Several of the insightful comments I've gotten this week asks if I don't see a place for the business advisor in the entrepreneurial business. That is, aside from lawyers and accountants, whose expertise is undeniably required in ventures, do I think the business advisor generally brings value to the venture?
The best advisors are teachers, I think. This is a way of being. By contrast, the advisor who wants to make decisions - or give strong advice and then sell it to the entrepreneur - is often a less than optimal fit in the venture.
We call on the entrepreneur to be decisive, to prioritize, to make decisions and test them, changing as required, all the while operating on 10% less than humanly possible.
Into this very difficult and altogether human mix, enter the advisor. If the entrepreneur has wisdom, she asks "why" all the time. She uses her advisor to teach the why and the how. She probably verifies the advice enough to advance some trust to the advisor. She begins to build experience more rapdily than she would by herself. The advisor who relishes the role of assisting the entrepreneur to grow stronger and more capable - and independent - is invaluble.
The strongest potential advisors operate from knowledge based on a broad set of real experiences - both successful and not.
If the entrepreneur, on the other hand, cedes decisions to the advisor, the venture is out of the entrepreneur's hands. Making a decision to trust an advisor based on the entrepreneur's judgment about the advisor's ability, rather than on learning the decision making process, is a dangerous game. And the advisor who likes the role of decision maker rather than teacher often makes the entrepreneur less broadly capable and more dependent.
That does not apply to every operational issue - but it sure applies to strategy and finance.