Make It Clear Where You Need Help

Had a great chat with a friend today. He reflected on his entrepreneurial path and said something that stuck with me: he had the support of advisors and investors in the early part of his journey, but he may not have been as clear as he could have been about how they could help him or in what areas he needed help.

A lot of founders make this mistake. I’m one of them. I didn’t take the time to process everything that was happening to understand where I was failing. I didn’t ask my team members for feedback, either. When I connected with people who were in a position to help me, I didn’t make the most of those opportunities because I didn’t have a clear ask. Since I couldn’t articulate how they could help me, they didn’t. It was a big miss.

Building a company is hard, and founders can’t do it alone. They need help. Everyone understands that. But it’s not apparent to outsiders how they can be helpful. They must be told.

If you’re a founder, consider taking time to periodically think about what kind of help you need. Then tell other people. Those conversations will make it much more likely you’ll get exactly what you need.