I have recently found myself in the advisory role with a number of other early stage founders. As I spend my time hearing about their story, their pitch, their business plan and their go to market strategy as well as their challenges, it usually occurs to me I am in a unique position and greatly appreciative of the opportunity to help another entrepreneur.
Mentoring and advising other founders gives me a chance to look at different markets and separate businesses – how they are modeled and structured. It allows one to peel away the layers and look at what makes the market work, who’s involved and where the areas of innovation may lie. It also gives me a lens into how another person approaches their entrepreneurial craft – which although I am the mentor and they are the mentee I still learn a lot!
No one is cut from the same cloth – especially entrepreneurs – so these experiences are vital to you (as a founder) as well as a person and friend. I would encourage you to take the time to help others through mentoring and advising. Like working out, it stretches you in ways you wouldn’t otherwise stretch, and strengthens “muscles” usually left dormant.
Advising allows you to jump into someone else’s business and wrestle with problems, only to be able to jump back out and not have to fully deal with them. You then get to watch from the sidelines as the entrepreneur goes on and makes their own decisions. You simply observe the outcomes.
In this way, you become a more well rounded entrepreneur and business person since there are constantly new things to learn about technology, innovation, markets, customers segments and the art of entrepreneurship in general.
I look forward to advising more founders and would encourage you to as well.