What is the biggest issue/frustration that you have with growing your business or being an entrepreneur?
What types of resources have you already tried?
What is your biggest challenge and how did you solve it?
What type of resource would make a meaningful difference in your business?
These are just a few of the questions Liz Whitehead, Founder of 12PointFive, Monica Kang, Founder of InnovatorsBox®, and I asked of over 40 female entrepreneurs as we were researching what resources entrepreneurs felt they needed to be successful. We were collaborating on a grant project for The BEACON Initiative and wanted to hear what women entrepreneurs had to say.
Overwhelmingly the answer was mentorship. Whether it’s a long-term mentor relationship or an opportunity to talk with other women who had been there and have wisdom to share, the experience is invaluable.
We reached out to our networks and had no problem finding mentors that were willing to share their time and experience as well as mentees who were in all stages of building their businesses.
As these women came together, over 40 in all, we found in addition to the structured meeting time, a tremendous amount of peer mentoring also took place.
Here is some of the feedback we received about the event.
“The mentorship roadshow was so valuable and injected me with a boost of enthusiasm in moving forward with my business!”
“The Mentor Roadshow was well-conceived and executed. I got valuable advice from a mentor who shared her own experience in a way that helped me plan my own company’s future.”
And, here are some tips from our mentors that day:
Marry the problem not the solution – Your solutions and approach may always change but as long as you stay focused on the problem you will be able to solve the problem and help many others.
Never go alone. Take the village with you – It’s tough enough to do this with everything figured out. Don’t try to work out everything by yourself and work with the community, team to grow together.
Look at the marathon not the sprint – No matter how many obstacles you may experience in the short run, never forget the long-term goal. Just because you won one competition does not mean that is the end. Remember you created something to solve a problem and for customers, how are you providing it, helping them with it and improving that offering.