Are you initiating your career in entrepreneurship? Is your project turning into something serious? Are you at the seed stage? Is your company taking off? In all cases, here’s what you need to do: Grow your network, accept challenges, take risks, be ready to fail and keep the ball rolling.
Asking for help is vital to growing your business. Yet, many entrepreneurs are hesitant to seek the help they need. But asking for assistance doesn’t make you less capable. In fact, roles such as mentors and advisors are not only trendy but also convenient.
That’s why I suggest growing your network first (you never know who will lead you to the perfect mentor). Mentors can provide motivation, direction, coaching, training and advice. This, plus a strategic execution plan, can lead you to success and business profitability. As you gain more soft skills, there will be more space for efficient data analysis and quantitative balances.
How do you know if you need a mentor? If you’re asking, you probably do. But what are mentors and advisors? They are people, just like you, who have a senior profile and a long career in entrepreneurship or are experts in a certain topic, subject or industry. They can verify processes and minimize failure. Long story short: Mentors are experienced muggles.
But experienced muggles aren’t magicians. It’s a two-way process where:
1. You’ll need to be aware of your own capabilities, green flags, red flags and business pains to know where a mentor can best help.
2. You’ll have to put their advice into practice.
For example, if you don’t know how to structure your sales area, that’s a pain, and assuming you can’t find the solution in-house, you should look for an advisor. Or maybe your HR process is aching—there are mentors for that, too.
Now, think of King Arthur’s round table and picture your ideal team. Who do you want sitting next to you? Consider who would be suitable for each position, categorize people, review opportunities and make yourself a champ.
To ensure you surround yourself with the right people, here are three things to keep in mind:
Meet and greet.
Here’s where your network and engagement with the entrepreneurial communities glow. Appeal to your contacts and be aware that even Leo Messi can be reachable and gentle, in fact. Send DMs, make phone calls, prepare an elevator pitch and introduce yourself at relevant events. Just remember to be strategic and ready to fill those roundtable seats.
Have a formal plan.
Now that you’ve chosen your guests, talk with them about commitment and equity and be clear about why you need them. The methodology is key. How many meetings will you have per week? Will coffee chats be enough? Will you always debate the same movements? Don’t be afraid to change the strategy if it’s not working. You’ll start noticing small improvements until the progress becomes apparent and your business starts surfing big waves successfully.
Choose values and make your team loyal.
Put your mission and goals front and center so that potential mentors are aware of them and can readily adopt them as their own. Your mentor will need to know your goals by heart, be ready to roll up their sleeves and play the whole game nonstop.
These people exist, and they’ve been proving that soft skills lead to solid results and better revenue. In fact, I’m part of the statistics. Some years ago I was a beginner, too. Now I’m a mentor. This profession has a lot to do with an inner drive to help others and to keep gaining expertise because—spoiler alert—I learn a great deal from mentees as well.