The Missing Ingredient

As a CFO advisor to a wide array of social impact businesses, I have the privilege to participate in some of the incredible benefits San Francisco and Silicon Valley offers to start-ups.

One of these unique experiences was participating in a 3-month non-profit “Accelerator” program, which culminated in a ‘Demo Day’ at Google HQ.

At the final event, the start-ups pitch to 200 high net-worth individuals, family investment offices, foundations, venture capitalists, and potential future board members and advisors.

These accelerators are popping up everywhere and some of the most famous ones are ‘Y-Combinator’ in Silicon Valley, CA and TechStars in Boulder, CO.

They are great for teaching business basics for start-ups and to find mentors, both of which are extremely valuable.

…but they still miss the most powerful benefit I’ve experienced during my career and time building my own company.

As I reflect back on the evening fireside chats with respected and successful CEOs, I’m struck by the weekly recurring answers given to the following question: “What advice do you wish you could have given yourself 3-5 years ago when you were just launching your company?”

The same answer kept being given.

“You must have an executive coach. Looking back it was critical to my success.”

This is not the first time I’ve heard this answer from a seasoned executive, but I’ve not heard it this regularly.  

Now I don’t highlight this statement because I am an executive coach. It’s because having a coach myself the last few years has been incredibly powerful for me personally and for my own business success…and one of the largest and most successful Venture Capital firms in Menlo Park, CA is betting on the same thing for its portfolio companies.

Today, we’ve barely scratched the surface

Whatever stage you’re at in business, you need to be all over the numbers. In posts like this, we aim to offer bite-size food for thought – but in a few hundred words, we can only do so much.

If you’re ready to build your financial muscle, how about a FREE copy of James Vanreusel’s (highly-acclaimed) book for CEOs?

The #1 Key to Creating a Thriving Business takes you through the challenges of growing and scaling your company, from first to last. And you can request your copy here – no hidden fees, no strings.