Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Mentors and Advice

“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” Publilius Syrus

Mentors at the most basic level, provide you with advice regarding your current business. This advice is the result of many years of experience in the particular segment that you are getting mentored on. Having been through similar situations they are able to provide insight on the best manner to tackle a problem and point out the best possible solution . Over the past couple of years my mentors have provided me with great insights regarding the business ventures I have been part of. The range of advice ranges from legal clauses in partnership agreements to help in correctly valuing my companies and even how to balance my work and personal life.

There are a couple of things that should be kept in mind to maximize your mentors advice :

1. Be clear on the precise subject: In my experience mentors have a tendency to go off tangent when you ask for advice on broad subjects. When you want advice on ramping up sales in your organization make sure you are specific in talking about the details. For example instead of “we need to increase sales for xyz product how do you think we should go about it” say, “The current sales volume of xyz product is 1000 units a quarter with 3 dedicated sales staff, we want to achieve 10% growth every quarter of 08, in your opinion what would be an effective strategy to hit our targets.”

2. Listen carefully: Due to the depth of their experience mentors are continuously bombarding you with information. Your job should be to listen diligently and take down comprehensive notes to help you understand the basic concepts. This will help you create a reference point, ask specific questions if you don’t understand a particular topic and show respect to your mentor. The last thing you want to do is day dream when your mentor is giving advice.

3. Get opinions: I respect my mentors for the advice they have given and continue to give me. However before I implement them I get multiple second opinions from partners, associates and maybe some of my other mentors. This helps you get multiple perspectives before making any major changes to your organization.

4. Use the advice: When a mentor gives you the framework to help increase sales by 10% a quarter and you get positive feedback on the system, get to work on it asap. Mentors want to see progress and if you keep taking their advice and doing nothing about it you are asking for trouble. Being proactive and action oriented are two essential qualities for all entrepreneurs.

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