Do you need any kind of 'backing' as an entrepreneur? Be it in the form of emotional/financial/legal help? Who are your best friends as an entrepreneur? Other fellow entrepreneurs in different industries?

It's a well-discussed and accepted principle of entrepreneurship that founders benefit from being surrounded by people who can support them on multiple different levels. I recently read an article which outlines the five mentors a founder needs in her arsenal. I can't find the article specifically, but there are many out there that are similar ( The gist of most of them is that you need to surround yourself with advisors that can cover you from all angles - business in general, your business specifically, you personally, your professionally, and from experience as a founder themselves.

This is a hard lesson for starting entrepreneurs because they tend to be either proud, intimidated, or not sure where to start. I only recently learned how powerful reaching out to others can be, and building my own advisory team. I did my first venture all on my own, and a big part of the reason I left was that I had no partners and had not brought anyone in to the fold. I was too proud. While I did relatively well for being on my own, I could have taken that company to a whole other level if I had sought the advice and experience of others who could guide me. To be honest, I think I was afraid to be successful because it meant opening my ideas and my business model to possible criticism when I had invested so much already. Big mistake.

Go and find VCs who are willing to have a chat and introduce you to the fundraising game. Go and find other entrepreneurs who have been there. Go and find other leaders in your industry who know it well and have battle scars from selling or building. Go and find professionals who are like you, and who are not like you. Besides the great experience and feedback they can give you, they all have networks and people love to help and be experts. Ask for as much help as you can get - if you need something, you will definitely not get it if no one knows you need it.

Answered 5 years ago

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