Entrepreneurs love seeking feedback and help from other entrepreneurs, it’s human nature. Over time, it’s important to find an appropriate time allocation for helping others while balancing other priorities. With modest entrepreneurial success, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with requests to grab coffee.
Now, I’m trying a new tactic with referrals to entrepreneurs requesting a meeting: complete a simplified one page strategic plan first and then we’ll coordinate a time (assuming it makes sense). Completing a one page plan in advance provides several benefits:
- Stage of idea/startup is readily apparent
- Area of desired help is obvious (sometimes it shows that we don’t need to meet due to inability to help)
- Goal realism shows whether or not they have experience and/or have done their homework (too often it still says their goal is $50 million in revenue by the third year)
Much like Jeff’s paying it forward requirement to meet with him, adding some effort and friction to the process of getting together results in higher quality meetings and more productive time. The next time you feel overwhelmed with requests to meet, figure out how to make the meetings more valuable by requiring extra effort from the other party.
What else? What are your thoughts on requiring a one page strategic plan prior to meeting with an entrepreneur?