You can’t learn everything before you need to know it, hence the value of experience. But some things you can learn, if you have the right teacher. I learned the process of kissing, not necessarily the skill from Potsie Webber, the ever dorky character on Happy Days. More Potsie…..
He got it wrong, and then so did I. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find the right mentors and try and stop me from using old TV quotes ever again…blah.
Your mentors can come in all forms and you must choose carefully. Take time to know the differences between “a Potsie” and someone who can help you learn what you need.
The very first thing you should identify is the pre-mentor motivation. Why are they helping you? Why are they interested in you? An automatic disqualifier is if you have to pay them or give them stock in your company, seems obvious huh?…well, entreprenuers can be trusting. Anyone who takes money or stock from an entreprenuer for helping them understand the basics is, well, a Potsie….I know, I paid and gave up equity. Potsie is a lousy kisser and besides, I’m married.
I’ve made up for it though, by helping many, many entreprenuers for free, taking hours of time and creating real value. They have a duty to pass it on, it is all I ever ask.
You should expect your mentor to be agressive. They will give you advice you might not want to hear. They might not be right…but they’ll never be short of opinion. It’s critical that you listen, it’s not critical that you follow.
I have names behind the people in this story….but it serves no purpose to put them down or build them up here, they do that by themselves based on their actions, not my words.
I give back to my mentors by passing it on, please do the same.