Implicit questions when asking for advice

Yesterday I put together a business equity structure for the business that I am working on which has two other cofounders. I think the model is really solid and fair, and puts reward and incentives where they need to be.

Before I took my cofounders through the structure I wanted to get some external reassurance that the structure was as fair as I thought it was. So I rang two close friends to see what they thought.

Both thought that the model was good - they gave me some valid things for me to consider when presenting it to my cofounders, and reflected back to me how the model may play out over the first year of operation.

And while the feedback was pretty good, my feeling at the end of both conversations was not what I expected or wanted it to be. I started by feeling very good about the model, but ended feeling a bit hollow about it.

This got me thinking about what I was really asking from my two friends. I actually don't think I really wanted them to feedback or critique the model I had put together. What I wanted was for them to reflect back to me how brilliant it was, and how brilliant therefore I was. Not exactly that useful for anything except my ego.

I thank my friends for giving me the feedback that was actually useful and will help to set the business up for long term success, not the feedback I was implicitly asking for.