The Missing Link To Business Start Up Success

Too often the founders of start up businesses keep things to themselves for far too long. Without the willingness and ability to bounce ideas off the right people, would be entrepreneurs unnecessarily delay a successful business launch.  istock_000005716223xsmall

In 1999 I’d been coaching for a little more than a year and a prospective client was interviewing me to determine how well we might work together.  I can still recall the conversation 10 years later, because Bob understood the value of paying for an objective truth.

Client Bob explaining, “I just want you to listen closely while I talk though my business challenges.  That will be invaluable to me because you’ll be the only trusted person in my life without an agenda.  My boss, my wife, my children and my co-workers all want something from me and thus they are all biased towards their own motivations.  I just want you to listen and to occasionally give me a straight, unbiased opinion.”

Bob and I worked well together for over a year because my only agenda was his success as he defined it.

The Value of Objectivity

The straight up truth is very rare and extremely valuable for business start up success. Yet it can be challenging to get someone to tell it like they really see it.

Where do you get your totally unbiased, independent feedback?

Is your source truly objective or do they have a hidden agenda of their own?

Closeness is not always a good indicator of objectivity as this post on spousal support suggests.  The closer one is to you the more difficult it is to remove their personal fears from the advice they offer.  Often unwillingness to leads to diluted, sugarcoated advice.

Survival fears also heavily influence what’s shared.  I’ve seen large organizations where everyone is afraid to tell the leader that he’s wearing no clothes.

Your Business Is Very Personal To You

You and your business start up ideas are separate.  Yet being able to really hear feedback and receive it without getting defensive requires that the source of the feedback be skilled in communicating it.

Truth can be personally challenging to accept, especially when it comes from a close friend or relative.

You Get What You Pay For

Trust and confidence needs to be unquestionable.  In matters of law we have no trouble hiring an attorney to present us with our options.

As a coach I am a fierce advocate for coaching because  I’ve seen so many potential entrepreneurs die with their music still in them.  Often the death of their initiative can be traced to fearful free advice offered by a friend or relative.

Paying for an environment conducive to start up success along with the trust and confidentiality that only a business coach can provide is essential when faced with crucial career and business start up decisions.

Consider your current source of business advice and ask these questions.

Can I be sure that they are putting my best interests first?

Have they demonstrated a capacity to tell the truth while at the same time unconditionally supporting my efforts?

Do I leave conversations feeling more inspired and much clearer about possibilities?

Am I inspired to confidence after these conversations because I’m now armed with methods to create what I want to create?

Coaching delivers all of this and much more.

Unbiased Feedback Presents Priorities

What’s the number one priority for any business?

Delivering a uniquely better product, profitably, to more clients.  That’s it.

But so many start up entrepreneurs in the planning and pre-startup stage are working on everything but that.   They’re spending weeks thinking about domain names, business names, tag lines, business plans, brochures, forms, etc, etc. etc.

Instead on concentrating on the main thing – a better service and happy clients.

Could straight up advice delivered in clearly supportive fashion be your missing link to start up success?

If you’d like to enjoy a truly stimulating exploratory conversation contact me to realize the possibilities.   Explore shaking things out in the true spirit of brainstorming, championing, encouragement and unconditional support.  Hire me as your coach.


  1. Great ideas here. I have struggle with a bit of this. Good people with their own agendas. I also believe, especially when starting a business with a partner, that an operating agreement is crucial. I would love a post on what to include in one of those. I’m currently working on ours.

  2. Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching says:

    Thanks for this. Just offering a safe environment where people can express what they want and talk about their challenges without being shamed or criticized is such a key function of a coach.
    .-= Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching´s last blog ..10 Motivational Metal Masterpieces =-.

  3. Hi Tom, you illustrate clearly why I love coaches (the good ones, which includes you :)) and the coaching profession in general. Too many people around us hand out advice and warnings that come from their own place of insecurity or fear. It can really screw a person up.

    I spent a lot of time in the plan, plan, plan stage and finally told myself that I was ready to just go for it without all the ducks being in a row. Because of course they never will be. Once I made that decision it was amazing how things just started falling into place.

  4. Laurie – Regarding your operating partnership agreement, the key is to be sure to address all eventualities even the unlikely.
    Some obvious ones are: Who is responsible for what? What’s m limitations exist for spending money? What happens if one part wants out, passes away, gets ill, etc? Cover all of the bases now and you’ll be in good shape later.

    Christine – Thanks so much you were easy to coach because you were so driven and you knew what you wanted. Your determination has made you successful and you obviously acted boldly when you had to. Screw those ducks – they’ll only get in a row for their mama. 🙂

    Chris – I agree man. I also love that a productive environment can be safe and challenging at the same time. Only a good coach can pull that off.

  5. Tom,

    This gives me something to think about. In future, before I dish out advice, I’ll try to ask myself where my vested interest is and make it clear to the other person that mine is not an objective viewpoint. I already do this when receiving advice – I’m usually quite clear what the other person’s vested interest is, and don’t often take advice too seriously because of this. However, when I know the other person is not pushing their own agenda and has my good at heart, I listen very very closely. Thanks for another great post.
    .-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last blog ..Your 24 Possible Personal Strengths =-.

  6. Hi Tom. This is great. “Often the death of their initiative can be traced to fearful free advice offered by a friend or relative.” Very true! It is interesting too that on some level, we know these people have a vested interest and still we ask their advice. Could be that we are simply looking for someone else to “make the decision” for us. That’s what’s great about a life coach. They see past the saboteur and knowing your Agenda, they won’t let you fall short of it.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..365 Days & Still Blogging =-.

  7. Having unbiased feedback is crucial to creating a successful business. I’ve seen so many business owners surround themselves with yes people. All they want to hear is that their choices are great and how smart they are. This never works. The only way to build a great company is to have diverse thoughts and ideas that flush out the best choices.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Ha´s last blog ..My Work Happiness Journey =-.

  8. Those of use who start our own businesses are a different breed – and we’re often a source of bewilderment to those who know and love us.

    Where friends and family see safety and security – we see suffocation and constraints.

    Where friends and family see opportunity – they see – well, nothing – or at least nothing solid, stable and of value.

    I’ll never forget reading an interview with Sam Walton’s (founder of Walmart) wife about the early days when Sam first began expanding his empire. She expressed her bewilderment at how it was going to all work – but she was wise enough to keep her worries to herself.

    When you’re starting a new business – you can’t afford to surround yourself with sycophants or phobics of any ilk. If your “supporters” can’t resist weighing in – (many can’t) then you really NEED someone who can lend an object non-fear based eye (and ear).
    .-= Kathy | Virtual Impax´s last blog ..Facebook Fan Pages – Ask WIIFM =-.

  9. Daphne – That’s a good quality not many have the foresight to consider vested interest. But it sure is there as an influence on advice. Checking in with your heart before offering advice is always a good thing. I like the concept of highest good.

    Davina – Well said. Interestingly even coaches have a certain bias that’s one of the reasons I insist on being paid up front. I want no excuse at all to think anything less of any client.

    Karl- Yes people are such pitiful fearful suck asses. They bring nothing to the world and out to be expelled to lifetime government service.

    Kathy – Very well said. I love the Sam Walton stories. We are a different breed and thank God for that. 🙂

  10. Evelyn Lim says:

    Excellent advice!! I tend to bounce off ideas with my husband. While he claims to be objective, I believe that there can also be times when asking a third party may be a better idea.

    Thanks also for the advice about not being too caught with things like domain names. I was contemplating moving my site to a new one altogether….LOL!!
    .-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..How to Prevent H1N1 Flu Naturally =-.

  11. I trust that feedback can be crucial for an investment but a good advice at the right time can do more. For the moment I try to invest in me as much as possible by learning, finding the right job, the right clothes..etc. If I had a personal coach I would have known all these things much more early and the results would have been more visible. So, a coach can be essential for you and your business, but first for you. A good coach can save you time and money!

  12. Evelyn – Thank you. yes it helps to put everything into perspective. We all fall prey to the reality illusion of our own bias, even spouses.

    Curly Sue – Indeed it’s a worthwhile investment to see our blind spots. We never know what unseen opportunity awaits once illuminated.

Speak Your Mind