Don’t let your mentors confuse you, biz isn’t all that complicated: sell 1 thing to 1 person you don’t know, then repeat. Best case, get faster at it along the way and make sure the product/service remains compelling.
Mentors are great so long as you don't confuse them to be CxOs in your biz. Remember your biz is your biz. Seek advice and use them as sounding boards or SMEs. If your mentoring outlook is picking some ones brain, make sure u pick the parts u need vs the parts they aren't using.
Stay away from tittle inflation when looking for mentors. Look for quality of human being.Look for some one with high EQ & empathy. In my experience the best mentors I've had are the kindest ones @ large. It starts by being kind enough to lend you their time followed by headspace
Just because some is perceived to be successful at some thing doesn't mean they make for a good candidate to help u. Some one who inherited a biz from generational wealth, masquerading as an entrepreneur likely has little to no idea about hustle or bootstrapping, choose wisely
Similarly some one who came from banking doesn't necessarily end up being the best resource for a fintech as their mentor. Look beyond the branding and focus on the individual. A mentor is some one youd be happy to spend a transatlantic flight with vs some one u wouldn't.
Some one youd look up to vs some one who u are forced to interact with. Deep generalists make for far decent guides and mentors vs retired specialists. People who've done one thing all their life are as boring or predictable as the guy who only knows how to make Sunday breakfast
Mentors who have bet their money on entrepreneurs & helped them grow vs those who are at every MAS(mutual admiration society) event are worth their weight in equity. Any one who has used corp money on other people's ideas whilst employed at a big firm is at best a good manager
Don't confuse successful managers with successful mentors. Look 4 those with skin in the game vs not. Angel investors who have multi threaded investments across entrepreneurs & geographies make for profound mentors. They are battle hardened vs the guy/gal who is still celebrating
'citi' 'unilever' 'insert name of bank or cpg' glory days. Institutional pride is good. But institutional delusion should tell you that these people have not moved on. In being an entrepreneur the biggest skill 1 needs is the ability to pivot n be happy in the new choices u make.
Sincerity is key when choosing who to work with. The most sincere ones are the ones that seek you out for time and dispense quality advice every time they engage with u. Vs those who would rather take a selfie and ensure every one knows that they took out time to make time for u.
Avoid the ego maniacs & the selfie babas. Avoid the mentally trapped & the ones who have too much money yet little directionality. Some people are professional mentors like professional startup competition founders. Both are akin to pageant divas with little to no other interest
Self interest is the worst kind of interest a mentor can have. Weed them out. Be patient and be kind you too shall find the mentor u need vs the mentor u think u need. Make sure there is some thing on offer for the mentors time. Respect is greater than equity. Self awareness too.
Any mentor who is sourcing ideas from you vs working on your problems and concerns is future competition. The one skill you must develop in working with mentors is the ability to see why they want to help u when there is no commercial interest involved. If you can't answer that
Then it's time to move along. Like a good book/poetry the intent should be clear & visible to u at the onset. If it's not you need to keep looking. Mentors are not coaches but the best mentors teach u how to coach your self out of your toughest challenges.They empower vs handhold
Only the very lucky find the right mentors it may seem like it's the luck of the draw but you can surely go prepared to the fight. Every one loves the prepared. Even luck. @rebootdude @YusufJan @Huk06 @Ash_Kalim @raza_matin @SaadGH @ZMoosaPK @fmsheik @babushka99 @TalhaIzhar

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More from @faizansiddiqi

15 Nov
Ease of doing biz. Entrepreneurs and small business face a spade of challenges especially the indiscriminate taxes and levies imposed by the various levels of government in PK. The explanation is straight forward we just choose not see it.
When u have a vast majority of folks who have never run any thing successful let alone a biz are the ones running this country.They only understand feudal extraction (rent seeking). It is the same as babu mentality.Targeting those who perceptively have something to give.Or loose
When the vast majority of the people running the country are under qualified and lazy across all levels, this is what you get. Worse still, these taxes they collect hardly deliver any benefit society at large or the common man. It is an exercise to siphon for self & their cronies
Read 18 tweets
14 Nov
My first mentor was my professor who told me that if you miss a touch down by an Inch it's not a touch down. Much like if u miss an A by one point. Whilst American football may not be for every one. That lesson ensured that I knew 'almost' is the diff between mediocre & great.
Don't be an almost kind of person. Don't almost get stuff done. Don't almost make it to an event. Be great, go for the touch down in everything u do. If you almost start a company or almost release a product you will almost be a unicorn. Which means nothing. Almost plagues us.
We are a nation of almost. We almost always get democracy and almost also get military rule we almost get good leaders and almost jail the ones that we almost run through the legal system. Almost certain every time that this time things will almost be right. U get the idea?
Read 9 tweets
13 Nov
The type of friends or networks you have will contribute significantly to your outlook. If you happen to be a hustler, they likely have the potential to give you deep insights. Locally like most other places, its typically who you know mixed with what you know
That will add significantly to the outcomes you make for your self. Some of the most boring professions make for the best network effect. Having access to commercial bankers, who see all kinds of funding needs & interact with the "traditional" businesses in our ecosystem
tend to be an invaluable source of insights to the most boring and unsexy verticals that can use a hustler. The value unlocked by commercial bankers is second only to pindi boys. The other variety of folks that lend insights are those, who are in the business of being middle men
Read 9 tweets
28 Oct
We are bad at dealing with ambiguity and its known to get worse when there's money on the table. Typically we can take better risks by using a pencil, not our gut, to weigh what a chance is worth. More times than none we over estimate our ability to get it right,worse 4 startups
Perceptive value is a powerful construct, easy to understand, but excruciatingly difficult to use in our daily lives. So it's the value of an outcome X the likely hood it will happen. Seems simple enough, but is it?
Let's look at the low & high. If the fine for littering is 100 & u have a 1/10 chance of being caught as u throw your wrapper outside, right after ur purchase. The expected cost of breaking the law is 10. Do it enough times & eventually get caught that's what it'll cost u.
Read 13 tweets
27 Sep
The future is not female. The present is. The wrong question to ask is "how to get more women in tech" that would imply that some how "men" are the ones giving women power. The ask cant be to have more women take (corp/exec/founder roles)esp with the current mental disposition
The view has to change first. In history no ones given up power by choice. Not much different for companies. Power has to be taken, it can be taken when we all as society/ecosystems amplify the work, women executives & founders are doing across industries. Wont happen over night.
But we have stop over-indexing on male founders. The disposition has to change from thinking women have to seek permission or join some 1 else's band wagon vs launching their own. This narrative changes with us, you dont need to give any one permission, only encouragement
Read 15 tweets
26 Sep
Problems worth solving is a concept worth spending time on. Building an other app for chatting is a trivial problem, 1 likely not startup worthy. The key is to think about the process of finding problems worth solving. If it has a low barrier to entry 4 U it does for others 2.
Dont chase the same rabbit as all others, find things that from the outside in are extremely challenging to scale but likely can. It might be better to focus on something very hard at first sight, something unsexy and messy. All the world's problems if looked at from a tech lens
Will continue to make u think that all problems are technical problems. Just like we all read the same blogs, follow the same popular tech news we continue to be a curated version of the world's technical output. This makes us shortsighted in terms of the problems of this world.
Read 13 tweets

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