Finding Your Morpheus & Muse: The Importance of Mentorship & Vision in Entrepreneurship


Last weekend I had the pleasure of getting together with some old college friends for brunch. Initially we met in University at the age of 19. All of us had high hopes of building a career within a company and living the standard American dream.  Nine years later each one of us has found himself taking a different road but ultimately reaching the path of entrepreneurship.


The interesting thing about the meeting was not the fact that we were all either in partnered ventures or self-employed, but rather that each of us was at a different stage of the process. One friend is just in the initial prototyping stage, I myself am involved in a two-year old startup and our other friend has his own established profitable startup and business model. The discussion we had reminded me why I love working in a startup and what the challenges and pitfalls are.



Lessons Learned From Each Other: Entrepreneurship 101 


What started as job frustration for all of us lead to the path of self-empowerment and employment. Once one of my friends began his startup and was discussing to me the challenges and rewards of the process I immediately began to dream of starting my own startup. After a series of MBA projects, the entrepreneurship fever hit me deep. I turned down many job offers with corporations to try to work with an early stage high potential startup.


This process was in no means an easy transition and as such at times it was like staring into a dark tunnel without seeing the light.  What got me through the process was trying to find the right people to mentor and advise me. As Guy Kawasaki would say you have to find your Morpheus to take you through the process. In this time period the feedback and conjoint collaborations with many startups finally got me to understand what I wanted.


This experience was not something that could have been picked up from a book but rather is a result of understanding through the eyes of a successful entrepreneur what works and what doesn’t. The advice attained from one’s mentors helps you tremendously in understanding how the startup world operates and what leads to success. By using the right mentors one can find his true-direction and calling while avoiding the failures that exist with doing the venture all on his/her own.


A Muse Is Always Needed As Well


One of the things that makes entrepreneurs successful is their great commitment and belief in their idea. This idea serves as a Muse without which the entrepreneur could not exist. The idea that inspires an entrepreneur is the reason he/she is willing to break through the current way of doing business to succeed. It is an idea with a sustained belief in its applicable vision that pushes an entrepreneur forward. Without this muse there is no way an entrepreneur would be willing to incur all the risks and hardships associated with his/her venture.


The Muse & Morpheus Make Sweet Harmony


While there are no predicated standard formulas for success in entrepreneurship, there is no doubt in the value of a Morpheus and a Muse. The combination of a strong belief in an idea, with the addition of competent and sagely advice along the way highly increases your probability of success, and limits potential time lost wandering in exasperation. No successful company can exist without a strong foundation, and not one man reaches success without the help of his fellow men.



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