Do You Need a Mentor or an Advisor?

Do You Need a Mentor or an Advisor?

Every successful entrepreneur can recall a few key mentors and advisors who have influenced their journey and helped them along the way. If you have raised equity funding, you may benefit from the guidance and mentoring that investors provide (yes, qualified investors don’t just write a check!). After all, it does take a village to raise an entrepreneur! Both mentors and advisors are an important part of the entrepreneurial journey, and although the terms are being used interchangeably, it is important that you understand the difference, so that you can benefit the most from their guidance. Mentors: A mentor is someone who will support you and encourage you to sharpen your critical thinking and self-awareness. They have some entrepreneurial experience and a general business acumen. They can be close friends, professional acquaintances or come from organized groups. Mentors are most beneficial in the ideation and early stage of a business. Why? Because their main focus is you as your business results are in direct relation to your development and maturity as an entrepreneur. It often takes an outsider’s perspective to help you broaden yours. A mentor just wants to see you succeed! Like a barrel of monkeys, someone pulls you up and you keep a hand down to pull the next woman up (or guy *smile*). The first step to find a mentor is to ask. Let the person know that you are interested in learning about them and their experience. Offer a chat over coffee. Listen. Ask a few questions. Like any other relationships, ease into it. After a few informal conversations, you can create together a more...
3 Smart Ways to Win More Sales

3 Smart Ways to Win More Sales

Whether you are just getting started or not, your sales are directly tied to the number of people you can reach who are genuinely interested in what you are selling. Winning more sales comes down to solving these three challenges. 1. Choose your customer If you reach more of the right people, you will get more clients! In business, 20% of your customers generates 80% of your revenues. It’s the 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle, named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who found, in the early 1900s, that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. This may come as a surprise, but this distribution occurs frequently in all areas of life. It is also an incredible tool to grow your business. So why spend energies on these target customers that will generate the least? By identifying the characteristics of your 20%-customers, you can focus your efforts on reaching people who match that profile. I’ll show you how to in the next steps.   2. Find their big problem The basic premise of business is to offer a product or service that people would pay for. In short, if you fix their big problem they will pay for it. Value is in the eye of the beholder! Do you truly understand what their pain is? When the first laser printer came out, as Hewlett-Packard was getting their new model to market, they realize that customers didn’t care about printing the most beautiful graphics. What they wanted above all was silence! Their big problem was that, at the time, existing printers were making such...