Saturday, October 29, 2016

The difference between being right and getting the right answer

Entrepreneurs can be a hard headed lot. It takes courage, determination, a lot of luck, and sometimes just old fashioned, bull-headed persistence to create a company but as a result entrepreneurs don't always listen well.

But even if you know you resemble this description, ask yourself - is it more important for you to get to the right answer, or to be right?

You want to be right because your team wants to follow someone who knows what to do. You want to be right because it's more efficient, and it increases your confidence, and if you're right more often than you are wrong you have a good chance of winning. And if you believe you are right you are more likely to take risk.

But your potential investor wants you to be more interested in getting to the right answer than being right. When you are building your company you cannot predict what's going to happen. You may switch markets, your customers may show you a different direction, the company may almost die more than once, you are certain to make some bad hires along the way. It is almost guaranteed that your journey will not be smooth.

As a result, it is much more impactful as an investor to work with entrepreneurs who are seeking truth, seeking to understand, seeking the right answer. These entrepreneurs ask questions, question themselves and try out ideas without fear of being wrong. As an investor you can dig in and problem solve with them. It's more fun, it's less frustrating, and you are more likely to get to a great end result together.

So when you are talking with potential investors, or even potential senior team members you want to hire, ask yourself how strong is your need to be right?

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