Plenty of athletes have raw talent. But the ones who really succeed are those who are also coachable. Without that quality, even the most gifted potential star may be more trouble than he is worth. That is particularly true when it comes to the startup entrepreneurs you back.
Great things happen when veteran angels pair up with coachable entrepreneurs. Mistakes are minimized, networks are leveraged, and opportunities are created. Experienced angel investors realize that just because an entrepreneur possesses extraordinary technological vision or genius, for example, it doesn’t mean that he’s going to be good at management or marketing. They favor founders who are willing to listen, take advice, and follow guidance.
Don’t become enamored by the entrepreneur’s fancy product. It is always the people behind it who make a business succeed. You want to back smart entrepreneurs who recognize their own limitations and understand the importance of leveraging synergistic relationships to build marketable strength. You want to back entrepreneurs who can humbly accept that they can’t make it by themselves and they’d have a much greater shot at success if they are open to other points of view.
Entrepreneurs who are too stubborn to be coached often wind up sitting on the sidelines, while their more coachable competitors move up to the big leagues as celebrated champs.
* For series, references are published in the last installment of the series.