As a entrepreneur (first time or serial), it will be obvious to you that advice comes from all corners. Without deep knowledge your business, I can say that it will be very conflicting. That’s the one thing I am confident you will face.
Why does this happen?
1. Personal experiences: What you take away from a certain experience tends to impact your outlook more than the outcome of that experience. While most entrepreneurs tend to reflect on their success and failures, self realization is rarely a precise science. Based on events that occur, you will tend to rationalize failure or attribute it to the wrong reasons. Sometimes you will get it right, but only after multiple sessions “with yourself”.
2. There’s no right formula: If you are building a consumer Internet company, getting advice on hiring, marketing, etc. from a enterprise software company advisor is obviously going to miss the mark. Why? No two startups tend to be the same. Even if the founders are from similar backgrounds, and have the same vision.
3. The same advice that works in one situation does not for the same company again: I have had success hiring friends and family and at the same time, had issues. The circumstances that require a specific piece of advice, are situational and very subtle in most case.
Advice for advisors:
1. Share your experiences of similar situations NOT the outcome first. When asked a question by entrepreneurs, first focus on what you did, and why you did not, not what result you obtained.
2. Realize that if the entrepreneur decides to take advice different from what you offered its nothing personal. Its not that they don’t value your advice, its just that the situation probably demands otherwise. Surprisingly enough you’ll learn something different than what you know before. They will make mistakes, and its incumbent on you to help them if they made the wrong choice.
3. Let them run the show. Provide the entrepreneur access to multiple points of view, from and outside their network, but its their startup.