Business life for entrepreneurs (and others) is often about making decisions on limited data, trying new things and venturing into uncharted waters. This can be a scary process and you didn’t likely learn the answers in school… BUT there are answers. There are people who have been there before and can/will help you!
I believe one of the absolute smartest things you can do for your career is invest time every week with mentors and advisors. These are people who have been there and done that. Successful people, people with different experiences and different points of view. These people are solid gold for your life and career.
Here’s my simple formula:
- Make a list of people you want to meet (only once or regularly)
- Reach out to them with dogged determination and optimism
- Schedule a coffee meeting
- PREP, PREP, PREP (carefully prepare your agenda and questions, study their background and interests, read work they’ve published and be ready)
- Buy them a $2 cup of coffee
- Listen to every word… take notes and soak it all in!
- Repeat as needed (I suggest one a week, which ex vacation is 50 meetings a year)
You may learn more with this weekly coffee meeting than a year at the Ivys… and this entire education costs you $100 dollars.
*Note: Depending on your targets (friends and family, vs. Warm intros, vs. Cold calls) you may have to be creative and persistent. And be VERY prepared to add value in some cases. See my previous post: http://maclackey.com/2014/05/22/why-should-i-meet-you-or-care/