Why We Need Sounding Boards


Several folks have asked me to provide a way for readers to weigh in on the topic each week and see feedback from others.

I evaluated many different options and decided to give Instagram shot.  At the bottom of each newsletter, I’m going to include a related question and link to the appropriate IG post on my Candid.CEO account.  Leave your response or whatever else you feel like in the comment.

This is an experiment, we’ll see how it goes. This may be a bad idea.

Speaking of bad ideas…

Topic of the Week: Why We Need Sounding Boards

Like most of you, I have a lot of ideas.  Some of them are really good.  Others are terrible.

For example:

When I initially set out to create content about capital raising, I had this idea to structure the content like a game. However, I didn’t want to add gamification to content; I wanted to create an actual game.

I’m talking nerdy, role-playing, online game.  There would be character assignment, quests to complete and visual representations of this magical capital world I was going to create.

I had it all planned out in my head.  Here’s a preview of how I envisioned introducing the game.

The Capital Games

Welcome to the Capital Games! You, as the business owner, are the hero of the game.  To win, you need to sail your boat to treasure island.  It sounds simple enough, but a few hurdles are standing in your way.

You first need to plan your journey, stock up on marketing materials and assemble your team of advisors.

Then, you need to embark on a dangerous journey through diligence forest to befriend strange creatures called “investors.”  (To give you a visual, these creatures resemble the gremlins that were fed after midnight, but wear Padagonia vests and Allbird sneakers). These investors own the maps to treasure island.

To get them to fork over the map, you need to convince at least one investor that your boat is strong and sturdy enough to make the journey.

However, you aren’t the only person playing the game. At the same time, you’re trying to lure investors on to your boat; there are hundreds of other people playing the same game.  You are all fighting for attention, trying to convince the investors to get in your respective boats.

Here’s where it gets even more challenging.  Some boats are faster, safer or look prettier than others.  While entrepreneurs are fighting for investor attention, investors are fighting to get on “the good boats,” which they think are most likely to reach treasure island.

At the end of the game, you could be left on the beach with only the frail, sickly investors who still print out navigation directions.

That is Why We Need Sounding Boards

To the two people who would have enjoyed this version of the content, I’m sorry I deprived you of this.  To everyone else: Yes. Yes, I realize now that this was a terrible idea.

Luckily, it never made it into production, because the folks I rely on to be my sounding boards squashed it real fast.  However, if I didn’t have those sounding boards and instead lived in a vacuum of my own bad ideas, who knows how far this would have gone.

We all need sounding boards, and we need different types of sounding boards.

We need the people who are naturally skeptical.

We need people who tend to be more optimistic.

We need the people who have unyielding confidence in us.

We need the people who are experts in the areas we focus on.

We need people who have been there and done that.

But most of all, we need all of these people to give us their honest, unfiltered feedback.  We need them to challenge us to be better, to do better and help make us better.

When the people we trust, tell us our idea sucks, it’s usually because it does.


Perhaps the world isn’t ready for our brand of creativity yet.

Today’s Question: Go To Instagram to Share Your Response

I can’t be the only person with bizarre ideas sometimes. What was your last really bad idea? Share here by leaving a comment.

About the author

Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

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Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

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