The Art of Seeking Advice: How to Cut Through the Noise?
Startup Codex

This essay from First Round describes the difficulties an Elder may have in sorting through the advice he receives or seeks.

It recommends using your closest advisors at key moments when you are hesitant. You must then turn them into true sparring partners who will put you on the spot and force you to find a way out of your problem.

It is the founder's responsibility to steer these relationships and make the most of them.

Leverage the strongest and reinforce the weakest. The ideal advisor is the one who systematically helps you make progress on the subject you are seeking, and whom you already want to contact again shortly after the end of your conversation.

Asking for an advisor also means knowing how to give a clear context that will allow him or her to be as relevant as possible. Plan the questions in advance of your meeting with him or her. The temptation is always strong to want to address many topics, and to have a conversation that strays into large conceptual issues or a casual conversation. You must know how to stay as close as possible to the decisions to be made or the solutions to be found.

The trial ends with the evocation of the Imposter Syndrome, which every Founder must be able to get rid of, and be able to go out and ask for advice without fear of being judged.

An excellent read on a subject that is essential to combat the loneliness of entrepreneurship.

Don’t just read about industry deities — take inspiration from the founders that surround you. You need to hear the stories from the trenches that will help keep you going.