Founders are Made not Born: Crafting Advisors is a Skill

This was first published in Business Insider — read it here

This is an extension of my #FMB “Founders are Made, not Born: How Founders Become Learning Animals” series, based on my Stanford Masters of Education research. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, and Part VII.

Being a founder can be a lonely occupation. Every day you’re asked to make decisions that have enormous implications for the company you’re trying to build.

That’s why it really helps to have a trusted group of advisors you can call on when things get a little hairy.

I was recently walking along the San Francisco Bay on a trail with two founder friends, one who runs a pre-seed startup, the other a pre-Series A company. We were strategizing on how the pre-seed company could approach advisors.

She asked, “How should I reach out and persuade the CEO of Pinterest or Guild or Affirm to become an advisor?”

Our other founder friend had done this recently so she dove into explaining her approach, and then for good measure, we acted out her first advisor conversation in a role play where I played the advisor.

Acting aside, this is actually a common topic I discuss with my founders at Lightspeed. New entrepreneurs want to tap into the knowledge base of more experienced peers, and it can feel nearly impossible to hire those people into your firm, especially in the early days.

Here are a few tips I share with my founders on the right strategies for finding advisors

Read the full article in BI

1. Don’t psych yourself out

2. Think carefully about the type of advisor you need

There are 3 main types of advisors and stages: informal advisors, formal advisory boards, and an independent board director.

3. Other important things to look for in an advisor

Read the full article in BI

Hard work is never overrated. Always curious.