How To Get The Most Out Of A Mentor Meeting With Any Experienced Person

Many new entrepreneurs hesitate to ask for help from experienced founders and savvy mentors.

They are missing out on POWERFUL INSIGHTS that can help them overcome their big challenges or learn how to approach something new.

I have had over 3000 free mentor sessions with entrepreneurs since 2016–about 10 a week. There were no “bad” mentor meetings in there.

Here’s a simple structure to get the most out of a mentor meeting with any experienced person on a 30-minute phone or Zoom call.

  1. Check out their background on LinkedIn and their websites before the call. Their perspective is only useful if you know the lens from which they share it.

    I expect people to know a little about me and the projects I’m working on when they show up for a call.

  2. After some chit-chat to warm up, the first thing is to share something about YOUR PERSONAL BACKGROUND for 5 minutes. A mentor needs to know this to offer a relevant perspective.

    Are you a first-time entrepreneur? Do you have experience in your space or industry? What are you passionate about? What is your skill set and superpower? Where are you? Do you have a co-founder?

  3. Describe the CURRENT SITUATION OF YOUR STARTUP for about 10 minutes. For the mentor to offer a useful perspective they need to hear briefly where you are and where you want to go. Be crisp.

    • What stage are you right now with employees, customers, revenues, and products?
    • How are you funding it so far? Your time, savings, day job, other business, angel funding, etc.
    • What is the product exactly? What important problem does it solve? Be specific and let the mentor ask questions.
    • Who exactly will buy it and use it? Don’t be general here either.
    • What have you learned so far that is relevant to your discussion What do you think you know so far?
    • What big things are you struggling with now? What don’t you know yet?
    • What’s happening in this market?
    • Why are you creating this company? What’s your vision?

    You haven’t described the problem that you want to discuss yet. You are just giving enough information about your current situation so the mentor can provide relevant advice and perspective when you get there.

  4. You’re 10-15 minutes in at this point. This is where the mentor says, “OK, I get it. So how can I help you?”

    New mentees often struggle to pick one of the dozens of challenges they face and share a PROBLEM STATEMENT that they actually say out loud to a savvy stranger. Like these:

    “OK. Everyone thinks I should be doing _________, but I’m not sure. What do you think?

    “I’m trying to achieve this goal, but it’s not working or going fast enough. What do you think?”

    You don’t have to take the advice, just share your problem and be open to hearing an outside perspective. Find something you can use. Ask more questions.

  5. THANK the mentor and share what you heard that is useful to you.

That’s it. You should do this every week with someone who can help you with your big challenges.

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