Entrepreneurs like to talk with Entrepreneurs

Written by our Co-Founder & Master Dieuwke Hoogland

Maarten ten Broeke, Entrepreneur and CEO, shared on LinkedIn:

‘To all coaches who “offer to mentor me on a successful entrepreneurial journey” – I don’t need you.  And I doubt any entrepreneur does.

Being an entrepreneur is not always fun. It can be brutal and stressful. And for sure, it is not for everyone. So if I need coaching – and I need coaching a lot – it is from entrepreneurs.

Battle-hardened entrepreneurs. Legends I can share stories, experiences, successes, and even missteps with. People I can ask for advice because they have been there—every step of the way. Entrepreneurs who know and understand there are no shortcuts to success.”

Being a co-founder and shareholder in three companies, Maarten’s words may come across as blunt, but they cut to the heart of a vital question: What kind of support do entrepreneurs truly need, and from whom?

In today’s entrepreneurial world, we find ourselves in an ocean of consultants, mentors, coaches and advisors. There’s a diverse mix out there – from the incredibly talented to those whose expertise might not quite hit the mark. These well-meaning individuals often start with a passion sparked by a couple of books on entrepreneurship. However, reading about entrepreneurship and living through the sleepless nights and relentless challenges of building a company from the ground up are worlds apart.

Can founders only be supported by other founders? Not at all. 

Scaling founders really profit from engaging with experts. These professionals bring a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields and disciplines. They represent another crucial group of advisors who provide a different kind of support, enriching the scaling journey in their unique way. It’s important to recognize the significant contributions of these qualified experts, as they offer a depth of knowledge that complements the peer-to-peer support among founders.

But are founders a different breed? Not at all. 

The challenge lies in finding the right match, someone who truly resonates with the founder’s unique journey.

Imagine this: you’re a founder facing a sudden, critical situation. You need sharp, actionable advice immediately. Scrolling through LinkedIn to find that perfect advisor isn’t practical when time is of the essence. The question then becomes, where do you find a trustworthy advisor, someone to share your challenges and dilemmas with?

Another concern for founders is budget. With cash flow often being tight, the allure of free coaching services is strong. It seems like a no-brainer: no financial commitment and immediate help. However, this might lead to overlooking the potential loss of valuable time in search of effective solutions.

For emerging entrepreneurs, assessing the quality of advisory services can be daunting, making it easy to end up with less than satisfactory guidance. On the other hand, seasoned entrepreneurs, like Maarten ten Broeke, have learned through experience. They often prefer coaching from fellow entrepreneurs who understand their struggles and aspirations, fostering a sense of belonging and connection. Sharing experiences and seeking opportunities for growth becomes more natural in this environment. The wisdom and guidance of a fellow entrepreneur can truly make a difference. At Masters of Scale we are a community of entrepreneurs and experts. All bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge, we can help scaling founders finding an impactful match with one of our Masters and Experts as trusted advisor or more hands-on supporter as Fractional leader.

Here’s the appreciation of Ali Niknam, founder of TransIP and Bunq for his coach which he describes in words as ‘wisdom, calm, wise, white hair’: “Conviction is a fundamental but not fundamentalist trait of a successful entrepreneur. On the advice of my coach Rob, I swallowed mine. Nobody had ever gotten me to that point before.”  From the book ‘Ondernemers hebben nooit geluk’ by Ali Niknam. Recommended!