Entrepreneurs are often too quick to pursue outside investments, says Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council. And when they do get to that stage, they mistakenly reach for convoluted language to pitch their businesses. "Track record, proof of concept, and management are all I want to hear young people say when they pitch for investment," Gerber writes. "Leave the hypothetical nonsense and the 'things you think you need to say to an investor' at the door."

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