It has to be one of the most common pieces of advice given to entrepreneurs and new business owners; "find a mentor who has been there before and done that".
I totally agree, in-fact in my first business I am 100% sure that because I was ignorant and wanted to do the entire thing on my own and "i knew best" it cost me double in both investment and time what it did to get to where I got to.
However, most people reading this will agree that it is actually really hard to find a good mentor and even harder to convince them to help you without giving anything in return. Over the last 10+ years I've had some really amazing people sporadically 'guiding' me and even a non-executive board.
BUT, I never really got what I wanted from the relationships and I am sure-as-shit neither did they.
The problem to being with is that I actually didn't know what I wanted or needed.
A good place to begin is understanding brutally what you are not good at - myself: - Finance
The second thing to think about is what you could give the person in return - myself: - Entertainment
- Global connections
- Unique reading material
A third is how you would like the relationship and communication to be - myself: - Casual
- Texting daily
- Calls fortnightly
Currently there is an incredible man that has set up VC funds across the world, been the original investor and adviser in some really amazing companies such as Hotjar and Pipedrive, his skills with financials and bench marking are 10x mine, he is looking for someone to chat with about big ideas and lateral ideas and we think each other are funny. I literally call this guy once a week to talk rubbish/ have a semi agenda and text him every other day. I respect literally everything he says and it would be my dream to work with him.
In-fact, it's unlikely he knows I think any of those things.
He is just happy to chat with someone else aligned with him and hopeful that the stars will align one day that we can do something - however in the interim if I can help him find more interesting things to read or people to meet, it's good enough.
Actually we are really just like best mates. (there is actually another lady that is the same for me, but the post would get boring).
I'd highly recommend finding a relationship like that. Both of them took me literally 1-2 meetings/ drinks with them for us both to hit it off.
P.s all of my posts are first drafts, my researcher will buff them out — so make sure to write in and ask for extensions or explanations if you are interested.