I always exhort folks to make a warm connect and avoid cold calls/connects. And yet, sometimes courageously reaching out and making a cold connect works too, as evidenced by this week’s guest blog post. Miles Chiong had read some of my work and asked for a short informational interview with me and I found our conversation to be interesting so I asked him to write this week’s blog. Enjoy!
Miles Chiong, Co-Founder & HCI Specialist at ShadowHive
Growing a business is like growing a baby. Two parents can’t attend to the rapidly growing tyke by themselves. They look for help from parents, teachers, family, friends, and other expert child-growers. Similarly, while I grow my startup ShadowHive, it’s imperative that I surround myself with experts who know how to grow a business. The guidance and expertise provided by mentors and a solid network has arguably helped me more than any formal education in entrepreneurship that I’ve accumulated. I co-founded ShadowHive because the curious dreamer in each and every one of us deserves a chance to learn from experts and to grow a network of mentors.
ShadowHive is dedicated to helping people find and mature within careers by virtually connecting them with experts in various industries. Through live stream videos, video chat, voice messaging, and text messaging, learners can connect and interact with experts to gain industry knowledge and expand a network of supportive experts.
In business, one instance a mentor assisted me and my startup comes to mind in particular. We’ll call this mentor Kristin. Kristin, an executive of a Global 2000 company, expressed her willingness to help me as much as possible along my journey. After searching high and low for potential investors for ShadowHive, I found an experienced entrepreneur (let’s call him Art) who has a proven track record of investing in and exiting startups. I saw that Kristin was a mutual connection between Art and me, so I reached out to Kristin, requesting a warm introduction to Art. Kristin agreed, and Art and I have been in contact ever since!
As a fresh-out-of-college entrepreneur, I’ve envisioned the long road ahead. I’ve seen a few obstacles in my path already, which I’ve overcome with the help of my mentors. The beauty of this journey to entrepreneurial success is that I am bound to run into more mentors along the way. These mentors can come in the form of young entrepreneurs, junior industry workers, senior executives, and even mom and dad.
My advice for my fellow entrepreneurs looking to grow a business is this: expand your network of mentors, find mentors who compliment your strengths, and always be open to what your mentors have to say. A true mentor is a lifelong supporter on whom you can undoubtingly rely. In the entrepreneurial world, a mentor can be the difference between sinking your metaphorical ship of business into a sea of sharks and crossing the entire sea unscathed.