The ONE formula that works in every pitch situation

This formula one has 4-words

Whenever I’m in a high stakes situation where I don’t have a formal pitch prepared, I always default to the exact same formula to get myself ready in 5-minutes or less:

“What, Why, Lesson, Apply”

In other words:

  • What just happened?

  • Why it matters.

  • What’s the lesson here?

  • What you should about it …

Once you learn this formula, you’ll start to see it EVERYWHERE.

Why? Because this is the fastest mental pathway to how other people like to receive NEW information.

In fact, turn on the news and pretty much every single story line follows some version of this outline.

Here’s some news that follows What, Why, Lesson, Apply perfectly:

A friend of mine was trying to close a $10mil Series-A from venture.

I told him not to go that route, but he wanted to be a gym-class-hero and play with venture capital fire…

Here’s WHAT happened to him: He was raising money from “small balance check-writers”, about $250K at a time. THEN, he decided to go out for his first round of true institutional capital, otherwise known as Venture Fire … or as I call it in my recent stage presentations:

The Gauntlet of Death:

Although I told him not to …. my friend signed a “no shop” clause, ensuring the worst case scenario:

ONLY one buyer at the closing table

My friend was super excited by this strategic investor because it checked all the boxes - Money, distribution, and management expertise.

So he made the WORST move ever when you’re in The Gauntlet of Death shopping for Venture Fire:

He fell in LOVE

And you should never fall in love with investors.

“Oh, we’re getting all this Money at a high valuation …. everyone is going to respect me because we’re invested in by [An**** K*****tz] … and they’re going to introduce us to everyone in the valley!”

Sure they will buddy.

So after six weeks of due diligence and at the 11th hour –– literally a week before the company was going to run out of money – they did exactly what you think.


The term sheet my friend received looked nothing like what they had talked about. Not only was the valuation about 25% lower, the investor wanted THREE of the five board seats.

And to add insult to injury, they wanted the founders to give their shares back to treasury, and then re-vest their shares over a four year period of time.

(If you’re new to all these terms, then just understand, this is nothing short of sh** sandwich.)

WHY is this such a terrible deal?

Because this type of toxic minority control will likely lead to one outcome – the founders get fired one day soon, long before their shares vest and they have to walk away from the company they built with nothing to show.

The LESSON: if you aren’t running an organized capital markets program, it’s very easy to find yourself in a situation like this.

Especially if you don’t have the CEO skills required to manage these types of investors and protect your company from the obvious red flags in this entire engagement.

How do we apply this lesson?

Answer: Join me for my upcoming webinar on how you can start using the F.A.S.T. Funding method to raise all the capital you need from small balance check writers and avoid this type of nonsense entirely.

And for today’s Playbook, I’m going to tell you the exact formula for raising money quickly when you’re just getting started.


P.S. Ever watch a friend of yours ignore your good advice? It’s the worst.

OK, let’s get into the APPLICATION part of today’s playbook:

The Infinity Stones

In the Marvel Comic Universe, the Ultimate Final Boss is this dude named Thanos.

He’s a bad dude for a lot of reasons, but what makes him particularly dangerous are these magical “Infinity Stones” that – when all six are combined in this punching glove – can destroy the universe.

Why does this matter? Even if you don’t have all six stones in the glove, every one you do have makes you more powerful.

And when you’re going head to head against some scary dudes in capital markets (like the venture guys I mentioned at the start of today’s newsletter) you need to be able to punch above your weight class if you’re going to have any chance of protecting your company from bad guys.

If you’ve had a chance to go through my full FAST Funding webinar, I’ve shown you what the Oren Klaff Infinity stones look like:

  • The 16-Slide Magic Pitch Deck

  • Assumption-Driven Financial Model

  • Securities Documents

  • 3-page Teaser

  • Proper Board-level Governance

So if you want to punch hard and win financial battles, put THOSE Infinity Stones in your glove!!

But here’s the thing about that level of weapon. It’s takes the kind of experience and “time-in” that I have to do it well.

In other words: steep learning curve.

Especially if you’re new to this and don’t have a ton of time.

That’s why I always have our CEOs start with the “easy” version of this on the “Bunny Slope”.

The Bunny Slope Infinity Stones work great on small balance check-writers and other friendlies that you should be talking to right now.

  • Origin Story

  • Warm Email Outreach

  • The 3 Page Teaser

  • The Window Sticker

  • The 8-Slide Pitch Deck

  • The Unique Mechanism

Want to learn how to build your own gauntlet full of the exact Infinity Stones you need?

If so, I’m hosting a webinar on May 18th at 9am PT where I’ll show you how all this Infinity Stone-stuff actually works in the real world of finance and capital markets.

On this webinar, I’ll tell you exactly how the stones work. Chances are, if all you do is implement some of the tactics you learn on this webinar, you’ll see results immediately.

But if at the presentation you decide you’d like to work with me and my team, we’ll tell you how you can apply for a spot at our next Capital Raising CEO cohort which is full of magic that defies any known capital markets science, as you can imagine.

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