Do Entrepreneurs Need Mentors?

As a startup business, do you need a mentor?  Finding the right mentor or mentors can be difficult, but the benefits could be significant.  David Cohen of TechStars feels that every startup should have a mentor from the beginning, and should not only be looking when they are seeking investment.  

So where do find a mentor? Start with those you know, or those in your network.  A mentor does not necessarily need to be someone who can advise on all aspects of your business.  It could be that they can provide some advice, but also can introduce you to other who can help.  

But to engage with someone as a mentor, you need to be able to do more that just ask them, "What should I do?"  Ask good, specific questions, which show you know your market.  Take the time to understand their position, and what they can offer to you.  Having a specific mentor for a specific part of your business would be a good idea, and give you a broader knowledge base to work with.

One last note:  check out your ideal mentor's history. . . on the surface they could be ideal, but under closer scrutiny, they may not be the right one for you.  So do your research and get it right the first time!