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Entrepreneurs should cultivate relationships with outsiders who can offer support and advice, even though "mentoring," as it's often called, is typically considered an instrument of corporate career-building. In this insightful article by an entrepreneur who founded a non-profit organization to pair owners of young companies with seasoned business owners, the author advises entrepreneurs to seek help from peers as well as superiors and from several outsiders rather than a single guru.
Barnett Helzberg is so convinced of the value of mentoring, he started a program to benefit up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs benefit from knowledgeable third-party advice provided by advisors, writes the former chairman of a family-owned diamond business. The author describes his own dealings with informal mentors and the members of his formal advisory board.
A mature business facing altered circumstances might need to bring in a partner rather than just an employee, writes the author, who poses a series of questions for founders to address prior to making what could be a difficult leap.
How do you know when it's time for life after entrepreneurship? Selling the most important asset in your life - the one you've poured heart and soul into - shouldn't be tied to the day Social Security kicks in. It should be a process started three to five years before the final event, as the planning for life after entrepreneurship is equally as important as your first business plan.
When cash flow turned positive and profits started coming in, the co-founder of an Internet start-up sought his advisory board's approval for new expenses. What he got was a barrage of questions: "Where are next year's projections? What's your mission statement?" As the business grew, the board made sure it stayed on track financially, raising prices as well as morale. And when the company was acquired, everybody cashed in.
Don Grimm spreads his giving back around through nonprofit and for-profit boards to tech transfer and angel investing.
A technology entrepreneur loses his shirt on his first company, regroups and starts a second, and lives to advise others about how to get it right.
A helping hand from a beloved family member gave this author a gift more precious than a paycheck: the time and attention she needed to rebuild her career -- and her belief in herself.
As his online entertainment business became successful, founder David Ellington needed more employees with mid-level technical skills. Filling those jobs with well-trained young people of color became this entrepreneur's way of giving back to his community by creating a model program that benefits everyone. Not only that, he's creating wealth as he brings disadvantaged youth into the high-tech mainstream with good salaries and stock options.
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