Mentors are an important part of any successful career. One challenge I’ve seen is entrepreneurs asking their mentors and/or advisors for the same help when they should be playing to the individual strength of the specific mentor. When entrepreneurs take the same exact question to all five of their mentors, they’re going to get five different answers, which is fine. What isn’t fine is that mentors don’t often have the same domain expertise and experience, and shouldn’t get the same questions.
Here are a few things to keep in mind with startup mentors:
- What is the mentor’s background? Business executive? Tech entrepreneur? Non tech entrepreneur?
- What areas are they most passionate about? Corporate culture? Financing? Team building?
- How can they help the most? Introductions? Strategic thinking? Planning?
- What’s the best communication process? Weekly phone calls? Monthly email updates? Quarterly dinners?
Mentors help maximize opportunities and minimize mistakes for entrepreneurs while being a critical component of a healthy startup ecosystem. Play to the strength of the mentor for best results.
What else? What are your thoughts on playing to the individual strength of a mentor?