65 episodes

This is the What's Your Ask? show, with Stephanie Sims. Listen in each week to learn how to find more money to grow your business. Host Stephanie Sims will talk with entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem builders to find out why it is important to know...What's Your Ask?

What's Your Ask? with Stephanie Sims Stephanie Sims

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

This is the What's Your Ask? show, with Stephanie Sims. Listen in each week to learn how to find more money to grow your business. Host Stephanie Sims will talk with entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem builders to find out why it is important to know...What's Your Ask?

    Stephanie on Matt Wolach, Sales as a Principle Source of Capital

    Stephanie on Matt Wolach, Sales as a Principle Source of Capital

    In this episode… This is a shared episode by Matt Wolach.  Matt starts the episode introducing Stephanie, asking where she is today and how she got there.  
    They kick off the show agreeing that raising capital is truly all about sales.  People looking for funding need to look at what is right in front of them - creating something of value that clients and future clients will pay them for.  
    One of the mindsets that is super important is that of an investor.  And then you ask yourself, “What is the best use of the resources I already have?”   
    When it comes to timing, Stephanie shares the best way to know if you’re ready to raise capital is when you know how to turn $1m inside your company to $2m.  One needs to understand what makes a good investment inside your business first.
    The show turns to talking about fundraising being truly a sales and marketing process.  However, there are a few metrics, key numbers and KPIs to keep an eye on.
    Finally, they wrap up with Stephanie sharing advice to those setting out to find funds and the right investor.  And of course, ways to keep up with Stephanie.
    Resources Mentioned in this episode
    Finance-Ability Stephanie Sims Stephanie Sims LinkedIn Sponsor for this episode...
    Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best options for growth funding. Founded by financial strategist and transaction expert Stephanie Sims, Finance-Ability can help any business owner identify the right funding partners and get through fundraising as painlessly as possible.
    Visit their website to take their online assessment test to help you find out which kind of funding is the best fit for your business right now. They also have a ton of resources to help you understand business processes and financial decision-making that can help you start and build your own empire so be sure to check them out.
    Stephanie has over 20 years of experience having worked with companies like Goldman Sachs and CSFB. If there’s anyone with their heart in the right place when it comes to championing the dreams of small business owners and startup companies, Stephanie is that person. Let Finance-Ability help you get the funding you need and deserve to get your dreams soaring high towards your own brand of success.

    • 26 min
    Stephanie on Lead Like a Woman

    Stephanie on Lead Like a Woman

    In this episode… Andrea begins the episode introducing Stephanie, and asks her exactly what it was that drove her into owning her own business. More specifically, what drove her to Financeability.
    What gave Stephanie the heart for business? It stemmed from watching her parents who owned their own business. When her parents were ready to retire, they reached out to Stephanie who helped them place value on their business so they could talk about it like the asset it was.
    Stephanie shares how she helps businesses plan an exit strategy that doesn’t just include hanging their hat on the door and that’s that. Understanding the end game is crucial, and not everyone knows that.
    Another major playing piece for those wanting to ask for money is knowing their ideal investor.  Without knowing that, there is so much wasted time and energy.
    There are two groups that Stephanie works with, and those are founders, but the second one that really excites her is working  with organizations that serve groups of founders.  She explains why, so make sure you listen!  
    The episode wraps with words of advice and sharing what she believes is her superpower and how it helps others.
    Resources Mentioned in this Episode Finance-Ability Stephanie Sims Stephanie Sims LinkedIn http://leadlikeawoman.biz Sponsor for this episode...
    Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best options for growth funding. Founded by financial strategist and transaction expert Stephanie Sims, Finance-Ability can help any business owner identify the right funding partners and get through fundraising as painlessly as possible.
    Visit their website to take their online assessment test to help you find out which kind of funding is the best fit for your business right now. They also have a ton of resources to help you understand business processes and financial decision-making that can help you start and build your own empire so be sure to check them out.
    Stephanie has over 20 years of experience having worked with companies like Goldman Sachs and CSFB. If there’s anyone with their heart in the right place when it comes to championing the dreams of small business owners and startup companies, Stephanie is that person. Let Finance-Ability help you get the funding you need and deserve to get your dreams soaring high towards your own brand of success.

    • 35 min
    Leadership Journey

    Leadership Journey

    In this Episode . . .
    Robbie gets this episode started by asking Stephanie about her leadership journey and when she realized she had a knack for leading.  To Stephanie, being a leader is equal parts inspiration and risk/action taking.  One must have a bold vision to share with people that will get them excited about doing something.  In the same sense, one must also be willing to roll up their own sleeves, dig in and do some work as well.
    Mentors were important to Stephanie, and among the top of that list are her parents.  They encouraged and supported her in multiple ways during her leadership journey.  No matter how crazy of an idea, they were there for her and provided the push when needed. 
    At the age of 12, Stephanie thought she wanted to be a doctor until the opportunity arose at summer camp to practice on cadavers.  It was then her dream of being a doctor was called off.  By the age of 13, she was working on spreadsheet for her parents, and with her father being an accountant, she was off and running in the world of finance.
    Robbie and Stephanie talk at length about networking.  Prior to the pandemic, networking was largely face-to-face.  Things, events, and the mode of networking has changed drastically since March 2020, and these changes will be a permanent thing. 
    The episode wraps with Stephanie sharing what excites her about the future, and how she will be mentoring and reaching groups of entrepreneurs.
    Resources Mentioned in this episode
    Finance-Ability Stephanie Sims Stephanie Sims LinkedIn Sponsor for this episode...
    Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best options for growth funding. Founded by financial strategist and transaction expert Stephanie Sims, Finance-Ability can help any business owner identify the right funding partners and get through fundraising as painlessly as possible.
    Visit their website to take their online assessment test to help you find out which kind of funding is the best fit for your business right now. They also have a ton of resources to help you understand business processes and financial decision-making that can help you start and build your own empire so be sure to check them out.
    Stephanie has over 20 years of experience having worked with companies like Goldman Sachs and CSFB. If there’s anyone with their heart in the right place when it comes to championing the dreams of small business owners and startup companies, Stephanie is that person. Let Finance-Ability help you get the funding you need and deserve to get your dreams soaring high towards your own brand of success.

    • 51 min
    Stephanie on Money Talks with Hugh Meyer

    Stephanie on Money Talks with Hugh Meyer

    In this Episode . . .
    Stephanie shares that her parents owned a business while she was in high school, but when time came to sell their business and retire, they struggled to find buyers.  She realized then that the business was sellable, but they didn’t know how to talk about their business as an investment.
    For Stephanie, it is fun to see people get excited, but she tries to help when they are frustrated because they see a way to grow but don’t know how to find the money to do it.  Most entrepreneurs are not finance people, so don’t always understand their financial health and what pieces to put in place.  They need to know their numbers in order to look and ask for capital.  The numbers are very revealing!
    The world changed during the pandemic.  Toward the end of the year, and people adapted, there was quite a bit of money raised.  The changes, including the world of Zoom, made people transition to a different way of approaching the investor.  But, she did see a lot of people panic, but most turned the panic into productivity. 
    The biggest misconception people have, is there is this huge pool of money just looking to be spent.  That isn’t how it works.  They generally won’t fund 100% of the round, and sometimes they simply aren’t interested because it isn’t big enough for them.  Reality is this – there are different kinds of capital for companies at different stages. 
    Fundraising is just like sales and marketing – you need an ideal client, and you need a message that resonates with them.  You can’t stand up and simply ask, “Hey I have this thing, do you want to buy it?”  Building connections is key, even though the digital world continues to advance.  It’s time to pull back automation and create genuine relationships.  The touch and customer service are needed.
    Philosophy needs to be aligned with whomever you work with.  It isn’t always prudent to get involved, and there are always going to be other opportunities. 
    Finally, Stephanie shares this piece of advice, “money is not your problem.”  Rethink things if you feel money will get you where you want to go. 
    Resources Mentioned in this episode
    Finance-Ability Stephanie Sims Stephanie Sims LinkedIn Sponsor for this episode...
    Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best options for growth funding. Founded by financial strategist and transaction expert Stephanie Sims, Finance-Ability can help any business owner identify the right funding partners and get through fundraising as painlessly as possible.
    Visit their website to take their online assessment test to help you find out which kind of funding is the best fit for your business right now. They also have a ton of resources to help you understand business processes and financial decision-making that can help you start and build your own empire so be sure to check them out.
    Stephanie has over 20 years of experience having worked with companies like Goldman Sachs and CSFB. If there’s anyone with their heart in the right place when it comes to championing the dreams of small business owners and startup companies, Stephanie is that person. Let Finance-Ability help you get the funding you need and deserve to get your dreams soaring high towards your own brand of success.

    • 31 min
    Women Don't Always Have to Compete

    Women Don't Always Have to Compete

    Today, I’m excited to talk to Natalie Benamou, the Founder & CEO of Herpower2 Lead.
    Natalie is a strategic thought leader with 30 years of experience creating ‘Blue Ocean’ strategies that help differentiate businesses from the competition and leading organizations. 
    She has served as President of HBA Chicago (Healthcare Business Women's Association) as well as A Heart For Animals, an all volunteer animal rescue that has saved over 3,000 pets.
    Natalie founded HerCsuite™, an advisory & networking platform for executive women leaders, to empower female executives. She is a super connector and helps women make meaningful business relationships, gain visibility, and advance to the C-suite and beyond.
    Natalie is also the host of HerCsuite™ Radio, a podcast for women leaders on the move.
    In this episode… As they start, Natalie shares the scariest ask has ever been when asking for herself.  It is getting others to see the vision she has and join in the vision she has.  She leads with empathy, and asks “what does success look like to you” in hopes they are aligned and can work together. 
    Natalie and Stephanie have a lengthy discussion on failures, the fear of rejection and how to rejoice with getting “no” knowing it leads to bigger and better things.
    In addition to failures, they talk about resilience and flexibility.  Without those, success will not be easily achieved.
    Lastly, Natalie shares she loves to say “yes” to the asks she gets but now asks herself if she can make a difference, can she help people, and still live her purpose.  If she can confidently say yes to these three questions, she can say yes.
    Resources Mentioned in this Episode LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nataliebenamou/ https://hercsuite.com/ https://www.rejectiontherapy.com/  Finance-Ability Stephanie Sims Stephanie Sims LinkedIn Sponsor for this episode...
    Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best options for growth funding. Founded by financial strategist and transaction expert Stephanie Sims, Finance-Ability can help any business owner identify the right funding partners and get through fundraising as painlessly as possible.
    Visit their website to take their online assessment test to help you find out which kind of funding is the best fit for your business right now. They also have a ton of resources to help you understand business processes and financial decision-making that can help you start and build your own empire so be sure to check them out.
    Stephanie has over 20 years of experience having worked with companies like Goldman Sachs and CSFB. If there’s anyone with their heart in the right place when it comes to championing the dreams of small business owners and startup companies, Stephanie is that person. Let Finance-Ability help you get the funding you need and deserve to get your dreams soaring high towards your own brand of success.

    • 36 min
    Investor Relationships with Tara Spalding

    Investor Relationships with Tara Spalding

    Today, I’m excited to talk to Tara Spalding, the Managing Director of BoomStartup Accelerator. 
    BoomStartup is an accelerator and mentorship-driven angel-stage investment program for startups, which operates as an online technology-driven accelerator, providing entrepreneurs a custom business plan including business maturity guidance, investment preparation, and capital structuring relevant to growth, and investment strategies as well as a curated marketplace for services. 
    Tara is also the founder of Hen House Ventures, an early stage incubator that helps tech companies rapidly scale when entering massive markets, and is also on the board of trustees for VentureCapital.org. 
    Tara is the recipient of the 2020 Utah Business 30 Women to Watch award.
    Tara began her high-tech career in Silicon Valley when she taught herself to code software and became the first employee, and eventually VP of marketing at industry leader, SugarCRM. 
    Her Silicon Valley experience included roles as CMO at GroundWork Open Source, VP marketing at Magnet Systems, and co-founder and CPO at BenchPick. Tara received her bachelors from University of Colorado, Boulder.
    In this episode…
    Tara starts with the speed round and answering Stephanie’s questions including her favorite junk food, vacation spots, and music.
    For Tara, there were thousands of asks that she didn’t not even know she had the courage to do until she did it.  The first time she became a cofounder with another person and needed to find outside investments.  When she did it or helped other people, it came much easier than when it was her own.  Looking back, she realizes she worried about the most goofy things, such as the color she was wearing.
    The relationship she has now with their investor was built along with trust and credibility over time.  When you find the right investor fit, there is no better relationship because they are on your side in multiple ways and offer beneficial suggestions and ideas.
    Tara suggests to entrepreneurs: Look at it from the investor’s point of view, not the entrepreneur’s or their own. 
    What is important is getting a sense of adventure in how they want to spend their money and see the returns.  For those looking for money, it needs to fit into their investment portfolio as a person.  Everyone has a different risk/reward appetite and that needs to be aligned. 
    You may want to know how you get an indication about the risk appetite they might have or how involved they want to be, and according to Tara, it is really tricky.   Asking the question, three different times over a period of time to see if answers are consistent, is one method.  Over time, relying on the network is important as well.
    Tara’s company offers everything online at the moment but is piloting their first face-to-face soon.  It is amazing how adaptive our brains are, no matter what the platform or venue.  Right now, investors, and others, are more accessible with technology.
    How does one refine their ask?  Tara actually pulls from Stephanie’s play book and suggests coming up with two options that people can help you with.  People can be successful making the smaller asks and building relationships. 
    How does Tara decide who to say yes to when it comes to sharing her time?  Always looking for meaningful engagement with more than one person at a time.  
    When coming up with your ask, make sure to think of a couple of asks.  If you get an answer, advice or introduction you need to follow up by explaining the conclusion! 
    Where can people find Stephanie?  Join the Boom Start Up Community!  It’s fun and easy!  Come on in and have some fun!
    Resources Mentioned in this episode https://www.linkedin.com/in/taraspalding/ https://boomstartup.com Finance-Ability Stephanie Sims Stephanie Sims LinkedIn Sponsor for this episode...
    Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best optio

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

GLGrombacher ,

Great show

Stephanie’s a great host with a ton of expertise and knowledge. Love this show!

Eva Jannotta ,

Highly recommend!

This show is so great!! I love how Stephanie pulls back the curtain on how people have asked (or been asked) for the important things in business: referrals, investors, opportunities, etc. Not enough people talk openly about the logistics of asks, and it’s a critical part of growing a business (or career). I highly recommend this show.

AB Rockstar Recruiter ,

Awesome value for startups & founders

Funding, access to resources and talent all require mastering the skill of the ask! Stephanie interviews interesting guests who have awesome insights to share. Love it! I definitely recommend checking out her podcast!

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