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IS IT TOO EARLY FOR AN ADVISORY BOARD? THREE STEPS TO BUILDING THE BEST NETWORK OF BUSINESS MENTORS

MAY 12, 2017

This blog is part of a series of business-focused pieces inspired by the spirit of Columbus Startup Week. As a partner to first generation entrepreneurs, our team aims to share our experience in working with over 150 entrepreneurs and provide a roadmap for entrepreneurs in the early-stages of business.
 

The truth is, an advisory board can be too taxing to manage in the early stages of business. More importantly, it’s all about having the right advisors around you at the right time. That means building your entrepreneurial ecosystem of trusted, knowledgeable, and experienced mentors.
In lieu of an advisory board, aim to identify the right mentor(s).

FIND People who can identify with YOUR journey

 
The key thing here is to have someone who (a) has been in a startup business and (b) is willing to dedicate time to sharing advice with you.
 
You may have an all-star entrepreneur standing in front of you who is great at building businesses quickly, but if they haven’t been in the startup space, your struggles can be difficult for them to fully understand. The advice from this entrepreneur is not maliciously-driven by any means, but instead can end up steering you in the wrong direction because they don’t fully understand your current positioning. Your mentor needs to understand where you are at this stage in your business.
 
You also need to ensure you have a mentor who is willing to help you and give you advice. It’s one thing to have a mentor, but it’s another to not have access to them.
 
 
SEEK CONCENTRATED ADVICE
 
Don’t get me wrong, getting advice from more than one person isn’t the wrong way to go, but getting bite-sized advice from multiple people, whom may not be fully adept in your situation or desired growth plans, can potentially hurt your business more than help.
 
If you have a fantastic mentor, one mentor can be all you need. While it doesn’t hurt to have two or three good ones, sometimes you do get in this conundrum where your “mentors” are giving you competing advice. You do need to have someone you are deferring to for the ‘final say’ because you can quickly get lost in the weeds otherwise.
 
There are plenty of cases where entrepreneurs are getting advice from anyone and everyone, and going nowhere because there was no clear, cut path.

UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PAID PROFESSIONAL & A MENTOR

 
Note for the wise: Attorneys and accountants should not operate as a mentor.
 
Don’t get me wrong, you need to have the right paid professionals on your side. But, there should be a clear distinction between mentors and paid professionals. Once you move from utilizing mentors to a full-blown advisory board this becomes more apparent. Start by asking questions like “Should I exchange services with my advisory board?”
 
Again, you want this person to understand your situation. – Have they worked with other startup businesses?

We know that each path to growing a business is unique. That’s why we’ve developed an interactive site dedicated to understanding what you want to accomplish with your life, business and wealth. Uncover the questions you should be asking yourself, but likely aren’t, here!
 
[Article as seen at the Columbus Chamber]

Any opinions are those of Gerber, LLC and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Raymond James is not affiliated with Columbus Startup Week. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.


INDEX
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  • GERBER'S TOP FOUR FAVORITE BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
  • IMPROVED COMMUNICATION FROM PERSONALITY TESTS [AS SEEN ON INC.COM]
  • GERBER, LLC HIRING NEW CLIENT ADVISORY TEAM MEMBER
  • 5 THINGS EVERY ENTREPRENEUR NEEDS TO DO TO KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR ON A GOOD FOOT
  • GIFT GIVING FOR THE ENTREPRENEUR-THE ULTIMATE TOUGH PUTT
  • SHOULD I TREAT MY LEADERSHIP TEAM DIFFERENTLY FROM A COMPENSATION PERSPECTIVE?
  • RECAP: NAWBO CANDID CONVERSATION ''5 TIPS FOR BUILDING A BETTER BUSINESS''
  • ONCE YOU'VE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE... HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR NEXT ENTREPRENEURIAL INSPIRATION?
  • THE MYTH OF COROPORATE CULTURE DEBUNKED
  • Gerber, LLC Featured in Columbus CEO | Let's Talk Succession
  • Catered Communication Practices [as seen on Inc.com]
  • REFRESH WITH V POWER YOGA
  • COFFEE TALK WITH TOM
  • ROLLIN' WITH FUSIAN
  • DIVING INTO BUSINESS WITH A PARTNER, OR TWO
  • IS IT TOO EARLY FOR AN ADVISORY BOARD? THREE STEPS TO BUILDING THE BEST NETWORK OF BUSINESS MENTORS
  • SUCCESS STARTS WITH A PLAN | GET IT ON PAPER
  • WATCH OUT FOR THE REVENUE TRAP! BUSINESS GROWTH & QUALITY REVENUE
  • BEHIND BESA WITH MATT GOLDSTEIN
  • BESA ON 'GIVING BACK' AS A BUSY BUSINESS OWNER
  • GOAL SETTING AS AN ENTREPRENEUR
  • FIRST GENERATION ENTREPRENEURS & WHAT MATTERS MOST
  • THE ROADMAP TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • WHY ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE: A CAUTIONARY TALE
  • AND THE WINNER IS...
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q2 2016
  • BREXIT | WHAT DOES GERBER THINK?
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q1 2016
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q4 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q3 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q2 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q1 2015
  • CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW: Q4 2014
  • Gerber Hosts OppenheimerFunds Chief Economist
  • Gerber, LLC to Host Entrepreneur-Relationship Expert, Trisha Harp
  • 'Twitter for Dummies' Co-Author Shares Marketing Advice at Gerber
  • Nationally-Circulated REP. Magazine Coins Gerber, LLC ''Not Your Momma's Financial Advisor''
  • Gerber Featured in 'The Metropreneur Columbus'
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