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Proprietary and Confidential
START UP
SECRETS
An insider’s guide to unfair competitive advantage
Mastering the gift of mut...
Proprietary and Confidential
Have a Question? Tweet it!
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@underscorevc
#startupsecrets
Proprietary and Confidential 3
Mentoring is a gift…
startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
Proprietary and Confidential
 Are you seeking a handout or real help?
 Do you want an answer or are you really
looking t...
Proprietary and Confidential
Think of it as a game of Chess…
5startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
The MIT Sloan Review
Proprietary and Confidential
You can easily ask for the next move…
6startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
Proprietary and Confidential
But wouldn’t you rather learn how to master
the game?
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Proprietary and Confidential
Answers are for history lessons
Questions are for future breakthroughs
Breakthroughs present ...
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Skills
Proprietary and Confidential
Question Answers!
10startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Are they appropriate for YOU?
 Tempt y...
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How about asking for questions?
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 SERIOUSLY!
• Think about ...
Proprietary and Confidential
What’s stopping you from answering your
own questions?
12startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Wh...
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Mentors & Mentees
13startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
So how do you find the right questions?
...
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Tools
14startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Tools for guiding you to the right questions…
• Bra...
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Problem solving skills…
15@mjskok startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 See article on
• 8 Levels...
Proprietary and Confidential
Mentors: Nothing worse…
16startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
… than answering the wrong question...
Proprietary and Confidential
Startup Secret:
“Don’t take advice blindly, take it mindfully”
Your mind and instincts are yo...
Proprietary and Confidential
Mentors: Develop your Mentees!
18startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 AHA!
 Eureka!
 &*!^#%!
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Enabling the Eureka! moment…
19startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Mentor to Mentee test:
• If ...
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Enabling the Eureka! moment…
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 Example:
Question for answer...
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What are you trying to develop in your
Mentee?
21startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Mentors, i...
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Mentors
22startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Be open, honest and accurate wherever possible
 ...
Proprietary and Confidential
Remember
23startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 For Startups in particular:
“There is no failure...
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Startup Secret:
“Things are rarely ever as good as they seem,
or as bad as they seem in the m...
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How do you know you’re a good mentor or
mentee?
25startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Is this w...
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Record & review regularly
26startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 Mentees - record what you learn...
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Aren’t we all possibly mentors?
PEERS…
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Peer Mentorship
28startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 The power of peer mentorship...
• Who els...
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Surprise!
People trying to learn themselves, often
make the best mentors, because they’re
ask...
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Mentoring is a gift…
30startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
 The question is:
• Do you have it?
o...
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31
The importance of YOU in the equation…
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m
po...
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Thank you!
@underscorevc #startupsecrets
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Startup Secrets - Mastering Mutual Mentorship

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Mentorship is a seemingly simple concept. Get some help from someone more experienced than you. So why do we bother teaching a class on it? Because, like anything else, it’s a skill to mentor and be mentored. And if we can learn that skill it can be a real gift, both to give and receive.

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Startup Secrets - Mastering Mutual Mentorship

  1. Proprietary and Confidential START UP SECRETS An insider’s guide to unfair competitive advantage Mastering the gift of mutual mentorship @underscorevc startupsecrets.com
  2. Proprietary and Confidential Have a Question? Tweet it! 2startupsecrets.com@underscorevc @underscorevc #startupsecrets
  3. Proprietary and Confidential 3 Mentoring is a gift… startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
  4. Proprietary and Confidential  Are you seeking a handout or real help?  Do you want an answer or are you really looking to learn? 4 Do you know what help you want and how to ask for it? startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
  5. Proprietary and Confidential Think of it as a game of Chess… 5startupsecrets.com@underscorevc The MIT Sloan Review
  6. Proprietary and Confidential You can easily ask for the next move… 6startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
  7. Proprietary and Confidential But wouldn’t you rather learn how to master the game? 7startupsecrets.com@underscorevc
  8. Proprietary and Confidential Answers are for history lessons Questions are for future breakthroughs Breakthroughs present opportunities for Startups 8startupsecrets.com@underscorevc “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein
  9. Proprietary and Confidential Skills
  10. Proprietary and Confidential Question Answers! 10startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Are they appropriate for YOU?  Tempt you to take the road already traveled  Don’t develop curiosity…  Combinatorial thinking can be much more powerful than individual answers  … and what happens when you don’t have someone there to give you answers?
  11. Proprietary and Confidential How about asking for questions? 11startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  SERIOUSLY! • Think about it… when you were asked a really great question, did it get your mind working? • Consider asking your mentor for great questions to help you puzzle the answer for yourself… …enabling the “AHA!” moment
  12. Proprietary and Confidential What’s stopping you from answering your own questions? 12startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  What do you need? • A new skill? • An experience? • Some knowledge?  How and where can I best get these?  Is it one-off help or is it an enduring kind of learning you need? Mentorship is often only a part of the solution Sometimes mentors are just pointers to other resources
  13. Proprietary and Confidential Mentors & Mentees 13startupsecrets.com@underscorevc So how do you find the right questions?  Could you ask the market ? • Ask the customer, user, potential market?  At least understand their view of the problem
  14. Proprietary and Confidential Tools 14startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Tools for guiding you to the right questions… • Brainstorming • Research • Discovery, exploration • Field work, research • Surveys • Landing Pages • Etc… • Frameworks (my personal favorite)
  15. Proprietary and Confidential Problem solving skills… 15@mjskok startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  See article on • 8 Levels of Problem Solving • 8 Ways to Encourage Breakout Solutions Including a story of how Amazon turned a problem into a billion dollar business http://www.mjskok.com/resource/how-amazon-turned-problem-bn-opportunity
  16. Proprietary and Confidential Mentors: Nothing worse… 16startupsecrets.com@underscorevc … than answering the wrong question well Newton’s Apple vs Apple’s Newton
  17. Proprietary and Confidential Startup Secret: “Don’t take advice blindly, take it mindfully” Your mind and instincts are your best resources to set a course for something that can work forYOU.
  18. Proprietary and Confidential Mentors: Develop your Mentees! 18startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  AHA!  Eureka!  &*!^#%!
  19. Proprietary and Confidential Enabling the Eureka! moment… 19startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Mentor to Mentee test: • If I give you this answer, then what will you do with it? • What comes next? (Hint: If it only advances you one step, it's probably not a good question or answer. Remember the chess game, are you helping them master it?)
  20. Proprietary and Confidential Enabling the Eureka! moment… 20startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Example: Question for answer: • Mentee: Should I price this at x or y? • Mentor: y Question for question: • Mentee: how should I charge for my product? • Mentor: where is the core value, who will see that and how will they value it?
  21. Proprietary and Confidential What are you trying to develop in your Mentee? 21startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Mentors, if you’re not giving Mentees answers, what are you giving them? • Curiosity • Joy of learning • Confidence to try • Resourcefulness, initiative – eg EXTERNAL validation  A journey from AHA to WOW - I can do this !! • Enlightenment
  22. Proprietary and Confidential Mentors 22startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Be open, honest and accurate wherever possible  Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know either!  Always look for teaching moments  Bring humor, have fun! “To encourage and beyond!” with apologies to Buzz Lightyear
  23. Proprietary and Confidential Remember 23startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  For Startups in particular: “There is no failure, only learning” #nomorefear #onlylearning  So make it safe and leave room to fail / learn
  24. Proprietary and Confidential Startup Secret: “Things are rarely ever as good as they seem, or as bad as they seem in the moment” THE MENTOR’S ROLE IS TO PICK THE MENTEE UP WHEN THEY ARE DOWN, AND KEEP THEM FROM RISING TOO FAR UP!
  25. Proprietary and Confidential How do you know you’re a good mentor or mentee? 25startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Is this working? • Ask for feedback!  How do you improve? • Ask for measures for success!
  26. Proprietary and Confidential Record & review regularly 26startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  Mentees - record what you learned! • Share with your mentor at your next checkpoint • How you learn is a great guide for your mentor to teach you  Mentors – figure out how to coach your specific mentee • Everyone learns differently, successes AND failures  Book: "On Managing Yourself”  Review regularly • Mutual feedback • If the relationship isn’t working… it won’t fix itself!
  27. Proprietary and Confidential Aren’t we all possibly mentors? PEERS…
  28. Proprietary and Confidential Peer Mentorship 28startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  The power of peer mentorship... • Who else are you on this journey with?  Co founders?  Other founders, entrepreneurs?  Other peers in school?  Friends?  Family (can be tricky!)
  29. Proprietary and Confidential Surprise! People trying to learn themselves, often make the best mentors, because they’re asking questions!
  30. Proprietary and Confidential Mentoring is a gift… 30startupsecrets.com@underscorevc  The question is: • Do you have it? or • Do you give it? Neither: At it’s best, giving and receiving
  31. Proprietary and Confidential 31 The importance of YOU in the equation… “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible." - Audrey Hepburn
  32. Proprietary and Confidential Thank you! @underscorevc #startupsecrets

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