Coachability: What are investors really talking about? And 3 BIG mistakes to avoid.
Updated: Mar 10
What different investors mean when they talk about coachability can be wildly different and honestly, sometimes it’s confusing. If you’re looking for investment for your startup, it’s important to understand what different people mean when they talk about coachability because it can help you get the money you need.
What Investors Really Mean When They Talk About Coachability
The most important step when it comes to raising money for a business idea is to show your potential investor that you are coachable. You need to be open to constructive criticism and be able to see the flaws in your idea and how it can be improved. They want to know that you are coachable and that you have the confidence to listen to their feedback and make adjustments as you go along. They’ve learned that having an open mind is key to ensuring that you’re always going to be on the cutting edge of new ideas and new technologies.
How to Demonstrate Your Coachability to Potential Investors
Here are three ways to demonstrate your coachability to potential investors:
1. Get a mentor.
Having a mentor motivates you and will help towards further success. Advisors from past successes and failures actually provide invaluable advice and support so that little problems don't develop into complicated ones.
2. Hire a personal coach.
If you want to grow your business, you need outside advice. There is no replacement for the advice of experts in the field who have experienced success. These experienced experts can provide advice and ideas for making profits. This coach will help you address situations that can be challenging for new or emerging businesses.
3. Ask a coach to be on your board of advisors.
Demonstrate your commitment to coachability by having someone who is coachable or has a coaching background (a former executive, advisor etc.) on your board of advisors. It will get you additional resources (which is always great) but it also shows potential investors that you're serious about putting in the effort needed to succeed.
What NOT To Do When Trying to Show Investors Your Coachability
There are three things you should never do when trying to show investors that you’re coachable.
1. Don’t try to impress your potential investors by telling them everything you know.
You’ll come across as super cocky or arrogant, and this is the complete opposite of what you want to portray. Be honest and open about your shortcomings and your failings.
2. Avoid lying to your investors.
You know that it’s wrong. Your investors are likely to find out and when they do, they’re not going to invest and your reputation will be severely damaged. You coachability rating will tank. It’s too small of a world to be walking around with that kind of reputation. Trust us: be honest and open. Investors will appreciate your integrity.
3. Don’t try to be something you're not.
If you're going to put yourself out there, be true to who you are and what you're trying to achieve. It's very important to be humble and to understand that you're not going to be able to do everything on your own. Instead, learn where your limits are and ask for help.
The most important step to securing the funding necessary to start a business is to improve their coachability: to be able to take constructive criticism and advice from strangers. You need to be open to feedback, have confidence, and be able to respond intelligently to suggestions and questions investors will ask.