I just cannot fathom why upon first meeting, a client who is remunerating you for your wisdom and experience does not just save money, time and frustration by just spilling the beans. Funny how that works or more importantly does not.
As both a senior advisor in client consultation capacity and as an observer to my advisors, there is clearly a wide gap between attending a meeting on time and the ability to engage in a productive and meaningful session. They are oceans apart. Sometimes like observing a well-intended teacher with a student that will throw anything at him/her that they think they want to hear. And what seemed like a good idea develops into a mindset of “get me out of here!” Although most of us have clearly not actually seen a deer caught in the head lights- so the saying goes.
Entrepreneurship is lonely and for start-ups or early phase businesses all the more so. They are navigating a new world and typically fairly in isolation. That takes kahunas’ and should be admired. Entrepreneurs are our business and job creators historically and of the future, but they are not all just born. Mentoring and advisory efforts are of great value- IF you can get to the truth.
Create A CONVERSATION:
Let me be frank, I am less likely to share my passion, goals and pains with you if I simply can’t relate to you or do not even like you. Be patient, the story is theirs to unfold without prejudice in a comfortable and hospitable environment. Guide them to reflect on realities and not just their practiced elevator speech. Bring them to truth and then the conversation becomes just that- a two way engaged conversation. Let them know that you are a person too.
If they are sharing concerns or ideas-listen. If you were successful in achieving “conversation’’, there will certainly be a willingness to have influenced the direction of the discussion and collaboratively create a successful strategy for growth that can be implemented.
Quite often referred to as the valley of death, is when all gears at start -up are blasting and suddenly they find themselves in the middle of the ocean without a life raft. This is typically the scariest stage as lack of experience will make the bravest of us wobble. Ensure that there is brief but present contact if for nothing else but support and encouragement.
Whether this is for your clients in an advisory capacity or for your team- the results will be impactful for all.