“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction”-Jhon C. Crosby
The wheels help you roll down, the engine gives you the power but it’s the steering which provides the guidance to a vehicle. Now lets just change the scenario and paint the idea in the world of entrepreneurship. Every entrepreneur wants his/her business idea to be the best and reach out to the maximum. With the idea as the body , the team as the wheels and the money invested as the engine to run the company. All these surmounts the perfect model for any budding startup and makes it ready to roll. But there is something missing in this epitome of the scenario. Where is the steering? Who is going to navigate this conveyance to the right direction?
There answer to the above question is the team, and must of the time with the support advisors and mentors. The advisor is who has a vast knowledge in the sector and knows ins and outs of the product category you are working on. But there is a small but really important difference between an advice and a continuous feedback. That’s where a mentor -someone who a vast experience in various sectors and guides you through your journey to success in all times of need steps in. He/she acts as a parental figure in a entrepreneurs startup life.
To provide more light on the importance of mentor-ship and its value , Ankit Pareek – Head of Communication at HomyHub, conducted a short interview with their mentor, Jan Farrel – International athlete, entrepreneur, mentor, freethinker, innovator and more which needs a whole book for describing.
Q1) Jan , according to you what is the definition of a startup?
Jan: For me its and idea and a team with a dream to succeed. Adding to that, includes investment with the highest of risk, may turn out to be good or bad.
Q2) What made you to be a part of the mentor-ship club or to say become a path provider for various successful startup?
Jan: I’m always looking for investment opportunities in hardware companies, and being in close contact with cutting edge innovation and design secto. I also hope that my 15 years of experience in business can be of use to budding entrepreneurs.
Q3) There is a saying “ an idea can change your life¨. So is it just an idea that is enough for a successful startup? Or which other elements hover upon for the success of an idea(startup)?
Jan: Money money money! No… just joking! More than the idea I concentrate on the talent and implication of the team. Good teams don’t think of bad ideas and good ideas are worth showcasing.
Q4) If we try to shorten down the scenario , what are the three most important things that any entrepreneur or startup should consider in choosing its Mentor?
Jan: There are many factors, but if you want just three I would say – Experience, network and knowledge of the sector your startup is involved in.
Q5) Vice -Versa, you being a mentor. What are the criterias that cloud in your mind before mentoring a startup? Is it the idea or the team or the mentality or something else?
Jan: Projects that I can add value to (mostly which bounce in my paradigm of experience), as well as ones I can be interested in investing in. But the term projects means everything, the team, the idea, the commitment and their knowledge about the sector.
Q6). What is the one suggestion that you would like to make as a mentor to all the hardware based startups?
Jan: Often hardware projects take too much time prototyping and either become obsolete, outdated or copied! So get to market as soon as possible and with a long term strategy.
Lastly, we would like you to just shell you thoughts in a line. FOR ME MENTORING IS a natural step in my life as an entrepreneur. A chance to give back. A chance to participate in the future.
Thank you Jan, for your wise words and defining the definition and importance of a mentor.