3 Types of Mentors you Need to Succeed
Mentorship is simply crucial for anyone building a business. Success is based on learning as much as you can as fast as you can so why not learn from others who have done what you need to do?
Something that took me far too long to realize was that you need multiple mentors. Mentors are not necessarily advisors on your cap table, but people who are vested in your personal and/or business’s success. For me, I try to have at least 3 mentors at a given time.
The Psychological Mentor
The psychological mentor is usually a relative or close friend. They are someone who you can trust with all of the horrible feelings that bubble up when shit hits the fan. Believe me… shit will hit the fan. When it does you will need someone to help manage your psychology. If you don’t manage this, your risk of failure will very rapidly increase.
The 2-steps-ahead Mentor
The 2-steps-ahead Mentor is someone who is not necessarily in your field, but they have built a company and accomplished whatever goal you have set for your business for themselves. Try to think 1–2 years ahead and what you want. Maybe it’s an exit, or to scale your team from a few people to a few hundred. Find someone who has done that RECENTLY in the last year or two. Meet with them regularly, be transparent about where you are in your company’s lifecycle, tell them where you want to go, and they will challenge you on getting there.
The 50,000 Square Foot Mentor
This is a thought leader in your space. Someone with whom you meet with maybe once every 3-months for a quick chat about where the business is headed. Theoretically this person should be seeing so much high level deal flow in the market you occupy that they can inform you if you are in fact moving in the right direction or not.
For Repost, our 50,000 square foot mentor is one of the most powerful music agents in the world. Whenever we meet up and give him the download on the business and the feedback is good we get confirmation that we are making the right high-level decisions. When the feedback is bad we know we might want to tweak the company vision so that we remain competitive in our market and are therefore more likely to succeed.
The reason I’ve gone about this strategy is because I believe you need to think about your time and the lifecycle of your business. The psychological mentor should cover helping you succeed in the now, the 2-steps ahead mentor should help you succeed in the next 6mo to year, and the 50,000 square foot mentor should keep it high level (as the name implies) with grandiose feedback to impact your far off future.
Structure your mentor relationships so that you have some can help in the short term and some in the long term. If you do so, the force will be strong with you.