In the Odyssey, Mentor was friends with the King of Ithica Odysseus (fun fact: Sean Bean – played this role in Troy, before fathering Arya Starks in Game of Thrones). When Odysseus left for the Trojan war, he left his son with Mentor. For all the advise, guidance and encouragement provided by Mentor, the term has been adopted to mean someone who imparts distilled knowledge and wisdom to less-experienced individuals.
Its a difficult relationship to define. Even harder to manufacture. You cannot ask someone to be your mentor rightaway, much like you cant ask someone to marry you as soon as you meet them. It has to be an organic. And real. That what we are looking to cultivate.
At Disruptors Capital, we help you find your Mentor.
In order for the relationship to be organic, we help our portfolio founders engage with all LPs who have participated in startups investment round. The focus of these initial conversations is exploring the “essence” or learning each others common values. Overtime, we engage with our founders on their interactions and if there is mutual interest, we map out 6 action steps to build and sustain Mentor-Mentee partnerships (inspired from One Minute Mentoring)
M- Mission (Defining a Mission Statement. A vision for the partnership)
E- Engagement (Define parameters for engagement; frequency, medium etc)
N – Networking (Outline opportunities you view in your Mentor’s network and discuss the how they maybe able to tap into your network)
T- Trust (Ensure effective communication and honesty to build trust overtime.)
O – Opportunities (Opportunities for bi-lateral growth. How can the partnership lead to growth opportunities for both you and your mentor)
R – Review & Renewal ( To check if the process if working and if the goal has been achieved)
The best mentor partnerships are the ones that give you a different perspective and help you clarify your personal and professional goals. Value creation is also bi-directional in these relationships. Often times a mentor’s advice has the potential to snap the mentee out of their emotional reaction and lets them review a situation with a more logical lense. Something a lot of startup founders would be able to relate to.
Entrepreneurship is hard in the easiest of times. But with the right company, it is worth it!