Startup life is a hectic blur of meetings, scheduling, returning emails and trying to actually build a business. It’s understandable why many startup founders can’t make time to find a mentor. An appropriate mentor for a startup, has in fact been in the same hotseat once upon a time – as a startup founder. This mentor’s observations and feedback are an invaluable source of knowledge and practical recommendations.
Receiving advice can be tough, but there’s no room for ego in the startup world. It’s common for some founders to believe they can handle any challenge thrown their way. Confidence is great, but no one can do it all alone. Being open to accepting guidance and being able to appreciate it will make any business stronger. It’s normal to feel defensive, a startup is like a baby so having to process difficult feedback can be like a gut punch, preventing many first time founders from seeking mentorship in the first place. Often enough, talented founders don’t seek valuable feedback that would otherwise significantly improve their startup and chances of success.
The life of a startup founder can be one of solitude. Most people can’t relate to a startup founder’s unique challenges and struggles. Family and friends can only handle so much venting and stress before they feel helpless, which could also affect relationships. A mentor completely relates to the pressure and stress a startup founder is feeling, and can help work through this by providing a neutral ear to listen and offer advice. Adding a mentor to startup life is like insurance for better work-life balance. Without it, the founder is trying to solve every issue alone. Burnout will derail even the most ambitious founder, no one is immune.
Having no mentor can add unnecessary stress and pressure to founders who are already working their hardest. Fresh eyes can see the missing ingredient and offer advice and recommendations that will ultimately help a startup succeed.