Old People Know Stuff

The Cheat Code

For less experienced founders who are open-minded, it can be extremely valuable to work alongside more experienced professionals; a strategy that can ultimately help founders take more efficient strides toward an end goal.

  1. Mentors: I liken mentors to therapists. They usually have no skin in the game so you can be completely honest. They can help you talk through whatever road block you’re facing, help you change your mindset and work through tough decisions.
  2. Advisors: Your board of advisors should be intentionally selected to fill gaps in your team’s experience and capabilities. An advisor is regularly updated and consulted in their area of expertise to help move the business toward its objectives.
  3. EaaS: AKA your accountability partner (sometimes called executive coach). This is someone who is usually hired by contract to help you set goals, prioritize and make sense of all the inputs. Your accountability partner is someone with whom you have a formal relationship and a standing meeting once a week, or every other week, for a couple of hours. You talk about what you did last week and what you’re doing next week. You should feel energized for the tasks ahead even if you’ve come off a bad week. You should gain confidence in your actions and let go of any perceived failures from the previous week.

In Practice

One of the best things I ever did as a startup founder (and the single piece of advice I routinely give): I found an accountability partner. It was someone I met with once a week for 2 hours. I looked forward to the session. Some weeks I crushed it, others were dismal. I was always energized by the end of the meeting. To this day, I miss those weekly sessions.

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Danielle Gillespie

Danielle Gillespie

Defining the intersection between technology and human connection.