Founders Don't Need Cheerleaders, They Need Coaches

Founders Need Tough Love, Not Cheerleaders

As founders, when we present our great business idea, it’s only natural that we want everyone around us to be as excited as we are.

As much as we like to think we’re capable of making objective business decisions, we’re human. Sometimes it’s hard to set aside our need for validation.

But reality checks are nonetheless necessary if you want your business to thrive.

Why tough love is necessary

Your business is your baby. You pour a lot of energy and attention into your project, almost to the point of obsession. It’s easy to expect that the whole world will feel similarly enthusiastic at the launch of your business.

It’s no wonder that startups often overestimate anticipated results and sales. Many entrepreneurs repeat this mistake over and over with large and small business decisions.

The results may not always be catastrophic, but they are an unnecessary drain on time, effort and resources.

To avoid these mistakes you need impartial advice from someone you can trust to guide you towards measured and prudent decisions for your business.

Who to turn to

When you want constructive feedback, turning to friends, family, and peers for advice isn’t always the best idea.

The relationships you have with people will always impede on their impartiality. While offering their opinion and advice, family, friends, and peers will always be trying to navigate your feelings and their own.

For example:

  • A close friend will want to encourage you, build you up, make you feel confident. At times, this is exactly what you need. But if you only surround yourself with cheerleaders you’ll find yourself living in a fool’s paradise.
  • A family member may be over-cautious, and not want you to take the risks necessary for your business.
  • A fellow entrepreneur (while likely to be more impartial than friends or family) will also view your decision through their own lens. Perhaps they have taken a similar risky business decision and would feel reassured if they had company. Maybe something that worked for them in their industry might not apply to your business.

It is the role of close friends and family members to support, encourage and motivate you.

Get a Business Coach

Business coaching

For honest, impartial feedback advice, you need a contact whose sole motivation is the success of your business. That’s the role of a business coach.

Coaches work together with their clients to assess their situation and find the best solution for them.

No mollycoddling, no preaching, just the tough love necessary to streamline your business and get it into shape.

If you’re stuck at a crossroads, or just need someone to bounce ideas off, working with a coach helps you make informed decisions and confidently act on them.

Ultimately it comes down to this: being questioned, challenged, and held accountable for our decisions strengthens you and helps you grow.

That’s true whatever your role in life. As a business leader, it’s particularly important to be open to constructive feedback, as long as it’s coming from someone you can completely trust.


Startup founders have to fight fires on a daily basis. Entrepreneurs have mental stresses beyond almost any other group…

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