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Put me in coach!

Posted: November 16, 2015

Want to be successful? Be coachable. If you're hearing consistent advice from entrepreneurs and mentors, be sure to do more than listen: Take action on it.
Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar & Entrepreneurship Coordinator

Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar & Entrepreneurship Coordinator

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: Be coachable.

I’ve interacted with hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and mentors over the years. One theme that always comes up is the importance of being coachable.

You as a developing entrepreneur need to consider and act upon the advice of tested and trusted mentors. Tested and trusted is important. Not all the advice you’ll receive will be good advice — in fact, some of it will be downright terrible.

However if you are hearing consistent advice across a pool of tested, trusted, successful entrepreneurs be sure to do more than listen: Take action on it.

Entrepreneurs, when you receive advice from your mentor take it under thoughtful consideration. If you’re unsure how to implement it, ask questions. Identify key action items and get to work.

Monitor your progress and check back in with your mentor when you run into challenges or noteworthy successes. Consistency of reporting also goes a long way — effective communication rests on both of us, your mentors and you.

One start-up I’ve worked with received the same point of advice numerous times from solid entrepreneur advisors, yet dragged their feet on implementation. The advice was compelling and results-driven. In short: “Stop tinkering around in your workshop. Get out there and start selling.” 

Several mentors of this team shared their concerns, not only with the team, but also with each other. Frustration was growing as mentors witnessed fleeing business potential and clearly saw what needed to be done. The team was struggling and saving face became more of an issue. Relationship tensions increased, team action was needed and finally the team took action.

Lately, the team has focused on selling a select product and is getting results. I’ll take results any day over excuses. I send my best wishes to the team for abundant revenue. For an entrepreneur there’s no better experience than getting paid for what you have created and for the work you love to do.

With this in mind if you are going to ask for advice, be prepared to act. Go out and do great things and yes, once the results start to happen take time to thank your mentor.

Take advantage of all that Global Entrepreneurship Week has to offer. Who knows? Maybe you will find your next great mentor.

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