When people come to me for help regarding their enterprises, I always make it a point to ask their intention behind starting their business. Finding out their true intentions as soon as possible makes it easier for me to decide whether to take on the responsibility of enabling them and more importantly how I should do it.
Here are some top reasons that I have come across for people to start-up:
- I am bored with what I am doing
- I want to make a lot of money
- I want to become famous
- I don’t want to have a boss
- I want to make a dent in the world
- I want to create something unique
And so on…
You come across very few truly entrepreneurial people in your life and if you do, you are lucky and blessed. Keep searching!
In the above list, except the one who wants to start making money doing business, all other entrepreneurs are people who typically have earned some money or inherited some money and are bored. They want some attention, and in today’s world, entrepreneurship can make one popular. Especially if you have something really unique! So many entrepreneurs don’t seem to worry too much about revenue streams or revenue models or business models as much as uniqueness of value proposition.
While both of them require support from advisers, it will be easy to have someone who wants to build revenue as your mentee / client. They will be focused on what makes money. You will also find it a lot easier to draw the boundaries of the engagement. Overall there will be more clarity on why you guys meet up. The other group needs someone who can help them think big. But since they come with prejudice (a lot of it) it is difficult to give them quality advice. They take a lot longer to seek help, very often too late. Becoming advisers to such people is also risk for an adviser since they are also the first to blame the adviser for anything that goes wrong. Since most of the conversations are around assumptions they also tend to be irrational.
As potential advisers / mentors / coaches, it is important to understand right up front who your entrepreneur is and his intention to start the business. This can create a lot of clarity in your life by making better choices of who to give advice to.
Think about it!