Seeking advice is great, but conflicting opinions can leave a founder’s head spinning. Here’s how to manage mentors.
5 min read
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At Blue Startups, a venture accelerator in Hawaii, we are about to enter into our 12th cohort, and as such we have seen a lot of founders (over 300) and a lot of mentors (over 150) interact over the years. So, how can you get the most out of these relationships? Seeking advice is an important part of the entrepreneurial journey, but you have to know how to take it.
Let’s say you have back-to-back meetings with mentors on the topic of sales. One advises you to build a sales team and tackle direct sales, the other advises you to sell through distribution partners. You come out of these meetings reeling — which direction do you go? How do you determine what is right for your company? How do you maintain a relationship with the mentor whose advice you did not take? How do you tactfully decline advice without being offensive? These are tricky questions, let’s tackle them one at a time.
When in doubt, ask your customers
Mentors and advisors are not your customers. You may not even be your own customer. But your customers have