The Secret Sauce Your Startup Needs
When I was young I thought I knew it all – we’ve all been there, admit it. You have unlimited energy supplies, unlimited ideas, unlimited opportunities. When you’re young you simply forget that there are older and wiser people, who are willing to help you on your way, speed up your progress and answer your questions. Here’s why I’m already a part of a government mentorship program and I’m currently helping startups from the point of view of 15+ years of experience!
What exactly is a mentor?
A mentor is typically a person with extensive knowledge and experience in a given field. There are many people out there willing to share tips and solutions from their career so far in order to help young startups move faster on their way to success. Nowadays it can be extremely useful to tap into the resource pools of other industries as well, not only your own. When people from different backgrounds and with different levels of experience come together to solve a problem, they will find a better solution faster.
Remember that whatever the niche of your startup – eCommerce, product development, software project development, there are people who have already walked the path in one way or another. You’re probably thinking you’re the first but the chances are there is someone out there with similar experience.
How does it work?
First of all, consider well your mentorship needs: whether you need someone who can be really involved in your project or someone to check in with once or twice a month in order to receive feedback on the process. It’s important to set specific rules for your communication from the beginning – no matter if it is formal or informal. It just makes everything easier!
When you have found the right person and have set up the way your mentorship would look like, it’s time to benefit from it. A good mentor will help you with ongoing problems, give advice on how to improve and accelerate your growth, and give you enough food for thought so that you can figure out things for yourself. Remember that a mentor should always be honest and sometimes you may hear things you won’t like or agree with. A good mentor is never afraid to tell you your mistakes, but he or she will also navigate you towards solving them.
Mentors are the kind of people you ask stupid questions – so that you don’t have to panic about them later. They give you a different point of view, a different perspective from which to look at your business and seek solutions. Mentoring is about tapping into someone else’s experience so that you can excel at what you do without having to go through it all. Advice may come in many shapes – a shared book or article, a question, direct answer to your worries. Depending on the level of expertise and experience of your mentor, he or she can prove to be a valuable asset in your decision-making process. And a good friend.
Startups can take advantage of this experience with almost no effort – there are so many opportunities to find the right mentor in your field (or related field, if you wish to expand your overall experience). Jump on-board and make sure you’re ready to soak in all the wisdom you will be exposed to!
Feel free to ask any questions – we’ll be happy to help! Please post your feedback via the discussion boards below.