Dear Entrepreneur,

Get a mentor, because when dealing with the ups and downs of running a startup company, you need someone you can call who has navigated similar hurdles. Find someone who exhibits the traits that you cover, and ask him or her to be your mentor.

If you can engage at least once a month to share ideas and get advice, you will start to see your confidence and business acumen soar. Even Bill Gates has a mentor. He credits Warren Buffet with teaching him to change the way he thinks and with igniting his interest in philanthropy.

It takes audacity and patience to find and secure a good mentor. First, write down the specific expectations you have for a mentoring relationship. Then, seek out mentors from all your in-person and online professional and social networks. Ask for an exploratory meeting to discuss forming a formal mentorship relationship. If you can get a commitment, don’t abuse it.

Understand that your mentor has a busy schedule and other things to take care of, so, only reach out when absolutely necessary. Make sure each meeting covers what you both need, and thank him or her for their time, because it isn’t easily for someone to give you his or her time, especially when they are very busy people.

With love,