I Need A Mentor, STAT!
“I need a mentor. I need some help.” I send that text to 2 of my closest friends, Dami and Lisa.
“Of course you do, you are a startup,” Dami responded.
I replied, “I’m a startup?”
“Yes you are and you need some African or Black college interns,” Dami stated.
What is a startup?
Honestly, before that text I have never thought of myself as a startup. According to Investopedia,
“A startup is a company that is in the first stage of its operations. These companies are often initially bank rolled by their entrepreneurial founders as they attempt to capitalize on developing a product or service for which they believe there is a demand.”
Well according to that definition, I am definitely a startup company. I started Ivy Interviews Africa because I saw a void in African business stories.
I read the definition again and get stuck on the phrase “entrepreneurial founders.”
Founders, Founders, Founders… Ugh. This blog, this business is just me right now.
Do I need a mentor?
Every time, I do an interview with an African business owner, s/he always stresses the importance of mentorship. Of course, I have to look up the definition of mentorship as well. According to Webster’s dictionary:
“Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but s/he must have a certain area of expertise.”
I have unequivocally decided that I need a mentor. I need some guidance. A person to point me in some sort of direction or path. No one around me is going down this road so I can’t lean on my friends like I would typically do. Which is interesting, doing this is surprisingly lonely.
I am also constantly writing down new ideas and thinking about my brand, my future, blah blah. I can’t really say that I am stumbling around in the dark because I have seen people (YouTube gurus/podcast stars/speakers) launch their careers online so I know it can be done. However, I would say that I am blinded by the sun (my dreams/my vision) and the sheer amount of information that is out there. I need some sunblock and sunglasses. 🙂 i.e I need a mentor!
Right now I have my unofficial mentors, people who do not know I exist LOL. I am reading and watching everything Marie Forleo & Vivian Jokotade produce. I’m also inspired by the entrepreneurs I interview, I listen to my interviews over and over and over again.
What does my audience want to read?
I have decided that Interviews Africa, LLC (my company, I filed an LLC to make it legit y’all) is going to be a digital media company. I am going to have a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, a business, e-courses, etc.
I want my blog to be the place to go for anything concerning African business owners. But even that begs the question who is my audience? Do I want my blog to become the place to be for US based African business owners or African business owners on the continent or Nigerians based in Nigeria? What about Africans who have businesses in Europe, China or even South America? Who are my ideal readers? How am I going to target them?
It is time to focus on who my ideal readers are and then write articles/blog posts about the issues they are going through. I want to write articles that people want to read.
Got a taste of mentorship, now I can’t get enough!
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with Isaac P. Onu one on one to discuss saving for retirement. I met him when Umu Igbo Unite the Houston chapter hosted a Get Money Smart seminar. Isaac was the speaker and simplified everything! He broke down money management, savings & investing into simple easy to learn topics. I learned so much that I decided to meet with him one on one after the seminar to discuss saving for retirement but 30 minutes into our meeting, I switched gears and started talking about my blog Ivy Interviews Africa.
He looked at my website and immediately asked 2 questions that changed everything for me.
He asked,”Is this making money?”
“No”, I replied.
Then he asked,”How do you see this making money?”
“Ummm, well I think…”, I responded.
I couldn’t even answer him! I wanted to make money but I could not see a path in order to do that. My blog is based off an interview series, how can that make money?
He replied, “Let me tell you how you are going to make money.”
That little exchange was mind blowing to me because he gave me 2 things, an idea and a feedback. I will share this idea with you guys in the upcoming weeks. (I am excited!!)
He gave me valuable feedback from a different point of view. I got to see/feel how it would be building my brand with someone else. I got my first tiny taste of mentorship/partnership and now I want it all the time! I want to work with someone that has an IT or a financial background. Someone who has the skills that I am missing. I want mentors that know I exist and I am slowly opening up to finding a business partner.
I’m a startup…
My friend Dami is right, I am a startup company and it is time for me to find some college interns/mentors/partners/and build a team. I can not build my dream by myself. I need some help.
**I am going to write honestly about my startup journey. I plan to document everything that I am going through in the efforts to build my company. So if you have any questions for me, leave it below.***
Thank you for reading! Please leave your comments below.