Being A Founder Is Tough
It’s really, really, hard to know who to trust and where to spend money when you aren’t an expert in a domain, and Founders have to work across all domains (finance, marketing, sales, technology, operations, etc.).
These days, I have a strategy for moving fast and getting shit done: I hire coaches to check and balance the people working for me.
“I worked with 5 coaches while building TipsForTechTeams.com”
I hire multiple experts to coach me before I spend any decent amount of time or money on anything. And, I have them review progress as I go along. A couple hundred bucks usually saves me months and tens of thousands of dollars.
Hiring coaches is like building an Advisory Board – just a whole lot less expensive. You want experienced, unbiased, people with different perspectives.
For example, I worked with 5 coaches while building TipsForTechTeams.com.
“I needed to be talking to 10s of thousands of people”
All I knew when I started this was that most startups didn’t have senior tech guidance. And I knew why. But that’s another story… read up here on the problems with CTO consultants, advisors, agencies, and CTOs-that-code.
The point is that unlike typical consultants that seek big retainers, I wanted a high volume, low price, business. I wanted to be a surgeon – jumping in with precision to help my clients with their most important product and tech decisions and then let them be until they needed me again.
And that meant I needed to be talking to 10s of thousands of people, which is a huge number of clients.
“Great! I just saved another $30,000”
In my naive mind, I thought I might be able to drive founders from Facebook to landing pages, and then talk with them. So, I hired my first coach.
I turned to Quinn Hobbs and paid him couple hundred bucks to point out what I was doing wrong and to recommend people I could work with. In the end, the landing pages didn’t work out, which was great because Quinn helped me avoid spending the $30,000 that marketing firms were asking for.
That’s when I enlisted Greg Getner. I knew I wanted to try content marketing so I built a quick MVP site using WIX and asked Greg to look it over before building my real site.
My site was going to be all about my consulting services, supported by a blog to help get people interested. Greg thought otherwise and pointed me towards a couple guys that put their blog front and center and their services second. The advice that stuck with me was “Show, don’t tell”. Great! I had just saved another $30,000.
“I hope you call me, but even if you don’t – call someone that isn’t building your software”
By the time Tips For Tech Teams went live, I had worked with 5 coaches:
- Tony Winders – CMO and master of PR
- Greg Getner – CMO and Strategy guru
- Peter Mansfield – CMO and finance specialist
- Quinn Hobbs – B2B performance marketing
- Quintin Ford – growth hacking mastermind
All told, I probably spent $4,000 on coaches and saved myself $100,000 of mistakes and roughly a year of failures.
If you’re looking to build software, or if you’ve hired someone to build software – give an independent party a call and spend a few hundred bucks making sure you aren’t wasting thousands. I hope you call me, but even if you don’t – call someone that isn’t building your software.