Advising

I enjoy helping founders running companies ranging from VC-backed startups to social ventures. In the last few years, it’s been my privilege to work with 100+ entrepreneurs, who have raised $300M+ in funding and employ thousands of people.

I tend to focus on 3 main topics:

  • Managing founder psychology – leading a startup puts a tremendous amount of stress on the psyche. So much so that most entrepreneurs I know spend the vast majority of their time being miserable. Unfortunately, I have a lot of first-hand experience with this myself.
    Fortunately, managing the ups and downs of running a new venture turns out to be a skill like any other. Which means it can be learned. I have first-hand experience with that too, which I am happy to share with founders in the hopes of helping them be happy while pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Fundraising – my coaching is primarily focused on early rounds (seed and Series A) and raising capital from VCs in Silicon Valley. I help structure the fundraising process and figure out how to pitch the company. I also advise on how to manage founder psychology throughout what is usually a brutally demanding and exhausting experience.
  • Operations – this bucket tends to be more tactical and encompasses a large number of issues including:
    • Dealing with difficult situations – firing employees, handling co-founder disputes, etc.
    • Managing stakeholders – significant others, co-founders, team members, investors, directors, advisors
    • Getting started – evaluating startup ideas; building, testing, and validating MVPs; searching for product / market fit; deciding whether to pivot hard or soft, or stay the course; setting a culture
    • Growth – strategy, organization building, scaling, recruiting, marketing, sales, metrics, PR
    • Exits – personal transitions, M&A, shutdowns

Rules of Engagement

When spending time with entrepreneurs, my goals are to be fully present, listen deeply, and connect meaningfully. I am happy to share relevant lessons learned the hard way, hoping they help others succeed. At the same time, I try hard to keep an open mind, fully realizing I am often wrong. Finally, unless otherwise agreed, I keep all conversations strictly confidential.

My experience is that the value of advising is proportional to how much both sides invest in the process. That is why I kindly ask everyone I work with to try their best to reciprocate the above.

The best part of advising is that it is a two-way street. Talking to smart, passionate, and dedicated entrepreneurs, I often get out just as much, if not more, than I put in. For that privilege, I am truly grateful. It’s also one of the biggest reasons I encourage everyone I work with to pay it forward when they get a chance.

Contact

Most of the entrepreneurs I work with come through personal referrals from founders, investors, or various startup communities such as Stanford Ignite, StartX, Endeavor, and others.

However, you really don’t need to be networked with me to reach out. If you are running a startup and think I can contribute in any way, please contact me. I’d love to connect and help out as best as I can.