Most founders and CEOs have gotten some bad advice for growing a business from time to time, but it’s critical to have colleagues, friends, and mentors you can trust. Who do these leaders actually go to for advice on difficult business decisions? We asked five successful founders whom they turn to for help. Read their answers below.
CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest
My co-founder (whom I brought on specifically because we see things so differently) and our senior team. Growing a business is a team sport, and we’re in this together.
Fortunately, Hustle has nearly 20 investors and advisors who are fountains of wisdom and experience, and I draw on all of them. Two key ones: Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of Social Capital and Hustle’s lead investor, and Cheryl Contee, CEO of Fission Strategy and one of Hustle’s advisors.
Co-founder, Before Alpha
There are two kinds of advice I seek out regularly: direct and indirect. Direct experiences are from those who’ve done it already. That may be a fellow founder who’s had to deal with hiring, an executive who’s made this purchase decision before, or an investor who’s seen deals fall apart. This helps you to run your assumptions through another lens to make sure you’re not missing something big or small. Indirect experiences are delivered by way of mentorship. It’s important to talk to and help others who are in similar situations as yours. In doing so, it forces you to compact your own experiences into knowledge that can be used by someone else. This is where learning actually happens for me, and it is only possible through others.
Everyone needs to have a wise mentor who has 10 or more years of experience than you. I have four of these people in my corner. They’re insanely good at handling the tough challenges and are extremely experienced in helping shape the company from a mission, vision, and values perspective.
Co-Founder and CEO, Wootric
A variety of sources: I trust my co-founder Jessica Pfeiffer to offer the most optimistic perspective on the decision, which is always important for a startup. I also consult with my Lean In circle, a group of professional peers, whose collective experiences often help me see beyond my limits. And finally, my investors are usually able to introduce me to the right experts to talk to.
Still on the search for good advice? Find out how to successfully scale your business with this ebook featuring insights from a Salesforce startup. Download the free ebook here.
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