It was fun to look back at this post because the relationship that I have with my mentor has expanded beyond what I would have ever imagined at the time I wrote this piece.
I will share more about this relationship in the future, but it ties very closely with a principle that Scott Adams mentions in his book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life,“ where he talks about creating luck for yourself.
This relationship led to more opportunity and continues to provide rewards as we truly have a situation where we continually help each other out. It is not just a receive relationship for me, and that has truly helped us accomplish so much as we work together.
Go out there and find someone you respect, but also find ways that you can help him or her. Give first, and then take later. You will be better off for that.
My earliest attempt at entrepreneurship revolved around careers, and mentorship was a major focus of what I was trying to build. As I have spent time as an entrepreneur, the value of a mentor remains just as relevant to startups.
I have interacted with a number of people over these past couple of years and some have been very influential, and others while very helpful, were clearly not as interested in the relationship. What has been surprising is that I have found the most support in someone that I did not even imagine being a mentor. This relationship is one that naturally evolved into one of respect and support.
Having someone to bounce ideas off of, ask quick questions, and be accountable to with occasional updates, has been a huge boost to my focus and productivity. Even more important has been the realization that mentors will give advice, but I still have to filter through feedback and make decisions and execute on them. Effectively utilizing a mentor goes beyond using them as a crutch, relying on what they can give to you, but leveraging every interaction as a focused energy boost to help you move forward.
In the end, your success is entirely up to you. Mentors are like coaches sitting on the sidelines of a tennis match--on match day, their work is complete. You are the player and it is up to you to play the game.
Vulnerable Founder was the name of a blog (and podcast) that I put together while working on our first idea for digital content creators, from December 2020 through March 2021. We decided to shut down our old app, so I’m bringing highlighted posts from that blog here to our new one on Substack with short updates on the same topic.