Moving from the ‘C’ Suite to a Business Consultant/Board Director via Angel Investing

Many senior executive careers have been the casualty of downsizing, restructures or M&A activity that has left them wondering ‘what is next’?

The growth prospects in many economies are shrinking and some sectors will take years to recover fully from 2020. In 2019, the global rate of unemployment stood at a high of 5.4 percent. Also, according to the International Monetary Fund, “We are downgrading growth for 2019 to 3 percent, its slowest pace since the global financial crisis.” Still, in 2019, many nations recorded the highest executive turnover rate.

According to experts, things are getting worse in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), given the sharp decrease in working hours caused by the pandemic, nearly half (approx. 1.6 billion workers) of the global workforce stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods affected.

When finishing their career or laid off due to COVID/downsizing, many executives see a potential career path as a consultant to early-stage companies or think that they would make a good Board member.

There are many reasons an ex-’C Suite’ may want to be a consultant or a board member. First, it is a great way of giving back to the community. Second, board duties will provide a rewarding intellectual challenge. It’s also a viable way to supplement income.

In the wake of a pandemic that threatens the global economy’s wellbeing and the employment matrix, turning to angel investment can be instrumental in creating more jobs, economic recovery, and social justice.

World leaders and the global business community have recently acknowledged the significance of supporting small businesses’ growth in economic development. G20 leaders have called for more attention to the need for more angel investors, terming it as a priority venture.

Does your firing/retirement make you feel unsettled?

You are not alone! 70% of change efforts fail to meet the target impact largely because most employees are resistant to change.

That said, even the most accomplished executives feel unsettled by big career changes like downsizing/retirement. If, however, you are like many people who still feel they have more to offer, you can use your transition to firing/retirement as an opportunity to launch a profitable and fulfilling career as a startup advisor or board member.

After all, In the words of Charles Kettering, “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

Luckily, as it stands, more former executives are dedicating their time, network command, and finances to supporting startup entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, very few are successful, largely because they lack one essential skill — knowledge of startup investment principles and growing a business from scratch.

Despite being a lucrative venture, it’s worth noting that being a director is a very different role, both psychologically and legally, from being an executive. It involves unique responsibilities and legal liabilities, which are different from other management roles.

For this reason, most retired executives prefer private-equity boards, which allow directors to focus more on strategy than compliance as opposed to a listed-company where compliance is key.

Although highly experienced in their sector, most of these executives have no experience with scaling a small company or picking a good idea, or sitting on a Board.

It involves putting effort into acquiring the basics of the game and learning the ropes. Luckily, there’s an even easier way you can differentiate yourself from a crowded pool filled with your high-level peers.

Getting involved with startups is a good way to acquire some of these skills. The best way to develop real skin in the game is to invest some money in a startup, i.e., startup investment.

Angel investment unites investors and entrepreneurs through a common goal of growing a business and making it a success. Without knowledge, it’s almost impossible to kickstart your journey to sitting on a company’s board.

There are a few ways to successful startup investment, but one of the best is to undertake some Angel investor education and team up with people who understand this world. This way, you get the skills necessary to help the startup grow and secure your first Board seats.

We are running our Angel Bootcamp on November 23. More details here.

This is a great way to jump in and see if it is for you.



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Trevor Townsend

CEO Startupbootcamp Australia Founder, Board Member and Startup Investor: Energy, FinTech and Sports.