Benefit from Your Startup Mentor Make Sure Derive Real Value from the Relationship
Benefit from Your Startup Mentor: Here are Venture Founders’ 10 criteria for a protégé to get full value from taking on a mentor to help you launch the new venture.
- Prepare yourself for any discussion by deciding what you need from the interaction and let the mentor know your agenda when you fix the appointment.
- Be totally open and honest, even about issues of which you are unsure, or where you lack the necessary data.
- Share and discuss any documents that you may have prepared about the business and the opportunity—especially your business model and business plan.
- Build the relationship, while keeping focus on those issues you regard as critical.
- Maintain a consistent relationship with the mentor; do not rely on a single interaction.
- Tell the mentor about other feedback you are receiving, especially where it may not be consistent with your mentor’s own.
- Follow up on any introductions that your mentor may offer, particularly where it concerns potential funding or other business relationship. It gives you an opportunity to expand your network.
- Discuss about ‘soft’ (people) issues, as well as ‘hard’ issues (numbers)—they may be the make or break areas of the startup.
- Allow the mentor to ask difficult questions.
- Remember the new venture mentor focus is You, unlike a business advisor whose focus is the business.
You might also like to read Dangers of Startup Mentors!