Why honesty still is the best policy….in entrepreneurship.

Why honesty still is the best policy….in entrepreneurship.

Why honesty still is the best policy….in entrepreneurship.


Startup entrepreneur: I am having trouble with a particular business of mine. It is spread across several layers and at each layer, internal and external, there have been some goof ups or delays. I don’t think I can meet the deadline. What do I tell the clients?

Me: The Truth!
– – –

Unvarnished, plain truth!

It may be bitter but it needs to be told.
It is the same everywhere, more so in entrepreneurship: To be honest to oneself and those around you.

I meet a lot of entrepreneurs. A lot! They come in for idea validation, investment advice or just plain feedback on their business idea/revenue-model, etc.2

There is a genuine need for an outside-in view but only a few entrepreneurs pay heed to.

The bulk of startup visitors come in seeking a positive validation of their idea/plan. The expectation is more that a mentor is like a support, worse still, a yes-man and therefore must concur or agree to what I have to say.

Some part of it is to do the local culture where it is considered impolite to state the truth directly. So, the honest truth is hidden somewhere in this sandwich of “good?” feedback, under layers of positivity and platitudes!

A mentor or advisor is like a mirror and needs to be direct.

If the idea sucks or there appears to be no revenue stream and/or the entrepreneur has not done any homework – it needs to be stated so, as is, without any glossing over.

Why is honesty the best policy?
It saves time, a lot of time.
“Honesty”, separates the serious from the frivolous.

Entrepreneurs looking only for positive succor will vanish when they don’t find it.

Those with enough maturity and a genuine need for honest feedback will appreciate it and return with loads of homework done.

Stay honest. Be direct. Save time.

Promote the right set of (ready) entrepreneurs.


Pravin Shekar is a startup specialist, parallel entrepreneur and motivator. www.pravinshekar.com provides additional info.

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