• Mike Rogers

A startup CEO's secret advantage

I talk to amazing entrepreneurs all the time and most of them have some fantastic ideas.  I find it fascinating to learn how they think, how they came up with the idea for the solution and the problem they're solving.  There is no lack of imagination in the market today, that's for sure.

Many of them, however, feel somewhat alone, as if they're the only ones going through any particular situation.  They feel like they have to go it alone and learn the hard way.

But that's not true.

It turns out that everyone is struggling with something and it is often the same thing. 

The top 3 items early-stage founders struggle with are:

  1. Raising money

  2. Finding the right talent

  3. Generating traction

Entrepreneurs often spend hundreds of hours raising funds from angel and venture capital investors. While these activities are clearly important, analysis of new data on startups suggests that founders should also dedicate significant time to something that many people overlook:  finding a great mentor.

Why go it alone, learning the hard way when you can leverage someone else's experience, avoid the mistakes made by so many others, and accelerate your path to success?

It turns out that the secret advantage of the most successful startups comes down to one thing - Mentors.

According to a study by Rhett Morris of Endeavor Insight, this simple strategy can increase a company’s odds of success more than almost anything else.

In fact, 33% of tech firm founders who are mentored by successful entrepreneurs went on to become top performers. This is over 3x better than the performance of other tech companies.

"Top Performers" is defined as companies that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Significant acquisition: an exit of at least $100 million

  2. Investor traction: top 10 percent of the peer group in terms of the amount of equity funding raised

  3. Internal scale: top 10 percent of the peer group in terms of the number of employees.

You may have a great product or idea, but lack the necessary guidance, market experience, or knowledge to take it to the next level. That’s where a mentor comes in, with the wisdom and confidence to help you clear those roadblocks that are holding your startup back.

Having somebody you can lean on when major decisions have to be made, or even just when you need a sounding board who has already been there and done that, is super useful.

5 benefits for the CEO of working with a mentor

#1 - A mentor asks great questions.

Questions that make you think more deeply about what you are doing and what you really want from your business or career. Typically, when working hard you are focused on parts of your business. A mentor helps you see the whole, and they help you understand the wider business context of what you are doing. They help you think about it so you can better articulate your vision.

#2 - A mentor helps you maintain a healthy perspective.

A mentor is a bit like a zoom lens on a camera. They will help you zoom out to see the big-picture view of your business dreams, goals and strategic plans; and they will assist with the close-up view of the problems and roadblocks that need specific attention as well. The power of the mentor is that they are not working in the business, so they are able to see both views to enable perspective and wisdom. The business leader is often too engaged with the operational details to maintain that clear view all the time.

#3 -  A mentor provides a safe place for you to be real.

It is difficult to be fully vulnerable to someone within your organization. An experienced mentor has no authority or aspirations within your company so it can provide a safe place for you to be open about your fears and struggles. They will help you think about you. Many business leaders can function well but are not emotionally healthy. A good mentor will get past any façade you put on for your team and help you with your inner challenges. Those things that play on your mind and disturb your sleep.

#4 - A mentor will help you grow your capacity.

You need to find a mentor who can see your potential. Someone who helps you be a better version of yourself. They will help you see your potential and believe in yourself. They are less emotionally involved in the business, and therefore less affected by the ups and downs. They will encourage you and help you to be better and release your potential.

#5 - A mentor keeps you accountable.

The best mentors are people who will challenge you to think deeply, make tough decisions, and have difficult conversations. They will help you be more confident that you are on the right track or have thought through the implications in difficult times. They will tell you when you are being a jerk, or when you are confusing a personality difference with a relationship problem. This level of accountability is hard to handle at times but is always a good thing for those in leadership.

If you're looking for business help and are interested in accelerating your success and having your own secret advantage, contact me at mike@therevenuegroup.net.

Feel free to also visit our website to learn more about the services we offer to help you Position Your Potential: https://www.therevenuegroup.net/.


I also invite you to download the white paper and learn the 5 step process on How to Quickly Increase Your Valuation: a Proven 5 Step Process

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