Mike Allen Coaching


9 Angel Websites to Find Investors for Your Startup


If your idea needs funding, the best place to start is an Angel investor. 

They’re generally individuals who have the ability to provide startups with significant amounts of capital, usually in exchange for some equity in the company.

Unlike venture capitalists, angels don’t often require management or board seats on their investments which means that they can be more hands off and let founders have full control over their companies without any interference from those pesky VCs!

Angel investment is also often called seed investment. It’s designed to grow your idea to either build version 1 of your idea so you can gain revenue, or more typically to get a 1st round of funding. The Angel can then either take their money out plus a profit or stay with your startup.

But how do you find an Angel investor? Here’s some websites that will hopefully make it easier and faster for you go out and nab some of these elusive, yet much needed, funds. But don’t exclude existing networks (it’s ALL about the network!) either locally or on LinkedIn.
As well as using a network to reach out to the Angel, I highly recommend that you research them and try and find, and make a personal introduction to those that seem to match your vision and marketplace before you request funding from one or more of them. Doing your research now will increase your chances of obtaining the funding that you need to grow your startup.
It’s a time for the sniper rifle, not the shotgun!

Try these sites first

Angel List: the world’s largest startup community and marketplace for start-ups

Producthunt.com. A community for start-ups

Angel Investors Network

Seed Invest

Then register on LinkedIn Groups

The Most Powerful Mindset Strategy


My 150 (ish) words of wisdom for today.

And this is really powerful. It’s the way I live my life.. It’s THE most powerful mindset.

Act as if everything that happens is (or will be) for the good.

In doing so, we’re abandoning the notions of failure or defeat.

When something goes wrong, doesn’t work the way you expected or “failed” the outcome other than you expected is just a trigger for another opportunity.

You’ve learnt something new, don’t dwell, armed with that learning, pivot and keep moving.

I’m going to repeat this…..

Act as if everything that happens is (or will be) for the good.

Move forward.

If that seems, well, just too easy….book a session for free and let’s chat it through.

How To Shake-Off Negative Thoughts


We’re heading into a long weekend here in the UK. An extra day to enjoy and unwind. But that’s easier said than done IF we can shake off negative thoughts that linger from the working week.

I suffer from this – I am sure everyone does to some extent – something happens, perhaps we’ve made a mistake or had crossed words, we felt bad, for sure, but we just can’t shake-off the feeling and memory. We can’t move on. 

Our minds do this to ourselves all the time. It’s normal. It’s not a fault or weekness.

But here’s a great tool to help.

  • take a piece of paper or open a doc on your phone or computer
  • create two columns
  • in the first column, write down what happens and how you feel
  • in column two, answer these questions;
    • Is this thought in any way useful or helpful?
    • Is it true? (Can I absolutely know that it’s true)
    • Is this just an old story that my mind is playing out of habit?
    • Does this thought help me take effective action?
    • Is this though helpful or is my mind just babbling on?

When we do this, there’s a couple of things going on which make it so effective:

  • We’re moving it from our subconscious mind into our conscious mind. We’re fronting up to it (and in some cases, how ridiculous it is) 
  • It’s done, it’s in the past. Either it’s useful or it’s not, so in processing it, and rationalising it, we have the best chance of closing it off

Hope this helps. 

How To Play The Crazy 8s Ideation Game


Crazy 8s got their name because;
– the tool aims to get 8 ideas from each person in a workshop, and
– in 5 minutes….yep, that’s why it’s crazy.

But honestly it’s genius because it;
– stops people from FILTERING their ideas. We all do it. We come up with an idea and almost immediately tell ourselves it won’t work. Read this article for more on this, and
– it forces us to ITERATE on our ideas. Iteration is key to ideation. Whatever device you’re reading this article on, you know it’s version x thousands of the original idea, don’t you

Essential to the game is a clear idea of the ‘problem you’re trying to solve” – the challenge. 

The challenge I use to teach people how to use the tool (the beauty of Crazy 8s is that it takes 5 minutes!) is “How do we incentivise people to leave the car at home and use low-carbon transport to get to and from work”. 

And here’s the slides in GDrive

I’d love to know how you get on!

21 Predictions for 2021


Work is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination


One of my favourite quotes: “work is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination”.

When I read that quote I don’t think about the time checking emails, creating work that didn’t actually need doing or catching-up with colleagues (although I think we’re all guilty of those types of procrastination), I actually think about the people go through their whole career working for someone else, making someone else wealthy or helping someone else achieve their aims.

Work IS the distraction from daring to think, “is this enough for me, or am I missing out on something”?

Working for someone else never made sense to me. That’s why I’ve spent most of my career building businesses.

That’s not to say that I don’t completely ‘get’ that people are afraid to take the first step. I’ve had that difficult conversation with my lovely wife more than once!

Fear is perfectly normal and understandable. I have been in their shoes. Increasingly we see people taking the first step with a side income or side-hustle.

The motivation to earn more AND build something BEFORE you take the leap is very compellingg.

Trust me, when you’re building something in your spare time, before and after work and at the weekends, you certainly learn a lot about productivity!

And there are some brilliant and very achievable side-hustles. 

The first has been around for centuries – property investment (whether that’s ‘flipping’ houses or buy to let).

Then there are loads of digital businesses that are easy to start and need next to no money. You can join any number of Freelancer platforms and sell services such as;

– writing (charging per hour to write for someone else and writing an ebook and selling it online)
– voiceovers (if you have a good voice)
– digital marketing
– (and if you have the skills) programming

Or start affiliate marketing (which is where you recommend someone elses product and earn a commission).

There are tonnes of options. You just need to take the leap. Contact me. I can help.


Salt. A lesson in Innovation through Differentiation


Salt is salt, right? It’s possibly the oldest commodity on earth and surely, it’s one of the most abundant minerals. Can we really differentiate such a simple product?

In a previous post I suggested that far from ‘needing’ a brand spanking new idea for a ‘thing’ or service, you actually only need an idea for something that already exists out there in the marketplace, but innovate to make it faster, better, cheaper.

There’s no better example of how we can differentiate a simple product by adding value than salt.

Yep, common old salt. If you thought salt is salt, nothing is further from the truth. Check out the cost per kg from this infographic. You can buy salt from 39p per kg or….nearly £50!

Incredible, isn’t it.

So, if you could start a business, how would you be the £50/kg offer? How do you add that much value to the user experience that people forget that it’s ‘only bloody salt’.

Of course, that’s the role of innovators: to find new, seemingly irresistible value from the mundane.

Choose a product or service — anything as replay the salt infographic;
– can you create value from the (hint of) providence (like the ‘spice cellar sea salt)
– can you make it better / less bad (like the reduced sodium salt)
– can we make it seem much better value / more convenient (like the large Cornish sea salt)
– can we borrow someone else’s value (like the Nandos salt)
– can we change the UX (like the grinder salt)

You don’t NEED a shiny new idea to start a business


I’ve heard this so many times, “I’d love to start a business, but I can never think of the idea of what I would do”.

You may have thought exactly that?

It IS a myth that you need something new. It’s born (quite understandable) of an anxiety that, “well, if there’s already someone doing this, how will I manage to break into it?”

Shock horror: Apple are (rightly) seen as one of the most innovative companies ever, but they certainly didn’t invent the touchscreen smartphone.

Google didn’t invent the search engine.

Amazon weren’t the first people to sell books online.

….I really could go on and on.

Of course, there’s loads of examples of ‘firsts’ that made it big…but they really are unicorns (very rare…that’s why they’re known as unicorns).

Recycling of ideas has happened since the beginning of time and always will: the Harry Potter books are the highest grossing book series. Harry was an orphan with special powers. Luke Skywalker…an orphan with special powers…you can go back centuries to find stories about orphans with special powers – to the Bible and beyond- Moses was (you guessed it) an orphan with special powers.

So, you ABSOLUTELY DON’T need a brand new idea. Indeed, the idea doesn’t need to be the ‘thing’ or service. The idea can be the way you’ll EXECUTE ‘it’ that adds more value than your competitors!

You could literally take a Yellow Pages or any business directory (if you still have one), fan through the pages, pick a business and figure out how to make it better, cheaper, faster.

I’ll go one step further, while a brand new product or service won’t have any competitors, it has no customers! A marketplace with no customers is a lonely place. Now, it might be because, genuinely, it’s a brand new idea and it solves a problem everyone has that no-one has ever spotted before…..but I wouldn’t bet on it. Not in 2020.

So, now we’ve got that out of the way, over the course of the next 2 weeks, if you sign-up for the free coaching experience, I’ll walk you through how to find the brilliant idea that will change your life.

It is totally free. It will be totally amazing.

And there will be lots of opportunity to talk with me and get all your questions answered!

Book some time with me now.

I’m waiting for you on the other side.

2 Lessons from a Cancer Survivor


I had the absolute privilege to spend about an hour chatting with someone who has spent the last five months fighting and winning a battle against (what was originally a terminal) cancer diagnosis.


1. Pain. Humans can endure more emotional and physical pain than you can imagine. If you’re holding back doing something because you think it will be too hard, have a word with yourself

2. Time. The difference for this chap a month before and just after his diagnosis wasn’t that he was going to die – we’re all going to die, it was that a Doctor gave him an approximate end date which was way, way, way before he was ready. If you want to change / stop / start something, don’t wait until after Christmas / covid / we’ve lost a stone / the kids have left home / the mortgage is paid / retirement. Don’t wait. Crack on.

The war isn’t quite over for him, there’s another battle to fight starting just after Christmas. Fight on Michael.