Ep564: Cory Warfield – Generating Revenue Is Better Than Raising Capital

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Quick take

BIO: Tech founder, LinkedIn influencer, Metaverse architect, community builder, advisor and consultant to web3 and blockchain projects, philanthropist, and lover of dogs – it’s LinkedIn’s (beloved) “Crytpo Guy” Cory Warfield!

STORY: Cory spent so much time and emotions trying to raise capital for his company instead of focusing on generating revenue from a product that was already selling.

LEARNING: Focus on producing revenue, and investors will come knocking.


“If you ask for money, you get advice. But if you ask for advice, you get money.”

Cory Warfield


Guest profile

Tech founder, LinkedIn influencer, Metaverse architect, community builder, advisor and consultant to web3 and blockchain projects, philanthropist, and lover of dogs – it’s LinkedIn’s (beloved) “Crytpo Guy” Cory Warfield!

Worst investment ever

Cory’s made his worst investment ever as a first-time founder trying to raise capital. Raising about $800,000 for his company caused the demise of the company. Cory spent so much time and emotion creating pitch decks trying to raise money.

After he raised the capital, the funders came in and hired all sorts of unnecessary staff. They also scrapped Cory’s MVP, which was earning revenue, and instead spent a lot of money launching an inferior product.

Cory believes that had he instead spent that time trying to find ways to increase revenue, the company could have raised that $800,000 quicker. The company would have had enough capital to scale the way he had wanted it to. Now Cory bootstraps every venture he’s part of.

Lessons learned

  • The best investment that an early-stage company can get is revenue. When you have customers putting their money into your product, you’ll have enough validation, and investors will throw money at you.
  • In addition to revenue, building a community is even more important. And if you offer value to that community, you can monetize it.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Focus on sales and generating profit so that you can bootstrap your start-up instead of just raising capital to run it.

Actionable advice

If you are pursuing investment capital, don’t appease or kiss investors’ butts. Just act like they’re no big deal. Psychologically, it makes them start to bid on you in their own mind. It makes them want that deal.

No.1 goal for the next 12 months

Cory’s goal for the next 12 months is to help as many people as possible get into the metaverse. He wants to help them create their own meta worlds, communities, and other metaverses and environments. He wants to see more people embrace this new world happening in real-time.

Parting words


“If you’re wondering whether or not you should go for it. I think the answer is always very simple: go for it.”

Cory Warfield


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that to win an investing, you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives to reduce risk in your life, go to my worst investment ever.com today and take the risk reduction assessment I created from the lessons I've learned from more than 500 guests fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast hosts Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests, Corey Warfield, Cory, are you ready to join the mission?

Cory Warfield 00:44
I'm ready to join the mission, but I'm probably not going to be the worst investment you've ever made.

Andrew Stotz 00:51
Well, we're trying to make good investments in the future. But let me introduce you to the audience, tech founder, LinkedIn, influencer, Metaverse, architect, community builder, advisor and consultant to web three and blockchain projects philanthropists, and lovers of dogs and cats, because I saw one behind your head. It's LinkedIn beloved crypto guy, Cory Warfield, Cory, take a minute and tell us a bit about the value that you bring to this wonderful world.

Cory Warfield 01:22
Well, first of all, thank you for that. And second of all, I think, you know, as an empath, and someone that's worked my way kind of from the bottom to top from a couple industries. And now starting several companies, I'd say that the value that I bring right now is I truly know how to listen. So that's my personal brand on social media is I listen, you know, I listened when I had 10s of 1000s. And listen, when I have, you know, hundreds of 1000s and millions of people listening. And I really just care to see other people succeed. So we're using web three technology to automate some of what I do to help more people and, you know, the price and anyone can afford being free, you know, other than their time. And other than that, I just, I think putting myself out there and places where people want to hear what I have to say and where I can respond to people that want to have dialogue is where I can, you know, at least hopefully add value in the world.

Andrew Stotz 02:19
Fantastic. And where is the best place for people who are interested in what you're doing where they can follow you?

Cory Warfield 02:26
Well, to follow me is probably LinkedIn I post almost daily there, but people want to I can on my radar, I'd say it's anywhere but LinkedIn, I'm getting 1000s of inbound, you know, messages and many 1000s of engagements daily there. So I tend to miss quite a bit you know, even my team we can't pick up on everything that comes into us on LinkedIn. But on a Facebook on Twitter on an Instagram on I mean, I'm, I'm on Tik Tok, I'm on Snapchat for crying out loud, right, like anywhere other than LinkedIn is a great place for people to, you know, kind of see the real Korean to connect on a on a on a level where I might be able to respond back.

Andrew Stotz 03:09
Got it. Alright, well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment thinking it will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to and then tell us your story.

Cory Warfield 03:21
Absolutely. And I guess I'll quickly say that there's a chance that the best investment I've made to date, which is LinkedIn, may end up being the worst investment ever, because they've now started to change their terms and services and community policies. And I've now put about isn't the equivalent of a year's worth of hours into LinkedIn. And it's made me think God, seven figures of inbound revenue. But I might not be able to be there for long being in the decentralized world in the web three in the blockchain world. So that may end up having been a shorter sighted investment than I ever thought. However, for the purposes of today's episode, and in our conversation, I'd say the worst investment I ever made, was as a first time founder trying to raise capital. And although we ultimately raised about $100,000, that was the demise of the company. And I spent so much time making deck after deck after deck, right. I was Canva had been around then. But I was on keynote and on PowerPoint, and then on Fiverr and paying people to do decks and then going through and redoing them myself, after all the time and emotional capital and tears that I spent raising that $800,000 That ultimately was to the detriment to the company. I could have just doubled and tripled down on revenue and we would have ultimately done that 800k is quickly and we would have had all of the capital the scale the way that we could have been should have so I'd say raising money has been the The worst investment I've ever made and I bootstrapped every venture I've been part of ever since then.

Andrew Stotz 05:06
That is just so counterintuitive. Cory. I want to just break it down just briefly by asking the question about, was it that you lost so much time in the process? Or was it that the money corrupted where you were going? And whatever? What was it about that?

Cory Warfield 05:27
Absolutely everything. So the, you know, hundreds of hours I spent in the raising capital could have been spent into more cold calls, outbound reads, building our social media earlier, right, that would have transitioned into a lot more nose and rejection, which is fine, you learn from those, but a lot more sales a lot more, you know, involvement from people, be it customers, customer feedback, customer referrals, right. I mean, we started to see that, as we were starting to raise the capital. So it was the time invested, it was the attention and intention that we were putting in, but also, when the money came in, in my case, they hired a, quote unquote, real CEO. And they deprecated our quote, unquote, MVP, which was making revenue, right, we were making quite a bit of revenue, with the product we launched, but they may effective. Ly scrapped it, to spend a lot of money on an inferior product, right? That, right? So when we were bootstrapped, and lean and mean, and we had to, you know, kind of keep going with what we had, we were in a much better situation. And once they brought in social media managers, and you know, financial directors and things of that nature, these are people that didn't come from the industry and had lived the problem that we solved for. And Ray had different definitions of machine learning. And these things are really, you know, we were a tech company, and you know, to this to this day, they still are, but they're nowhere near where they were probably prior to raising, you know, the first $2 million round.

Andrew Stotz 07:11
interesting, fascinating. I thinking about two different episodes that I've had in the past one was with a guy named Sam pot, he was the episode 192. And another one was with a great author, Weldon long, and he wrote a book about consistency selling, he was episode 412. And it's talking about, you know, in these episodes, and what I'm hearing from you too, is the idea is that, you know, ultimately, sales is where you want to be focused, getting the customer generating the profit from that and getting yourself higher, you know, I guess we call it bootstrapping. But the idea being that, hey, it's about trying to generate revenue, more than trying to generate, you know, right, more than just raising capital to run a business. So that's a valuable lesson, how would you describe in a very short, you know, words, the lesson that you learn?

Cory Warfield 08:11
Well, I think, you know, even 1015 years ago, it was almost, you know, flashy, attractive, seductive to raise capital, I think anymore, the best investment that especially early stage company can get is revenue, I think customers putting their money, you know, where you've postulated a solution needs to exist, and where you've put some capital and some resources and some thought into, that's the validation where then investors throw money at you. But I'd say from my, you know, now years, being in this world, and helping, you know, a number of successful companies scale, it's even more important to build community. Because if you build community around whenever the idea in the company, and the concept is, you can monetize that community, and you can figure out exactly what it is that they want need that you can offer them for less than you could ever charge, or that you can give them more value in other words than they could ever pay you for. And at that point, it becomes really, you know, did you grow community of 1000 10,000 or a million people? Is what you're giving them valuable enough for them to give you $1 $10 or $100? Is it once every month, every single month? Right, and you can build real communities of real value that make real money. And I think from there, that's an investor's dream. You've got 100,000 people that pay $100 a month. How can I get 10% of that? And how can I get 1% of that, right? How can I get some distributions? How can I join your advisory board? And I think it's very contrary to the way a lot of people look Get building their business. And, um, you know, for me at this point now that that's become part of my roadmap and blueprint and BMC it's been very powerful.

Andrew Stotz 10:13
Yeah, I guess the big takeaway is that you make me feel like I've done a good job in our coffee business, my best friend Dale and I in coffee works. Basically, we set that up in 1995. And we were 5050. At the time, we have diluted ourselves to 4040. We do have some other investors, but we never were searching for that capital. And in the end, we didn't grow as big as we possibly could have. But we also didn't crash because of all kinds of conflicts. And we have a great relationship between he and I, that has lasted more almost three decades now. And all of that cash flow is ours. And we don't have people telling us. So I think that's a lot of great lessons in there. So for that person out there right now, who is bound to raise capital for their company, and they're on that track, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them?

Cory Warfield 11:08
Well, it's interesting, but proven to be very true. If you are pursuing investment capital, treat investors, like you don't have time for them. Being late to meetings, don't show up to meetings, don't be apologetic. There's not, they've never seen that they're used to being placated and having their butts kissed and people there early, and just act like they're no big deal. Psychologically, it makes them start to bid on you in their own mind. And it makes them want that deal. And I've now helped raise over $10 million during COVID. Every single deal. I've had my founders or my team go in with that philosophy. And it's been interesting to say the least, to see what that approach does.

Andrew Stotz 11:58
That's great advice. It's almost like you're saying, Guys, this is your opportunity to get on the train and the trains leaving if you're not interested. I'm going to the next.

Cory Warfield 12:06
Yeah, yep. And the other one, and this is probably been said on your 500 Plus episodes. But if you ask for money, you got advice. But if you ask for advice, you get money. Right? That's another big one.

Andrew Stotz 12:20
i What's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Cory Warfield 12:24
Well, we're building a Metaverse for professionals to kind of stack on top on LinkedIn at Quarry connects. And we're helping a number of other people, including some of the world's biggest YouTube stars, launch their own meta vs. And web three is all about interoperability and connecting everything in this emerging metaverse. So my goal is to help as many people get into the metaverse as possible help them create their own meta worlds, their own communities and other meta verses and environments. And just to help people embrace this new world that's happening in real time.

Andrew Stotz 13:00
Fantastic. And the listeners, you guys can go to Cory connects.com. To check it out. I'm looking at it right there. And also, I'll have links to all of the stuff that we've talked about in the show notes. Alright, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. If you haven't yet taken the risk reduction assessment, I challenge you to go to my worst investment ever.com right now and start building wealth the easy way by reducing risk. As we conclude, Cory, I want to thank you again for joining our mission. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience? Oh, man,

Cory Warfield 13:39
I'd say anybody listening to this show is already on the right track. So just thanks for listening. Thanks for having me and anybody that's considering whether or not they should go for it. I think the answer is always very simple. Go for it.

Andrew Stotz 13:54
Wow. And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our wealth. Fellow risk takers let's celebrate today. We added one more person to our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz sang. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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