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What is a Mentor Cycle?

  
  
  

Great news, we've matched you with a mentor! Now what?

Your official relationship with your new mentor will last 3 months, we call this a "mentor cycle". During those three months you should expect to meet once per month, perhaps for lunch or coffee. Each meeting will be probably 60-90 minutes. While each mentor will have his or her own style, remember the primary goal of these meetings is to attack a specific challenge facing your business and make forward progress.

A typical meeting agenda might be something like the following:

First Meeting
15 minutes - Personal introductions and background
15 minutes - Business overview, market, customer, status
15 minutes - Discussion of a specific problem where you need help
15 minutes - Plan of action for the next meeting, follow ups and to-do’s

Second Meeting
15 minutes - General updates
30 minutes - Update on first meeting’s plan of action, progress review
15 minutes - Plan of action for the next meeting, follow ups and to-do’s

Third Meeting
15 minutes - General updates
30 minutes - Update on second meeting’s plan of action, progress review
15 minutes - Review of progress, go forward guidance

Between meetings you'll be working on the action items identified and you should ask your mentor how they feel about additional emails or a quick status call between meetings as their availability will vary.

Here are a few tips to make the most out of your cycle:

  1. Take the Lead - Our mentors are here to share their time and expertise, but you should take the lead in the relationship. Be the first to contact them, offer suggested meeting times, make it as easy as possible for them to accept and help.
  2. Be Flexible - Scheduling is hard enough when one person is trying to run a startup, in this case both you and the mentor probably have crazy schedules. Be as flexible as you can in meeting the mentor’s schedule constraints.
  3. Come Prepared - Your time with the mentor will be limited, so plan to make the most of it. Before the meeting reflect on your business and your primary challenge. Have the latest data on your progress at hand. Think about how your mentor can best help you.
  4. Be Mindful of the Time - The mentor is going out of his/her way to help you, please be respectful of their time. That means arriving on time and wrapping up on time. A punctual entrepreneur will make the mentor eager to schedule your next meeting.
  5. Offer to Pick Up The Tab - It’s good form for the entrepreneur to pick up the tab. I realize you may be a starving entrepreneur, but trust us, the value you’ll get out of these meetings will far exceed the cost of a sandwich or a cup of coffee.
  6. Establish a Two-way Relationship - Recognize that every entrepreneur has a passion for learning and our mentors are no different. While the primary goal is to move your business forward, you should assume your mentor will enjoy learning from your progress as well.
  7. Be Appreciative - Our mentors are offering their personal time to help you without asking anything in return other than your appreciation, so please respect their time and effort.

As you near the end of your cycle we'll also provide you with some guidance on possible next steps, so stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, engage your mentor, attack your business challenges, and let us know how the process is working for you. We'd love the feedback.

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