In the past 13 years, I have counseled/coached thousands of people seeking to start a business.What I have learned: That even if they never start the business, they have appreciated the encouragement and support as well as an honest, forthright discussion. They appreciated my not just dismissing them or talking at them and over their head, but engaging them in a good conversation. Interestingly, some come back years later and are ready to try again or they just want to say thank you for helping them make a good decision.
In my mind that is what it is all about. Helping them to see clearly and not jump out unprepared and then see a failure. Do not discourage them even if you think it is a crazy, unattainable idea. Help them to discover that for themselves. Be positive while showing things they really need to think about. Be friendly, show you humanness, do not try to fit them into a “program” or “process” initially. And last of all:
LISTEN! Understand! Think! There is no “cookie cutter” way to starting a business. Each person and business is unique. Hope for each and everyone to be successful.