Financial Models for Entrepreneurs – with Shawn Nelson

We are an entrepreneurship club, and as entrepreneurs we need to understand and be able to speak the language of financial models independent of our background. We are not saying that you have to be an expert but it’s important to be able to have a productive conversation with your accountant, your CFO and/or your board members regarding the financials of your company.

Shawn Nelson, founder and CEO of Lovesac invited us to Lovesac’s Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut to host the second workshop on our series of Business and Finance for design innovation processes workshop series. We arrived at Lovesac promptly at 3 o’clock, only to enter the office through the freight elevator. Ooops. Shawn didn’t let that happen, he pushed us back into the elevator and made us enter the office through the front door, as it should be.

We entered the office, while Shawn enthusiastically described the essence of his company while showing us the original Lovesac placed at the entrance of the office. All fifteen of us tried it, so comfortable! We toured the office and settle down to listen to Shawn’s story, what he has learned, what he is still learning after 20 years in business and learn about finance.

Financial modeling is a very complex subject, especially when you are speaking to a crowd with so many diverse backgrounds but Shawn explained the knots and bolts in a way anyone can understand. He dissected the basic vocabulary we need to know in order to understand the intricacies of a company’s financials beginning with stating the differences between accounting and finance to explaining the structure of a balance sheet. As the time was running short he closed with walking us through a basic financial model he designed that allows us to put all this knowledge into practice.

Being part of this workshop was a great experience. Who knew talking about numbers and finance could be so exciting? When I left Lovesac on my way to the train station, I kept thinking that with time we can all learn about numbers and finances but not everyone has the entrepreneurial bug and that passion that pushes us to learn them. Something Shawn told us throughout the workshop will always stay in my head regardless of how many numbers, balance sheets and financial models I study. “Keep your day job for as long as you can but leave your day job as soon as you can” As entrepreneurs we must follow our dreams and passions, it’s hard work but it will all be worth it!


The Parsons Design Process focuses on identifying opportunities to be explored and challenged to develop innovative alternatives to address a wicked problem. LEAP Entrepreneurship Club invites The New School Community to a workshop to help you develop skills to grapple with the evolving global economy. By developing an understanding of the financial models that combine multiple metrics into an overall view of revenue knowledge to estimate the potential value of these proposals.


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