Get yo’ bad self a mentor

People always say you should get a mentor to help you along whatever path you are on.  I always thought, how the heck do you “get a mentor”? Are you supposed to ask some to be your mentor?  Isn’t that awkward? How do you find one? It all just seemed so, “Will you go out with me”. Awkward and painful.

Well, I’m happy to say, I’ve found a mentor and it wasn’t awkward or painful. I recently went to a conference called Edible Startup Summit in my city and had the opportunity to sign up for one-on-ones with a variety of people.  I ended up having one with Peter Robinson from a place called RP’s Pasta. RP’s is a small batch pasta company that’s been in business for a long time.  Peter was truly one of the forefathers of the local food movement here in the Midwest.  I told Peter all about my fledgling startup and even showed him some label concepts. He gave me some really good feedback as well as some tips on how to approach retail stores with my spicy honey, which led me to landing my first retail account.

After the conference, I emailed all of my one-on-ones with a short note thanking them for their time.  Peter responded that I could email him with any questions and I took him up on that.  Since then I’ve kept in touch with Peter and continue to get feedback and advice.

So I guess the TLDR version of this is:

  • Talk to anyone you can
  • Always follow up with a quick email
  • Ask lots of questions
  • If someone offers help, accept it

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