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Founding Voices: Know When to Listen to Your Gut

Know When to Listen to Your Gut

If you want your venture to succeed, you need to surround yourself with good people. Half of that is building a stellar team, the other half is cultivating a circle of confidants who can offer guidance and perspective.

Some of your best advisers will be your investors; they’ve almost certainly “been-there-done-that,” and their mentorship will be deeply helpful on your journey. Nevertheless, you should seek their advice, not blindly follow it.

“A good adviser may give you amazing advice nine out of 10 times, but you need to be able to spot the one time when you need to stick to your own convictions.”

Co-founder & President, Lyft

Your partnership with your investor is founded on mutual trust; you believe in their experience, and they have faith in your thinking and ability, so be receptive to investor input, but don’t take it as gospel.

Ask questions, seek to understand the reasoning behind their advice, and know that there will be situations where you’ll need to push back. These moments are daunting, but healthy disagreement like this sharpens your strategic mind, and builds confidence in your judgment.

“As an investor, I’m a resource,” says Navin Chaddha, “but at the end of the day, the entrepreneurs are leading the company. So if something in you tells you to zig when everybody else says zag, it’s important to explore that instinct. You’ll either win, or you’ll learn.”

Navin Chaddha

Managing Partner

Enterprise, Consumer, Semiconductors

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