Everyone has the secrets they would like to pretend never happened. However, when it comes to doing business with a person or company, it may be better to own up to them early rather than wait for them to find out.
Photo by IK’s World Trip.
Entrepreneurial blog Inc suggests that when it comes time to strike some deals, being open about your past or weaknesses can not only prevent harm later on, but it can actually open the door to benefits you might not otherwise have:
Your skeletons might not be skeletons. Often entrepreneurs are overly sensitive about their company’s shortcomings, and they view their problems as deal breakers. Sometimes, however, those issues are really just minor imperfections. By revealing your skeletons to potential investors, you at least give yourself the chance to assess the severity of your issues.
You can tap into a well of expertise and insight. Many VCs have begun to offer consulting services that are designed to help their portfolio companies solve key operational and strategic issues. You might discover that your investor knows exactly how to address the challenges you are facing.
While Inc frames the advice towards startup founders, it’s widely applicable. If your boss wants you to take on a new project, say up front that you have trouble in a certain area. Of course, you don’t have to share every deep and dark secret, but chances are you know which ones you hope your boss doesn’t find out about, and that might just be the one you should own up to first.