While management research on the consequences of managerial effort (attention, advising) has flourished, less research investigates factors that lead managers to change where effort is directed. We offer a behavioral theory with three complementary views of when managers engage with new business aspects – problem-driven search, accumulated experience, and constraint reduction. Using a novel dataset of managerial advising between VCs and ventures, we find support for problem-driven search and experience, but not constraints. These results provide important insight into both the antecedents of managerial effort, and to the evolution of the VC-venture relationship.