What would you do if Richard Branson was willing to help your business, and you had one hour with him?
I’d argue that you’d struggle the get the value that you assume would come.
There’s no doubt Mr Branson is a marketing/brand/business legend with a track record, knowledge base and life experience that’d be hard to beat. But how could you benefit from that?
The chances are that Branson has minimal domain experience that is relevant to your business.
I’m guessing your most pressing needs are quite specific; you have server load issue, you can’t get facebook engagement or your failing to find a product price point.
The reason I use this example is that as a founder you will do better to create an army of specific mentors to help you, rather than seeking out the one almighty mentor who you might think has all the answers you need – or a silver bullet solution.
In reality, every person in the world is more experienced at something than you, and as such could help you out in some way. Why would you seek one mentor when you already have hundreds ready to help you?
Try it now, take a look around where you’re sitting. The first person you see, what are they better than you at?
Maybe they have a long-term loving marriage, maybe they used to work triage in a hospital emergency ward, or maybe they race motorbikes on the weekends.
The point is that each and every person in your life is a potential mentor with experiences that you could adapt to help your business. Sure, they might not think of themselves as a business mentor, but most people like talking about themselves. I know I’ve personally been too quick to dismiss people.
As a digital marketer my ability to get attention quickly and then convert that attention into a mental/emotional response is critical.
Yet, the people who could teach me so much might be the very people I walk past each day …
So start asking more questions of those around you. See everyone as your mentor and harvest up all that advice.
A word of caution. Make sure you keep your army of mentors focused. People will quickly take a soapbox and start to bestow advice on you in areas that they have no experience.
Anyway, back to Richy B, if I had an hour, I’d focus on the founder/entrepreneurial mental stuff. I’d make sure he did most of the talking, and I’d ask him to share this post 🙂
For everything else, I’ll go back to my army of relatively unknown mentors and ask for help.