Building a Personal Advisory Board

My New Year resolution is to take time every Sunday evening for a year straight and write my thoughts down. I got this idea from Brad Keywell, Founder, and CEO at Uptake. Uptake hails as the fastest (American) company to reach a $2 billion valuation. I had the pleasure of meeting with Brad late last year, and our conversation was filled with sparks. One takeaway was he wrote an email to his staff every Sunday for two years straight. One day I’ll detail how that interaction came about and went, but for now, I’ll keep it shallow. Mainly because I want his permission before disclosing some things, but also because I’m sure this will build some suspense and force you to keep reading my boring posts.

Anyways, what I want to talk about is building a board of advisors, for yourself. At Mesh++, we are currently in the process of developing our organizational structure. This involves adding people to our board of directors, our team, as well as advisory board members. But before I even gotten to the point of doing this for the company, I had to do this for myself. Building a company is hard, but so is life. If you can bring people on board to make the process easier, do so immediately. Never be above asking for help, and definitely never be above receiving it.

But how do you even go about recruiting advisors? Simple, ask for help. I am a firm believer that people genuinely want to help. If you’re ambitious, focused, and hard-working, people will want to help you. The hard part is understanding where you need help. Sometimes we need advisors for our financial life, other times we need them for our spiritual life. This can even be the same person, but it begins with knowing what you need, and what they can offer.

It took me a long time and many mistakes to find a mentor. I didn’t have one until 2015/16. It’s not because there was a world shortage of mentors in the world, but because I was so sure that I had everything under control. I didn’t need any help at all. Looking back, I’d probably be in a much better place if I had a mentor before. There are so many obstacles ahead of us that we are blind to, that mentors can expose to us. My mentor always tells me that he isn’t here to tell me what to do or not to do but to share his experiences so that I can make my own informed and educated decisions. That’s power.

I now have a pretty solid team of mentors that I feel are as invested in my future as I am. Well, not as much as I am, but that gives you a glimpse of how much they care. They’re very active in my life and stand by me through the highs and lows. A good mentor/advisor doesn’t do it for anything in return, but you must show appreciation to these people. Actively seek them out on your career path, but especially as you navigate your way through life. Even if you don’t think someone is the right person to be a mentor, you never know who they can recommend or refer to you. This is why you should begin by simply asking for help. Closed mouths don’t get fed.

Make 2018 the year you actively seek the people who will embark on this journey with you. Whether that’s getting a degree, building a billion-dollar company, or starting a family. It helps tremendously to consult those that have done it before.

Well, the Saints are playing the Panthers right now so I’m going back to enjoying my football Sunday. A month from now and football will be over, but I have a special surprise for you guys! My goal is to do this for 51 more weeks, that’s my promise.

As always:

Keep Inspiring Dreams,

Thank you.

About the Author O.K. Arowolaju

Youth Minister, Product Manager

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