The number one job while building a company is problem solving.
Number two is speeding up that process, usually through adding talent.
Entrepreneurs often spend hundreds of hours brainstorming, testing, recruiting, organizing, and raising funds from investors. While these activities are the core, founders should not overlook the importance of spending time on recruiting talented mentors.
Mentors are a multiplier for all these other efforts, and this simple tactic makes entrepreneurs more likely to succeed than almost anything else.
You can’t succeed unless you survive, and having mentors is proven to help businesses stay in business longer.
70 percent of mentored businesses survive longer than 5 years. This is double the rate of those who did not receive mentoring.
DYK? 30 percent of new businesses may not survive past the first 24 months, and 50 percent of those may not make it past five years, according to the SBA.
Building a company is exhausting, physically and mentally. An ally in the battle helps you go further. Good mentors are usually your biggest cheerleaders when things are going well, and the first to point out potential missteps while under fire.
This encouragement increases EQ and builds confidence.
“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” –Zig Ziglar
The truth is, mentors won’t be surprised by much—they are a calm presence in the storm.
Speeding up problem-solving is a form of time travel. Mentors know where the wormholes are.
They can help solve problems faster, which saves you a lot of time, effort, money, and pain.
If they spent years building their own companies, they have most likely already slayed the same dragons you face—solving problems with employees, customers, partners, and investors.
They know the right tools for the job and the tactics to take, or at least where to start.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Mentors have access to a larger network (or at least a different network) and know how best to insert you into that network for opportunities.
We live in the age of information with so much knowledge at their fingertips—lists of this, tips for that—but we can’t find everything on Google or Twitter. Applied experience doesn’t live there.
The best way to learn the job is to do the job, and the best MBA is actually building a company.
It’s important to find mentors who have built companies.
It’s also key to find mentors (multiple) who have expertise in different areas—built a distribution system, hired and managed a development team, raised real capital from real investors—but also understand your particular industry.
If they just read what you can read, but have never done the work themselves, they won’t have the network or experience to multiply your efforts.
You can’t buy success, but you can rent the movie and learn from others’ failures and successes
Research and surveys prove that having a mentor is important to success.
In a 2013 executive coaching survey, 80 percent of CEOs said they received some form of mentorship. In another research by Sage, 93 percent of startups admit that mentorship is instrumental to success.
Mentors—like those on our team—challenge and champion ideas. We’re ready when you are, so get in touch.