I'm keen on starting a venture but stuck up because of I don't know what but soon I'll over come all those issues.
I wanted to ask everyone around here one simple question.
At times I feel the need of some mentor helping me through it. So my question out here is that "How important it is for a startup to have a mentor(s) both before and after starting up ?? Or is it me only who is feeling the need of it.
Please advice, suggest or atleast comment :-)
Mr. Kunal Soni
We are a 3 year old start up and do have a mentor to guide us from time to time. I would say, to have a mentor is very crucial in the initial stage due to following reasons:
- since you are suddenly switching from being an employee to an employer (i guess so), you take advantage of all the freedom, believe me. A mentor helps you to be strict with yourself and your company to make sure it doesn't get shut down within a year of start.
- As a start-up owner, you get demotivated easily with difficulties that come across, just because they are happening for the first time for you. A mentor helps you keep up the motivational level and encourages you from time to time. He picks you up whenever he sees signs of you falling down.
- He is the first admirer of your idea and believes in you the most before anyone else. And its very important for having a constant positive mindset about your start up.
- He keeps asking for progress reports which keeps you on toe. This is very very important to make sure you start behaving like a established firm with some good strategies to back your growth.
There are many more advantages which you will unfold for yourself once you come across a genuine mentor.
Choosing a mentor is the biggest challenge. Don't let emotions and friendliness come in between selecting a mentor. Chart out a few questions asking yourself why you exactly need a mentor and then select a person based on the analysis of whether or not he/she will be able to fulfill them.
Hope this will help you decide.
Creative Head cum Managing Partner, nailbites
Indispensable, I'd say. They are so many doubts, questions, and confusions. We all need a pinch of encouragement from time to time; prevents us from giving up. But if only finding one was so easy.
If you find one, do share how and where.
an old faculty staff which you respect and adore as a person could be a great mentor. You can anytime go back to your old teachers or even people whom you interacted and found them valuable enough for your company.
a college teacher from pg college who also had industry experience is , i guess, the best choice.
just jumped in to share the opinion.
I have not yet launched mine, so cant really say how much role a mentor plays in execution mode of the venture. But what you definitely need is a external critique. S/He is one person you need before you get the ball rolling, to put the things in perspective. Once you have started, may be the same critique can become your mentor, but without loosing the hat of critique.
I had approached Alok, asking him to be my venture's mentor. He interacted with me for all of 15-20 minutes and that was enough for me to hit the drawing board again and now my venture has taken a new shape altogether. It has pushed me back by a few months to say the least, but has ensured that I am not going to be one of the me too...
So getting a critique first can be a good idea for you as well !!!
Alok, the idea I discussed has already become reality and currently busy taking it to the next level. Hope to see you soon....
I would say that having a mentor is not a necessity - if you really want to start a startup, you'll find a way somehow.
That said, having the RIGHT mentor can make a huge difference - although finding the correct person might not be easy.
Mentors do exactly that - mentor. Mentors guide and help; they dont help you execute, if that's what you want-you're looking for a technical or sales lead!
Mentors are usually essential at the Second level of a startup - when you need to be connected to people or have to fix a Macro problem rather than what code should be written to fix this!
Without doubt, I think Mentors are useful and even more if they are on your board (or own stake in the company)
This ofcourse is from personal experience!
Mentors are needed when you have failed, so from the experience, you need to fail first and then try to meet some one, as you will have a ground reality and make the best out of the interaction then.
My comment is from a different starting point.
The question should not be on whether or not you really need / should get a mentor. It, instead, should be on what do you want the mentor to do? In other words, start by putting down a list of objectives you want to fulfil by getting a mentor. This will help you:
1) to check from what field the mentor should be from. For example, should he be someone who has shifted from employment to entrepreneurship, or someone who is from a family of entrepreneurs, or someone who is a proven business coach, or someone who is an industry expert.
2) to evaluate whether your mentor is doing the job that he is supposed to. What would your mentor's KRAs look like? (It may seem like an easy job when all you have to do is put a spanner in the works. But doing that well, consistently, and with a purpose isn't so.)
3) to ensure that your mentor does not overstep his boundaries, and also that you don't blame the mentor for doing the job that he is supposed to do.
Hope these points help you clarify your purpose.
All the best!