I was lucky. I got taught this early in my career.
Several recent episodes in my "Sherpa" practice, however, have reinforced my belief that this simple lesson should be part of every entrepreneur's early curriculum (and continuing education). Important for each new crop of founders to learn — and remember.
The Lesson: In stressful times, over-communicate with all stakeholders in your start-up, even if only about process/status. Or, even if to report "No Change".
One's natural tendency is to clam up; after all, stressful times, almost by definition, are crazy busy, so who has time…..
Fight the tendency.
Radio silence arouses fears of the worst.
And, counter-intuitively, if you involve your board, your advisors, and even your significant stockholders (N.B., care and discretion needed here), you will be surprised how quickly folks can flip into the "how can I help" mode.
Like everything in life, however, use your judgment; not all of these folks can contribute to a resolution of the problem, but, in my experience and on balance, keeping them in the loop at least never makes the situation seem to them worse than it is — and that, in and of itself, can be a big benefit (and lessens the follow-on communications burden with them).