Be Courageous: Reach Out

June 13, 2007

I’ve talked about it before, but recognizing when you need guidance is vital – in my opinion this is especially true for entrepreneurs who frequently bear the responsibility of making decisions that affect the rest of the team.

Every few months I find myself wrestling with an important business decision – on what will have impacts long into the future. At times like these I find I am rarely standing on solid ground with respect to making an informed decision. When you think about it, this is not surprising. FreshBooks exists in a fast moving space…relatively speaking, technologies and markets turn on a dime on the web.

I like that about what we do, but it also means that I find myself trying to solve problems that have either never been solved before, or have only been solved by a small number of people. Gaining access to those people so you can ask them questions about their experiences is priceless, but not always possible – that’s why I collect advisors and try to cultivate long standing relationships with other entrepreneurs.

If you surround yourself with great people, the trick then becomes swallowing your pride and laying yourself bare and revealing that you don’t know the answer. You may have some ideas, but really what you have are questions. If you have the courage to ask those questions, you’ll find that your advisors can steer you in the right direction. It’s been my experience that the best advisors won’t tell you where to go, but they will keep you from going in the wrong direction, and that’s at least half the battle.

So swallow that pride, and turn to someone you think might help – it might even be your competitor. I’m betting you’ll be amazed at how you will be received.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.