What is a Sounding Board?

hand against an ear

How often do you get that feeling?

The one where you have lots of ideas, thoughts and niggling worries but you keep it all to yourself? Mainly for fear of judgement or perhaps you don’t know who to trust or you don’t know who the right person would be to approach.

You’re not alone in thinking that way, and sometimes it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and/or frustrated.

The problem is, whilst you keep it all to yourself, it might hold you back.

Reasons for using a sounding board

When you run your own business, it’s easy to get caught up with the day-to-day running of it but what happens to those ideas and/or concerns you have?

Often they end up lingering in the background, potentially causing sleepless nights.

A sounding board comes in different forms and it all depends on the level of expertise you need to help you move forward. For example, maybe you would benefit from speaking to someone who has gained experience working in the same industry as you but at a much higher level. Or perhaps it would be better to chat with someone who has experience working in a completely different industry but with a similar offering to you to give you a different perception.

The person you choose to work with might be a coach, mentor or peer. It really depends on what your needs are and what you want to gain from the experience.

The definition of a sounding board

A person or group whose reactions to suggested ideas are used as a test of their validity or likely success before they are made public.

The Oxford Dictionary

A sounding board is a good listener, and either confirms what they hear or offers an opinion when the sound they hear is “off key”.Thanks for being my sounding board. It helps me grow to have someone that listens to me and offers feedback when needed.

The Urban dictionary


A few weeks ago, I released a blog about the benefits of using an accountability partner and the reasons for using a sounding board are very similar.

It’s about working with someone professional rather than a friend and knowing that they will be objective rather than forming an opinion. They will challenge your thinking and offer different perspectives, even if it is about playing devil’s advocate.

If you know what you want the outcome to be, they will think about the success and how to guide you towards it. If you feel confused about the next steps to take, they will help you gain clarity on what to do next.

Strategic thinking

You have your goals, but how are you going to achieve them?

What steps do you need to take?

You don’t know what you don’t know.

When you run your own business, it’s easy to think you must know everything, but if the business you run differs completely from what you used to do, you probably don’t need to know about all the key components of running a business.

For example, social media might sound really easy but there is a huge difference between having a personal social media page to using it for a business. You need to be thinking a little more strategically.

Or perhaps you’re looking to grow your business and have a team of people supporting you but you’ve recruited no one before and you don’t know what to consider, or where to start. It might sound really easy, but there are lots of points to consider.

What about how efficient you are at running your business? Do you need KPIs (key performance indicators) – do you even know what they are?

Are you analysing any aspects of your business to identify any trends to see if changes need to be made or have you not even thought about it?

But we are talking strategically here.

What about the end goal, an idea you have had, or a financial goal? What are you doing to achieve it?

For example, are you working backwards to think about what needs to be implemented and when? Working backwards might sound crazy but it’s an approach I have been using for years and it really helps you to think about what you need to do to achieve the result and when you need to do certain tasks/projects.


Yes, you can talk to your peers, but do you want them to know the problems/challenges you’re facing?

This links back to objectivity. Working with someone who will help you break down the challenges you’re facing can make an enormous difference because you know they won’t judge you. It’s knowing you can confidently chat openly, and what you discuss will go no further.

It’s about exploring different options and brainstorming ideas to figure out solutions to the challenges you face.

My approach to this is always to understand the bigger picture. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the here and now without thinking about the knock-on implications of other factors such as finance and time.

How I can help you

I work with clients in lots of different ways, but more often than not, it is about acting as a sounding board and holding them accountable. It’s a powerful combination.

It’s about stripping everything back, understanding what outcome someone is looking to gain and quickly creating roadmaps to help them achieve the answers they want/need. Sometimes it is about brainstorming a content strategy plan, other times the focus is on business growth and development, and the steps to take to achieve that.

My experience is extremely varied. I’ve worked across different industries in the corporate and SME world and of course, I am a business owner too!

I understand the challenges businesses face and how running your own business is never easy, and that’s why I have created a couple of different options to help people.

Before we start, I always suggest a free 20-minute call to make sure I can help you and see if we are a good fit. Next, we will figure out if you need a one-off Energiser Session or ongoing support. This is for those people who really need support on a monthly basis, knowing they have someone to offload and to get the answers and support they need.

Kind words

I was reading through the testimonials I had received when I soon realised that the words that had clients left for me were all talking about the same thing. How the sessions they had with me took away the headaches they had and left them with clarity…

“I had a few issues swirling around in my head and just needed someone in the same line of work to bounce my idea around with.” – Michelle

“You know those moments when you’re bashing your head against a business development brick wall? Those moments, well hours actually, when you’re working on a problem or idea and the thoughts are going round in circles, you’re second-guessing yourself and despite your best intentions, you end up taking no action and you think “sod it, I’ll come back to it later”. Yes, me too!” – Kate

“I was due to start the promotion of my Business Planning Templates & Services but had a brain freeze when it came to creating content.” – Adanna

What are you waiting for? Ditch the sleepless nights and the stress, it’s time to take ACTION!

About Louisa van Vessem

Ingenious Corner - Louisa van Vessem in Black and White smiling

Hey there! I’m Louisa, and I’m all about teaming up with freelancers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and contractors to help ignite your journey to success.

Think of me as your go-to creative companion, business confidante, and your personal sounding board and cheerleader, all rolled into one. My goal? To serve up a mix of awesome ideas, strategic wisdom, crystal-clear guidance, and a dash of accountability and camaraderie. We’re not just about the destination. We’re all about enjoying the ride and keeping things refreshingly simple and fun.

If you’re on the lookout for a friendly guide to help navigate your business adventures, I’m all ears! Let’s grab a virtual cuppa and chat about the exciting possibilities ahead. Can’t wait to connect!

Let’s connect on social media

Don’t worry, I’m not spending lots of time on social media, I repurpose content across channels at different times.

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