How to differentiate between a Mentor and an Opportunist for your Startup?

Courtesy: Gratisography.com

What it feels to bring a startup to a stage where you are through with the MVP (minimum viable product) and then you land up to a shut down because of one person’s wish (mentor) wasn’t fulfilled.  As an entrepreneur you are bleeding from your own expenses and the ones you have incurred in the organisation all the while when the product was developing.  At this stage getting forward shall bring in conflict of interests between promoters and the mentor which eventually would lead to legal fight that you can’t afford and you don’t have any option but to put a stop to your start up dream and shut down!

The mentor would follow his lifestyle and for him it might be just one of the case which wouldn’t impact his savings nor earnings and he continues to find more of such easy preys to pounce upon, sometimes as company to his misery or to fulfil his desire to lead by his ways and means.

Let’s understand who is a mentor and who is an opportunist?Tweet This
Since ages our educational and professional ecosystem has been promoting the need of a guru to achieve enlightenment. In the startup experience we sometimes are inconsistent in maintaining entrepreneurial state of mind and thus at times, we forget the fundamental principles of Business. For a business, a guru is needed to Guide and not to Act.

If he is acting he is not a mentor he is either one of your Employee or a Partner. Majority of the times some of the big “not so known and so called Business Tycoons (phoney balcony scamsters)” seek inroads to startup ecosystem through such opportunity and what they bring along is misery and excruciating painful startup journey which eventually leads to close down. Beware of such snobs!

Such opportunists are frustrated, distorted and twisted personality who is out of tune of their professional lives. They bring in worry, resentment and hatred to the startup culture and would not like to see people growing! Because Misery Loves Company.

If you permit them to take advantage of you through their temper tantrums, crying jags or other forms of emotional blackmail, they will dictate you and your startup, and would try to enslave you and make you do their bidding. Remember “Appeasement Never Wins”

Who is a real mentor?

A real mentor would be a person who believes in You more than your Idea. He would have worked with you or observed you for years and understands your entrepreneurial desire. He is elderly friendly & humble and has a great command over his discipline. He is someone who has been consistent in his passion and efforts to raise people and companies and has a fair track record of supporting start-ups in the early or recent past.

Why does a founder or founders need a mentor?

Any entrepreneur can never bring in the ‘experiential learning’ experience and would always seek some guidance to form strategies related to Product, Content or Marketing.  He thus would like to know specific domain knowledge from leading or existing Business Leaders. Looking for a mentor is good but as a founder you should have the keys to act and never ever let anyone enter into your shoes.

 You are the Mitochondria of your startup

Founders lead, act and decide. They are simply the mitochondria of the startup. What father is to their baby is what founders are to start-ups. The father can never be replaced by anyone. He can switch from a leading to a supportive role but the understanding and the true sense of belonging that a founder shares with his startup, does not has a substitution.

What mentors could be offered?

As a goodwill gesture and to bring in the sense of ownership a mentor could be offered equity stakes and respect in abundance. If the startup has the ability to pay them, it should be the first choice. In truest sense mentors can never be given what they deserve, all we could do is to execute their learnings and advises well, to bring results and it shall be the biggest reward for them.

 Give no one in all the world the power to deflect you from your goal, your aim in life, which is to express your hidden talents to the world, to serve humanity, and to reveal more and more of the Almighty’s wisdom, truth and beauty to all the people of the world. – Courtesy “The power of Subconscious Mind – By Dr Joseph Murphy” Tweet This

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