Many people don't realize the value of an investor in their lives until they aren't pouring into them any more. As one of my mentors, Sis. June Coker, says: "they won't miss the water til' the well runs dry."
Here are five ways to make sure an investor keeps investing, not to mention making sure you don't burn a bridge altogether with an investor:
1) Show up - on time. When you're expected to meet with them, be faithful. When people don't respect my time that's a signal to me that they don't respect my wisdom either.
2) Take notes. Not just in meetings but during informal times, to let them know you really care about what they are saying and want to remember it. When I am spending time with those who invest in my life, I have a little note pad, computer, or iPhone out to take notes on what they are saying. When someone invests in you, treat their words like gold. When it gets down to it, what they give you is actually more valuable than gold.
3) Act on the wisdom they impart to you. Do something to move forward - don't just use them as a sounding board. Use your dog as a sounding board, not your investor.
4) Maximize your time together. Be intentional. Think about what you want to ask them in advance. Once in a while I give those I'm investing in an opportunity to have a few hour Q & A. I invite them to prepare their question(s) in advance. When they don't prepare anything it basically indicates two things to me. First, they think they know it all. Such a person is not going to receive much and that's why. Second, they don't care about maximizing our time or moving forward. Either way they are usually stuck and it's not a surprise.
5) View their investment as a big deal. Because it is.