Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

Icon

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

5 Step Guide about Mentors

“Successful people turn everyone who can help them into sometime mentors!” John Crosby

Mentors are essential building blocks for your business or career. They provide you with insight and advice that can only be gained from experience. The funny thing is that they want to share this insight but do not always get the opportunity to do so primarily because…..no one asks it of them. If you are looking to fast track your business or get meaningful insight into how to further your career , start looking for a mentor today. I have compiled a 5 step guide to get you started:

1. Planning for a mentor: Before asking someone to become a mentor you need to have a plan. Your plan must encompass what you are looking for in a mentor, the level of commitment required of the mentor and lastly how both of you will mutually benefit from this relationship. Remember, you need their time, which is usually their most scarce resource. Make sure that before you ask for it you know ‘why’ you are asking this. To learn more on how to plan this, click here.

2. Finding a mentor:
This is the hardest step in the entire guide. All good things in life require you work diligently towards them. This step will test your perseverance level and how badly you really want to succeed. It will require you to step out of your comfort zone, call and email individuals you never thought you could and ask for favors while not offering much in return. Trust me on this one, the effort is well worth it. To learn more about how to find a mentor click here.

3. Mentors and advice: Once you have got yourself a mentor, he/she will be giving you advice. You need to channel this advice to answer the questions you have. This requires you to be clear on the specific advice you require, to listen carefully, get multiple opinions and finally, to put the advice into action. To learn more about ways to get the most from your mentors advice, click here.

4. Mentors and connections: A key advantage of having mentors is their ability to open doors that are completely out of your reach. Whether it is getting you sales pitches you can never setup, linking you to industry veterans to get sage advice or then setting you up with pitches to angels and venture capitalists. Having a mentor help you with these aspects could end up being the difference between success and failure. To learn more please click here.

5. Mentors and strength-finder: Mentors have the ability to identify your strengths and help you develop them. This provides you with a level of affirmation that pushes you harder to reach your goals and objectives. You have to continue to focus on your strengths rather than on just improving your weaknesses. To learn more please click here.

Mentors provide startup companies with a huge competitive advantage. You need to cultivate them as soon as possible to develop momentum for your enterprise and gain as large as a lead as you can on your competition. It take a lot of effort but is most definitely worth it. So if you haven’t got a mentor yet, now will be a good time to start planning and finding one!

Filed under: Mentors, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mentors and Strength-Finder

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” Anonymous

In my personal experience with mentors the one aspect which I have benefited from most, more than the opening of doors or advice, has been the identification and affirmation of my personal strengths. Through this process I have learned from others to identify what I have the capability to do better than others and how to channel these strengths to a higher level. This process takes a lifetime to master, having a mentor is a good way to fast track it.

When you have someone who believes in your abilities, it is one of the greatest motivating forces you can find. It provided me with extra energy to get out of bed in the morning, to working & closing deals and providing motivational energy to the rest of the team through rough times.With or without a mentor you need to seek your inherent strengths. Everyone seems to be focusing on your weaknesses and how to improve them. Shift the focus on what it is that you do best, and how you can use those qualities to achieve your goals. By finding someone to help you through the identification process is a bonus.

To have such a relationship with your mentor you have to choose them wisely. You have to work at growing the relationship and making sure that both of you are benefiting from the process. The search for such a mentor is not an easy one and it takes a lot of time and effort. My advice is, put in that time and effort and then work towards taking yourself to the next level.

Filed under: Mentors, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mentors and Connections

“Technology does not run an enterprise, relationships do” Patricia Fripp

Mentors have this amazing ability of opening many doors for the startup they are working with. I have experienced this first hand and was in awe of the competitive advantages we gained in comparison to others startups in our industry. Some of the type of doors which were opened for us by mentors were;

1. Sales: Typical scenario without a mentor is first felt in your first sales cycle. You get all your marketing material ready and are all set to hit your list of prospects. Being a startup company you have to start from the very bottom of most organizations. This drastically increases the time it takes you to reach the decision makers and most of the time you get lost along the way. With mentors all we need to do is get a recommendation and you are sitting and pitching to the decision maker in no time. This has helped catapult many businesses which I have started or been part of.

2. Advisor’s: Usually a mentor is very well connected person with deep contacts within a multitude of industries. If he senses that our business needs help for example in the financial division and he is not able to help in that particular segment you will get referred to other potential advisor’s. By meeting with several key industry veterans you continue to increase your personal network at a mind blistering pace as well as fortifying your companies foundations.

3. Capital: In one of my prior businesses which was a web development company our mentor noticed that we had reached a stage where we could raise substantial capital to take the business to the next level.  With his personal endorsements and contacts we were able to pitch to some angel investors to raise the capital we needed. This turned out to be a huge boost with accelerated our growth by many folds.

Filed under: Mentors, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,