Working with a mentor when you’re just starting up can make all the difference. Here are eight tips for finding one.
You need a good idea. Startup cash can make a real difference. Business experience and savvy also help, of course. But to take advantage of the most powerful weapon an entrepreneur can have, find a mentor.
A good mentor helps you think through a business idea, suggests ways to generate that startup capital and provides the experience and savvy you’re missing. You’ll get praise when you deserve it and a heads-up when trouble comes — probably long before you would have noticed it yourself.
My grandfather who owned a memorabilia and antique shop in Vancouver, British Columbia, was a natural entrepreneur. He helped my brother Matthew and me launch our first successful venture: selling toy airplanes at a local festival when we were just seven and eight years old. With his help, we developed just the right marketing strategy — putting on a show with the planes that created excitement and a “wow” impact. We sold out of planes in just two hours.