Startup mentor or hindrance? - by Sydney Wong (VenturX)
Did you ever get caught up in the whirlwind of meeting new people to create partnerships to get new clients that you didn't even have the chance to think:
Is it really helping or hindering my company goals? Did I fall for this trap 9 times? Did I get sabotaged?
It isn't necessarily malice
Even though my example is of a kind person, they were disguised / introduced as a startup mentor who wanted to open doors for me when I was starting out. 9 dinners later, I still did not got the referral I was waiting for. I was getting frustrated.
At the start, it is exciting to dive into the startup world and build new relationships with people who appear interested in your business but there is a cost. That cost is your time, your most valuable, non-replaceable asset.
Time is your most valuable asset
People say that all the time but you can easily forget everything you learned when you dive into a new world, especially the world of startups. Here are a few red flags I learned on the way that hopefully help you:
Is this person in your industry?
Has this person ever invested their money in a startup?
When this person says mentor, what does that actually mean?
Did they make any money in startups? If so, how?
What does this person do specifically to advance startup companies besides accompany them at dinner time?
Does this person speak in riddles when answering ANY of the questions above?
Who referred me to this person? Did they have success in this person’s help?
What “advice” is this person trying to give me?
As someone who has learned this lesson about being the guardian of my time, I have come to the conclusion of putting up a stronger front. I learned to say no to unintentional networking and I increased my level of prospecting for my business.
Every minute you dedicate to a startup hindrance, you are moving further and further away from your goal. Not every opportunity will reveal to be fruitful in your journey to entrepreneurship. The road to success will look different for everyone. However, if you are lacking that awareness and you are surrounding yourself with hindrance rather than mentors, advisors, and partners, you will end up with $0 in the bank and a tummy full of carbs!
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And special thanks to Sydney...
Do your homework when seeking a mentor. And as Nancy Ragan is well know to have said: "Just Say No" (to bad advice in this case)
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