Honesty is the best policy
I have never been one to hold back or mince words. I am not so sure I know how to. It has worked well for me. I put it out there. I actually believe that it has been a key to having a successful marriage. Nothing gets brushed under the carpet.
Brad Feld and I had dinner with our group on Saturday night. We were at the end of the table and started talking about angel investing. I told him about how I say no more than yes these days. I also shared my honesty when speaking with companies. He wrote a post about it.
I spoke to one company who won a competition and was now making their way into taking money from friends and family. I told them do not take money from your friends and family. Use the money you won from winning the competition and call it a mini-mba. Go get a job in a start-up. I told another company that they were so far down the runway at this point that the chances of success were minimal. They were trying to build a better mousetrap of hundreds of mousetraps out there. I could continue but the message here is that I am honest about what I think. I always start off with saying, I could be wrong and you can walk out of here saying fuck her but at least I am giving you real feedback and food for thought.
At the end of the day, I believe honesty is the best policy…and it is just about how you deliver the message.