to give some real light on this?

Tim

Absolutely. This is a good point to stress. There is a focus on startups that when they raise funds they cause success and it’s not the case. Failure rates for startups which are incredibly funded are relatively high around 80%. You still have 8 out of 10 chances to fail. Money is not going to solve your problem. It’s going to be a great tool, but you have to use it with great control. 

Founders have to be very careful of the legal side. Make sure you negotiate the terms when you have a VC coming in. Their main objective is to make money out of their investment. They don’t really care at the end that much about you or necessarily about the problem you’re sharing. Your startup is your baby, it’s your adventure. If you do have cash coming onto the table, make sure the investor has the same time frame as you in mind, plus objectives that fit nicely with yours too. For example, if you believe you can reach 10 million USD of turnover in 3 years, well it will most likely be 6 years, because things seem to take twice the time you think. So having an investor wanting an exit, for instance, in 4 years won’t work. From year 3 onwards, they will put huge pressure to try to maximize the value from your start. Most of your objectives can change. Having an objective set by a VC is not necessarily what you want. Make sure to make the right decision. So don’t love cash, use it as a tool. It’s not that much of a celebration to raise funds, but more a massive responsibility and an immense negotiation on the legal front. Stay in control. Remember one thing: you’re the boss.

Adi 🍍

Yes. It’s your baby. No one is going to care about your startup as much as you do. I was one of the Growth Hacking Advisors on a startup and the CEO calls me up freaking out that the investor just replaced him. As soon as you took the money, read the fine print before you take a dollar. That happens way too often. They don’t care about you or your baby. What they care about is getting a return on their investment for their investors, because they have people to answer to. 

Tim

These terms are actually called ratchet clauses and you have to be very careful. They are basically a way for VCs to take over the power if things don’t go in their direction. If you can try and negotiate them out of the terms, that’s good because you can still make the decisions. It doesn’t mean that VCs and investors aren’t valuable people, especially when they have experience, but you have to be the one deciding in the end. That’s really the key if you can. At some point you have to let go. As much as you can, stay in control. 

Adi 🍍

VCs can be some of the most amazing organizations that you work with. A VC firm, if they have a full stacked black book and they choose to invest in your startup, they can put you in front of the right people and you can see your startup just take off. But at the same time, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Some people think it’s just going to be perfect, and that there’s only upsides and no downsides. This conversation with Tim was coordinated to teach what some of the downsides are and to protect yourself from them. But there are a lot of benefits that come from having relationships with VCs. Personally, some of my best mentors are Venture Capitalists in Silicon Valley and Europe. They are amazing people, who are highly intelligent. They had to be to get there. But they have people to answer to as well, so they have to protect their fund and make sure they get the ROI. Be careful and know there are two sides to every coin, and go in with that knowledge when you’re going to pitch for funding, if you decide to get funding.  

Tim

I totally agree with you. Not accepting outside advice and experiences is also a great mistake. Typically at Eloquens, one of our keys to success is being in the Startup Studio, so we do have hands-on VCs on board right from the start. It’s a great relationship because they are really aligned in the long run. I don’t know how many thank yous I could say to Antoine, whose in control of that. He’s been a great help all the way.

Adi 🍍

For those of you looking to start your first venture, having a relationship like Timothée has with Antoine is a great first step. Finding somebody, even if they aren’t investing, they can give you clear advice and experience. They have been around the block before. That really is a key success factor that I have noticed consistently with many startup founders that I have worked with throughout the years. At this point, I have stopped counting at number 300. I have worked with more than 300 startups throughout 48 countries. I have seen many fail and many succeed. The ones that succeed, 9 times out of 10, they had a very good mentor who was able to guide them in the right direction. 

In Episode 2 of the 90×9 podcast we were guided through the most effective strategies for someone looking to write their first book, once the book is written what would you suggest they do to really make their work stand out on the Eloquens platform?

Tim

Nice one. Yes I’d say first, love the subject you’re addressing. If you don’t appreciate the subject, don’t write about it. If you love it, go ahead and do it. Two, have a clearly defined audience. Who are you writing for? Who are you helping with this book? That’s something you need to have. Define that persona. That’s going to help you in your marketing, and the way you are going to other things. Such as esthetics, or the look and feel. I know Adi is really good at doing that so it’s a good benchmark if you want to check it out. One of the good things with Eloquens is very quickly engage with your first audience, especially the first users that download your books. You can ask for reviews, feedback, and then improve it, republish, and go into that cycle: Build, Test, Learn. That is the modern way to create. 

Adi 🍍

One of the things I love about Eloquens is when I have a book or resource that I need to publish, I can do a Beta launch on Eloquens and publish it there. Once it’s published, anyone who downloads that book are locked to that book. When I get feedback on the first version of the book, I can go back, edit the book, rewrite some chapters, add new information, republish, and everyone that purchased and downloaded that book, they now get that new version. I don’t have to try and use 15 different tools to track them down and retarget them and say “Hey download my new version.” The platform automatically gives them the newest version of that book, which is huge for first-time publishers, those new to the self-publishing game.

Tim

We have a feature on Eloquens enabling you to have followers so if you are going to launch another book, you can push that version to all the people who you previously engaged on your channel. Instead of finding information on other channels, they have it straight on right away. 

Adi 🍍

That is huge for people looking to acquire users by creating really go content. This is definitely a platform that they need to get on and that they can go to for amazing new content. 

One final question, how do you hop back and forth between French & English flawlessly?

Tim

I don’t get it often asked. It’s linked to my personal experience. I arrived in England at the age of 8. I didn’t know a word of English. I still remember not understanding a thing of what my professor used to say. The good news is when you are totally immersed in an environment, your brain parameters itself in a totally different way. It builds a network specific to that language, meaning your brain partitions like a hard drive. When you think in a language, your references and concepts now are totally disassociated from your other language. There may be parts or connections in between, but you don’t have to translate things in your head. I know people who have done that 8 times so they know 8 languages. It’s not a question of IQ, it’s methodology and being at the right age to learn these languages. If you have small children, make good use of the fresh brain. When my little kid will arrive in October, even though I’m French, I will be talking in English to him. I believe that will give him some good weapons for later in life.

Adi 🍍

We do the same thing with my daughter. My husband only speaks to her in Hebrew and then I speak to her in English. At school, they only speak to her in Spanish. She is forced to get all three. At the age of 30, trying to switch back and forth between languages is not so easy. But I’m going to have to try that partitions strategy. I’ve noticed when I’m speaking with friends and family, if I let my brain switch to Italian, it’s so much easier. When I’m trying to think in English, and then speak in Italian, it’s just very clunky. I will have to try the partition strategy. 

Do you have any closing remarks?

Tim

Thanks for having me on the show. I really loved that conversation and I hope it’s been useful for you guys to hear what we have experienced and learned since we have been open. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by LinkedIn. I am really open to having conversations with people who are launching their startup and having little punches thrown at them to see how things are working out. 

Adi 🍍

For those of you looking to work with Eloquens, it’s an incredibly enjoyable process. They do understand sarcasm. I have worked with their support team a few times when getting books up and running. Shout out to Will. 

If you would like to keep the conversation rolling, you may reach out to Tim via LinkedIn otherwise you can checkout his amazing platform at Eloquens.com. Thank you everybody for tuning in today. Thank you Tim for gracing us with your presence. We got a lot of valuable information out for first time founders, those looking for funding, and those trying to grow a family and a start up at the same time.

Your links, as promised:

1.    Connect with Timothée Demoures HERE via LinkedIn

2.    The Y Combinator channel on Eloquens

3.    The link to my channel on Eloquens

Outro

Hi All, thanks so much for joining us for another episode of 90×9, which is sponsored by The Million Dollar Pineapple if you enjoy this content and would like to hear more, don’t forget to subscribe, rate & review this podcast. It helps us to get more amazing guests on here to share their knowledge and experience. After you rate & review we have a special gift for you. Visit 90×9.co/resources and confirm your review to gain access to some exclusive resources curated and created just for you!

If you’d like to suggest a guest, simply head over to 90×9.co/suggest 




About your host Adi Pineapple 🍍

Adi Soozin, Adi Vaughn Soozin

Adi Soozin recently transitioned from working as the Fast Growth Executive at The Million Dollar Pineapple to the Head of Growth & Operations at 90×9. Over the past decade she has worked as an on-call consultant and marketing freelancer for more than 300 companies throughout 48 countries, across 6 continents. The fastest she has grown a company is from $0 to more than $100,000,000 in sales in less than 5 years.

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