On Advisors: We Do Everything We’re Told…Eventually

July 21, 2006

When you work for someone else, you have a manager, and in many cases, a mentor.  When you work for yourself, by default you don’t have advisors.

Many entrepreneurs foolishly think they can solve every problem themselves.  I see this differently.  While entrepreneurs are, by and large, intelligent and driven, learning how to solve problems takes time – in some cases it can take years of experience to learn how to solve a problem.  I think every entrepreneur – even an entrepreneur running a business as “simple” as a home based web design studio – should seek out at least one or two mentor/advisors.

We have been working with advisors since day one.  In fact, I like to say “I collect advisors” and we are constantly refining our list of go to experts.  Over the years our advisors have told us MANY things. In some cases we apply advice immediately, but often we have to shelf it because we have other things to address first.  They tend to agree.

If you run your business long enough, you get to start executing on the higher order advice your advisors have given you…and the best part about that is, once you do start executing on their advice – or more to the point, you start thinking about executing on it – no matter how long ago it was given, you know you are on the right path.

As an entrepreneur you need sign posts to let you know you are on the right path.  Sign posts can be a source of energy and inspiration too.  Advisors are a great source of sign posts and knowledge and advice.  Seek them out.  Use them and grow yourself and your business.

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.