The Startup
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The Startup

Regular one on one mentoring meetups saved me on numerous occassions

Want to be an entrepreneur? Find a mentor

Company founders and business owners are a special kind of people.

You as an entrepreneur are constantly looking for change, want to make a difference, inspire others and are never satisfied with the world around you.

“An entrepreneur has an intrinsic motivation for disruption”

Some of the characteristics that each and every entrepreneur needs to bring to the table:

“You are persevering in that what you do, not afraid to make mistakes and you are an open, approachable communicator”

To me, these personal traits are prerequisites for any person who wants to make it as an entrepreneur.

But one of the most important things that I found has really brought me forward in the last decade is working together with great mentors and people have their own opinion.

“If I could give you one piece of advice: find someone who has made mistakes before and listen carefully to their stories”

You don’t need to do everything on your own.

Others around you are more than happy to help if you’re open to taking their advice as well and listening to them.

Of course this will take a lot of your patience because you want to make a change.

But listening to others who have made mistakes before and might’ve tried to disrupt the industry that you’re trying to tackle, will really help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

avoid unnecessary mistakes and ask your mentor for advice

“You can have a variety of mentors for different topics”

Nobody ever said that you need to follow one person and one person alone for a long period of time to gain the insights that you need.

As an entrepreneur you can really benefit from having regular touch points with a variety of different people from various backgrounds who can help and mentor you.

Just meeting up with someone every few months or so can already give you the insights and input that you need to move in the right direction — or even make you aware of the fact that it is time to pivot.

“Join a mentoring program or an accelerator”

Industry specific mentoring programs can really make a huge difference.

When you’re still at College/University, ask your professors and the innovation lab if you have one if they can help you set up mentor meetings.

You don’t have to stick to that one professor that you have been listening to for the last two or three years already.

Why not try to expand your network and talk to one or two others as well.

Joining an accelerator program can also give you the industry contacts that you need.

These programs are usually fix to a certain amount of time of 3 to 6 months. Some of them are even shorter than that.

Sharing your insights with other start ups, like-minded people and those that’ve done it before is absolutely crucial to long-term business success.

“Become a mentor yourself and help the community, you will get a lot out of that as well”

In the last two years I have been coaching and mentoring young entrepreneurs and start ups next to my regular job as well.

*One of the programs I help out in is the Nexussquared International Blockchain program in Zürich*

It is great and very inspiring to see that there is so much bright-, driven- and young talent out there today that are trying to make a difference in an industry that they really love.

I believe that the biggest contribution that I can make as a mentor is, not that I tell others how they should run or do their business, but I tell them how I try to do mine.

“A good mentor will openly share his mistakes and the way he thinks and looks at the world with you”

You have to decide how you want to run your own business. And in order to do so you need to get as much information as you possibly can from knowledgeable people around you.

You will have to make your own mistakes. And trust me you will make plenty of mistakes if you do it right.

It takes a lot of courage to you found your own company and start something new that no one has ever done before.

But in my experience don’t try and do it all alone.

“You will need all the advice and all the help you can get if you truly want to disrupt an industry”

Being a disruptor takes a lot more knowledge and courage then just running a small young company.

If you believe that you’ve got what it takes to change an industry or even society as such, reach out to as many as you can.

Together you will be able to make it happen.

Thank you for reading this article, I highly appreciate your responses. Please do let me know if you likes it.

Best, Remco Livain

feel free to follow me for more first hand entrepreneurial advice, tech talk, tips and tricks

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 311,185+ people.

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Remco Livain

Remco Livain

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Dutch Digital Entrepreneur. Love to share thoughts on innovation and digitalization (ceo @gandt ventures) - writer @thestartup