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Overcoming startup hiccups through mentoring

Felix Oloyede

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Overcoming startup hiccups through mentoring

Statistics show that most startups in Nigeria die before their third anniversary. Apart from the tough operating environment which stifles them, lack of mentorship has been identified as one of the major reasons startups in the country have a very high mortality rate. And because of little or no startup ecosystem to offer guidance and inspiration to these budding entrepreneurs, make the mess of their investments. This is just due to the fact they went into business with their naiveté.

It is often said that if you want to successfully go through a journey, consult those who have successfully done through that way before you. In the same vein, if you want to successfully run a business, have mentors who have done that before you.

A mentor is a teacher and counsellor who take you through the rudiments of the venture you are going into, having done it himself.

He is ready to take you through the nitty-gritty of the business, scolding and correcting in the process. He is there to help you achieve your vision.

In your search for a mentor, there are several things to keep in mind, to make the best use of your mentor’s time and build relationships with the right people who can help your startup grow. Below are some of them:

Define what you want from your mentor

From the onset, you must know why you need a mentor for. And whatever reason you come up with must centre on helping with a specific aspect/challenge of your business.

Go for a mentor who is an expert

Ensure that your mentors are experts in your industry, who would be able to help you out whenever you are stocked. Don’t pick generalists, who are likely to give general advice as to your mentors.

Present yourself as a good mentee

There are always scores of people who want most people who are successful in their areas of expertise to be their mentors. It is only those they perceive to be potential good mentees that would they oblige. So, you need to stand out and be creative in your outreach.

Be mindful of how you bother your mentors because they can only make a fragment of their time available to you. This is because they have their own businesses to attend to.  Mentors should be catalysts for your personal and professional growth. So, you must not become a burden to them.

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