Ensuring Long-Term Entrepreneurial Success And Wonderful Business Run With Mentoring. Learn How?

Professional Growth
Published on
July 13, 2016

Entrepreneurs are special! They are intelligent, knowledgeable, passionate, and highly driven individuals – a combination of complex traits found in the general population and prevalent among entrepreneurs. These visionaries visualize and create things that most people in the world couldn't even imagine! And yet, it is a troubling fact that close to 90% of the companies founded by these visionary entrepreneurs fail within three years.  

This statistic is very casually referred to in many entrepreneurial ecosystems, including Silicon Valley, because of the 'survival-of-the-fittest-mindset.' This mindset is widely prevalent for the simple reason that majority of the entrepreneurial ecosystems are driven by investors looking for deals. Investors only care about the 10% to place their bets on to maximize their returns.

Society Responsibilities Towards New Business

As a society, we need to pay attention to the failing 90% also. We have to ask ourselves: Why are 90% of companies failing even if the founders/entrepreneurs themselves are so intelligent, hardworking, and driven? What is missing in the ecosystem that we can improve upon to improve entrepreneur success rates, even by a couple of percentage points? Because entrepreneurs start from scratch with a newly conceived idea, the best analogy to discuss this problem and potential solutions is to compare them with a newborn child. Both take birth with big hopes and dreams.  

Nevertheless, the kind of support that an entrepreneur receives during their early days is poles apart from what a newborn child receives. When a child is born, the family and society around the infant child have a very well laid out system to ensure that the child is taken good care of, nurtured, and protected to grow into a healthy child.  

Right from teaching the child how to walk and how to say words to putting them through a formal education process, the family and society work to make sure that the child is developing mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. The life of a first-time entrepreneur starting with a newly conceived idea is, however, very different.  

Right Education for Successful Business

The entrepreneur is pushed into this unknown world of business without any formal or informal education. There are no systems to ensure that this new entrepreneur receives the proper education, training, protection, and support to grow into a successful entrepreneur. The vast majority of entrepreneurs have no choice but to figure out answers as they go. Most of the time, they end up making costly mistakes and, in the process, lose valuable time in their entrepreneurial journeys.  

Very few entrepreneurs or serial entrepreneurs recognize this early on and surround themselves with good mentors and advisors who help them stay on track and minimize the number of mistakes they can make. While we have figured out how to reduce infant mortality rates, we are yet to figure out how to minimize entrepreneur failure rates. We don't know how to, but there is no 'will' to address it because of what drives the entrepreneurial ecosystems: funding and financial returns.  

Proper Funding for Smooth Business Run

In almost all entrepreneurial ecosystems, there is too much talk about 'raising money.' The topic of funding dominates the news in media and at networking events. There are pitch nights organized for entrepreneurs to present their business plans, and the best among them grab the attention of investors looking for deals. The rest of the entrepreneurs are back to the street, figuring out ways to convince the investors. Because there is so much hype around raising funding, most entrepreneurs when asked what their biggest problem is, mention 'funding.'  

Entrepreneurs need to understand that funding is not everything. It is necessary but not sufficient to achieve success. Some startups fail post-funding because of premature scaling.  

Mentor's Role is Important

Entrepreneurs fail to understand that investors might not always necessarily focus on what entrepreneurs need and want. Investors care about their portfolio, and they try to keep it very diversified. Even if two companies out of the ten companies in their portfolio make it big, the investors make huge profits. So, what should entrepreneurs do to maximize the odds of their success? Here's where the ecosystem can play a critical role in ensuring that entrepreneurs obtain the appropriate training and mentoring.  

Having the right mentors is vital for entrepreneurs, and the Startup Genome report validates this with actual data. The report states that startups with experienced mentors on their side can track their performance metrics more effectively and experience 3.5 x better growth than startups who are figuring out things independently. In simple words, Mentorship is all about having someone 'who has been there done that,' provide you their perspective and share stories from their own experiences.  

Most successful entrepreneurs have mentors: Bill Gates calls Warren Buffet his mentor; Andy Grove mentored Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg relied on Steve Jobs for advice and guidance. The entrepreneur ecosystems must create conditions for entrepreneurs to get connected with good mentors. Mentorship's importance should be reported about and discussed in the media as mainstream news, in the same way that an entrepreneur gaining funding is essential. Entrepreneurs need to be taught how to find, approach, and work with good mentors to make their startups' fundable.' If you have all the basic metrics and processes to be fundable with the help of good mentors, then everything else will fall in place.  

The more extended startup ecosystems don't stress the power and value of mentoring, the worse the success rates will be for entrepreneurs. Like timely vaccinations and feeding protect infants, quality mentorship and ongoing education can significantly increase the odds of success for entrepreneurs.

If this post was helpful, please consider sharing it with your network - you never know who needs to hear it. Also, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved, and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.

 

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