Marlon Nichols is the definition of a hustler. After being turned down by his now business partner, Troy Carter, his tenacity and conviction led him to become one of the founding members and the general partner of the thematic VC fund, Cross Culture Ventures.
That’s exactly what Nichols wants to see in any entrepreneur he decides to fund. He sat down with BE The Code and gave it to us straight, no chaser.
“Do you have to have tenacity, fortitude, a certain level of scrappiness, and most importantly, hustle?” asked Nichols. “Are you ready to make those hard decisions like fire you best friend that you started this company with?”(Image: BE The Code/Marlon Nichols and Sequoia Blodgett)
In addition to those character traits, he looks for founders who have personal and professional backgrounds that directly connect to their product. “What’s the unique experience that you have that makes you uniquely qualified?” asks Nichols. This not only gives the founder a competitive advantage but also fuels his or her passion for sticking it out when things get hard—because they will get hard.
Nichols certainly practices what he preaches. During business school, he almost flunked out because he was hit with an ailment that would have caused most of us to throw in the towel and live out our presumed last days on the beaches of Tahiti. Instead of giving up, he took the class again, on top of a full load. Did I also mention he was running a VC fund simultaneously? Now that’s the definition of #Hustle.
(Video: Niranjan Deshpande)
Sequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.