Friday, May 25, 2012

Find a Mentor!

If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you likely have family members and/or friends who are supportive of your ideas.  But, do you have someone who will be brutally honest about where your business is headed?  Most family members and friends might not be be able to go there.  You need a mentor!  A mentor is someone who has "been there, done that", can give you advice based on experience, and most importantly, tell you the truth.  

In an article for, Janet Crowther and Katie Covington (founders of, a website for DIY design and crafts projects) rehash their experience in finding a mentor.  “The only way to find mentors is to be out there, meeting people and asking questions,” Covington says. “We’ve met people at events, through friends, on Twitter and by following blogs. As long as you are respectful of time, mentors are almost always willing to help you and your company evolve. We look for mentors who believe in us, have experiences that are vastly differently from ours, and are always creating.”

Crowther and Covington found a willing mentor in tech entrepreneur Cindy Gallop.   “After talking with Cindy for 10 minutes, she was making parallels between For the Makers and a handful of other people she knew.” The companies don’t have a ton in common, “but both of our companies are about giving people tools to create something for themselves,” Covington says. “Mentors can use their experiences to frame your business in a unique way.”


 When looking for a mentor, Gallop advises, “Don’t just fall in love with someone’s reputation, perceived celebrity or name. Identify someone who could be directly relevant to what you want to do, or who is pursuing a similar vision. And someone who is likely to have the time and the inclination to help you.”

As an ag business owner, do you have a mentor?  Has someone ever asked you to be there mentor?  What great advice has your mentor given you?

As a future ag business owner,  have you tried finding a mentor?  Has it been easy or hard to get someone to help you?