Entrepreneurs Mentoring Other Startup Entrepreneurs: Why?
Originally published in Fox Small Business Center.
As a CEO, do you mentor others—within or outside your own business? Why and how? This question was posed to the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). Here’s what 9 YEC members had to say:
1: Become a Campus Resource
From Justin Beck of PerBlue
Mentoring other entrepreneurs has become a passion of mine over the last two years. My focus has been connecting with entrepreneurs in college, answering questions and guiding their efforts. I regularly give guest lectures to engineering and business classes at the University of Wisconsin. I also meet monthly with small groups on campus to inspire and share the lessons I’ve learned.
2: Mutual Mentorship, Inside and Out
From David Ehrenberg of Early Growth Financial Services
In addition to mentoring people at all levels of our organization, I also mentor outside CEOs. As CEO of my own company—with CEOs of a wide array of companies as my clients—I feel like I have a lot of answers, and, of equal importance, a lot of good questions. So I like to give back to my ecosystem through mentorship: helping CEOs to do their jobs better and giving them food for thought.
3: Network to Give Back
From Andrew Schrage of Money Crashers Personal Finance
I take particular pride in mentoring others, both within and outside my organization. I am a firm believer of promoting from within, and the only way I’m going to achieve that is through mentoring. I am also actively involved in networking events, because I feel that it’s important to give back to the community.
4: Manage Mentorship Effectively With Clarity.fm
From Eric Koester of Zaarly
I’ve always loved helping other entrepreneurs and startup companies, but it’s difficult to know where to draw the line. This year, I’ve found Clarity.fm to be a great tool that helps me manage this more effectively. Now I offer to mentor anyone through Clarity.fm phone calls—so long as they donate to my charity of choice (Kiva). It’s a win-win-win for me, the entrepreneur, and Kiva.
5: Mentoring Groups
From Robert J. Moore of RJMetrics
I belong to a number of mentoring groups that meet monthly. I was skeptical of these groups when I first started attending them, but I’ve realized I can learn a lot from people who have been in my shoes and I can be a huge help to those who are trying to solve problems I’ve already tackled.
6: Give to Get, Over Skype or In Person
From Natalie MacNeil of She Takes on the World
I mentor other people over Skype or in person because I’ve had amazing mentors who have done the same for me. The way I look at it, what we give—whether it be time, money, or an opportunity—we get back in abundance. Giving makes the world go ’round. When I can help someone else and contribute to his or her success, it makes me feel really good. I live for that deep sense of fulfillment.
7: Identify Monthly Opportunities
From Aaron Schwartz of Modify Watches
No CEO magically started her company alone—everyone has had help, advice and often investment from others. Through Empact and Opportunity International, I and many other entrepreneurs have made pledges to give back in the field of entrepreneurship. I do this because I believe that the greatest thing we can do is to help others succeed. I participate through my alma mater and nonprofit groups.
8: Nurture Aspiring Entrepreneurs in Your Community
From Felix Lluberes of Position Logic
I mentor young entrepreneurs with fabulous business ideas in my community. I personally have a mentor and recommend others to have one too. I’ve learned that by sharing the knowledge and experience we’ve gathered over time, we can make other’s rides much easier. As mentors, we not only help others, but we can learn through reflection.
9: One Employee a Day
From Mitch Gordon of Go Overseas
I meet with every member of my team once per week. There are two main things we go over: (1) progress with their monthly management goals; and (2), their personal professional development. Employees can tell if you genuinely care about their career and development. If you go out of your way to give them growth opportunities, they’ll work harder for the company. It’s a win/win.
Why do you mentor? Let us know in comments below or contact Early Growth Financial Services for financial mentorship.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons. Email your questions about best practices for starting up and/or managing a small business firstname.lastname@example.org.
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