What's your opinion on startup coaches?

Paul B
6 replies
As a solo founder or early stage startup, an outside perspective can really help. A lot has been written on the subject, but what's your opinion - would you hire a coach to navigate success and failure?


Kit Fach
I think coaches can be really useful in a lot of things, Michael Lewis did a whole season of his podcast Against the Rules about different types of coaches that was really interesting. I think there's a point where a paid coach could be useful for a start-up founder specifically the transition from creating to being more of a CEO. I think that you need to get an outsider perspective early and often but it can come from places other than a paid coach. Reaching out to people on LinkedIn going to networking events and getting involved in your local start-up community and hitting up everyone you know for advice is a great place to start. I think there's a lot of free resources and I would seek to get some form of product-market-fit and traction for your product before investing money into a coach. Once you get your product launched it gets a lot easier to network with people. I've found most people love giving advice as long as you're not trying to pester them for money.
@kit_fach totally agree that going from creator to CEO can be quite a transition, so yes having a coach is a great way to navigate the transition. I also agree on joining in local startup community this was one one of the best things I did when setting up/starting my business as like you say everyone is usually very eager to help a fellow entrepreneur who's just starting out. P.S, liking the sound of this 'Against the rules' podcast, so will be checking it out.
Paul B
@kit_fach I really enjoyed the Michael Lewis podcast series on coaches too. I agree on your point about building a network of advisors. I’m on the coach side of this, after being in Product for 10yrs and being one of those helpful people in a community. I saw some people wanted (and really benefited) from having a consistent source to bounce their problems off. In your opinion, where do you think coaching is needed most for startups? And how do you think a coach should position themselves in the market, without being too heavy on selling promises
Amarnath Nagula
IMO, I think in the initial stages having a life coach will really help a founder because they enable a founder to realize what are the goals of the founders in the first place. They will ask critical and hard questions which will unlock hidden insecurities in founders. Once the founder starts making peace with goals and starts building, then I'm sure startup coaches can guide the founder to unlock the true potential in the startup's idea. I'm saying this from my personal experience, life coaching really helped me realize my goals during the covid pandemic
Paul B
@amarnath_nagula I’m happy for you that you had the realisation you needed. Do you mind me asking what motivated you to try a coach and where did you find one?
Amarnath Nagula
@typeofgraphic In my case one i was talking to my close friend and told them i was struggling with some life decisions, then my dear friend recommended me to have a chat with one of his friend. I had a nice chat with her and learned that she is a life coach. I did not overthink, went with the flow, I took workshops/sessions seriously with the life coach. In the end, I learned a lot about myself, my insecurities, fears, strengths and weaknesses. After that, all i had to do was put my head down and make choices that i'll be proud of :)