Serving shareholders with appreciation

I hosted a Lift9 shareholders meeting last night at my place. Having helped raise money for three companies now, I was selective about the company’s initial investors. The group last night was fantastic and very supportive about what we’re doing at Lift9.

I wanted to host the meeting at my personal residence and put in extra personal effort toward making the evening enjoyable. I cooked blue-cheese crusted filet mignons with red wine sauce, and had some nice wines lined up from a ’06 Groth Reserve Cabernet for the steaks to a ’85 Elysium for dessert, and many others in between. If you have good filets and wines, it’s really hard to mess up a meal. The dinner was a way of showing personal appreciation for the shareholders’ trust and support. The evening allowed me to serve them, symbolic of what I’m trying to do everyday as the CEO of Lift9 to all our stakeholders.

The current shareholders are our initial (seed) investor family and an employee partner. As the founder, I have controlling shares, but still need everyone’s understanding and support around our progress and direction.

Many entrepreneurs do not like managing their shareholders or board. Yet, it’s a critical part of their job and one that they should take seriously — and personally.