A startup founder and first-time CEO says her smartest move was a step most entrepreneurs are afraid to take
- First-time CEO Daniela Corrente said hiring a business coach was the smartest move she's made since founding the personal-finance app Reel.
- Business coaches help executives grow their companies and clarify their visions.
- They're part of a growing industry, but Corrente said hiring one can carry a stigma.
Running a business is harder than it looks, and it pays to have someone show you the ropes.
That's why Daniela Corrente, a first-time CEO who founded the personal-finance app Reel, said the smartest move she's made in her career so far is hiring a business coach.Business coaches are personal mentors who help executives grow their business and clarify their vision for the company. They're part of a rapidly growing industry, but as Corrente puts it, hiring one still carries something of a stigma for early-stage companies.
"I know plenty of successful people that use a coach, they just don't necessarily admit it or say it out loud," she told Business Insider.
Corrente said she meets with her coach once a week to discuss everything from hiring strategy, fundraising, and establishing company values. The biggest help came with developing measurable benchmarks for her office of six employees, she said.
"Nobody tells you when you have an idea and you want to bring it to life that all of a sudden you have to become an accountant, HR, so many things in the beginning, especially as a first-time founder," she told Business Insider. "There are so many things you have to manage to keep the train running."
On top of that, her coach even recommended she start meditating, something she says has made her more patient and less stressed."A big part of being a good CEO is investing time developing your personal skills so you can evolve as your company evolves," she said. "The founder you are when you have one employee has to be fundamentally different to the founder you need to be when you have 50 employees."
Reel, founded in 2016, aims to help users afford big-ticket fashion items. Users select clothing and accessories they want and are prompted to link their bank account and allocate a certain amount of savings to the purchase each day or week. When they hit their target, they can buy the product.
Corrente knew she didn't have the business pedigree other company founders might, having studied industrial design and communications in school. That made hiring a coach an easy decision.
"Most companies fail not for lack of capital, but for lack of good leadership. So I'm highly invested in being the best leader I can be for my team and for the success of Reel," she said.