The following is part 1 of a 4 part series for achieving success in your entrepreneurial endeavors. The series was created by a business professional who draws from 40 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and high-growth startups. He writes under the pen name J.T. Jamison and Barcinno will publish a new chapter in his series each Wednesday (hump day) during the month of March.
Congratulations! You are a first-time entrepreneur. You have a great idea, infinite passion and unbridled confidence in yourself! You “just know your business concept will change the world and shower you with riches!” Guess what?…. 95% of all first-timers do not succeed… Now that I’ve totally rained on your parade, let me share with you the well known, but not always used, “secret” to greatly increasing the likelihood of your business success. Your Startup Mentor!
The long journey of a startup business is much like climbing Mount Everest. Not impossible, but only a few of those strong, brave and resourceful climbers actually reach the summit. There are so many challenges and constantly changing conditions that reaching the top is never predictable. Many of the most qualified climbers make several attempts before they actually succeed. And with every Mt. Everest expedition what is the single, most valuable element in the climb? Sherpas. Yes, the Sherpas! Those experienced individuals that have successfully made the dangerous summit before. Sherpas are mountain climbing professionals that know the ropes, understand the path, can anticipate critical situations, point out the obstacles and provide invaluable counsel to a first-timer on his/her initial climb of the highest peak in the world.
Your business Sherpa(s) or Mentor(s) will not guarantee your success, but they greatly enhance your ability to reach your goals. As a trusted advisor, a mentor has taken the business journey before. Their management experience identifies your blind spots, helps you avoid mistakes and take advantage of opportunities. As you traverse the business landscape, your advisor can provide real-time expert advice on a variety of topics. They assist you in anticipating and then solving major problems. Mentors can help to crystalize your vision and fully develop your business strategy. A good advisor provides more credibility to your management team. When it comes time for funding, mentors can greatly assist you in finding the investors and building the necessary confidence for them to provide your company with capital. And once you secure funding, as CEO, you have automatically also secured a new Board of Directors that you will need to lead and manage effectively. Your mentor can provide solid counsel in this area as well. In a nutshell, good advisors greatly expand your personal level of expertise. Mentors are essential to your success.
These are just a few of the key benefits of having a mentor. As the Founder of the “next big thing”, it is critical that you begin your journey with your own personal “Sherpa” and the top of the mountain is within your reach.
Stay tuned…Chapter 2: “Where do I find my Mentors and what characteristics should I look for in a good mentor?”