I recently finished Ben Horowitz’s book The Hard Things about Hard Things and highly recommend it for anyone in business.  Now, I am a big fan of biographies and will always read one versus a work of fiction.  I find it fascinating to learn about the journey a person took and see if there any inspiring tales I can take from it.

Although Ben’s book has lots of great advice on how to build a business and entrepreneurship, I think the key nugget was the value he found in having strong mentors throughout his career. In particular, whenever he had a tough decision to make he reached out to a mentor who guided him through the process.

Most successful entrepreneurs or business leaders, have mentors that they use or have used as a guidepost.  The importance of mentors cannot be undervalued.  In certain situations, having multiple mentors is required to get a broad perspective on the opportunity.  In other situations, a mentor has the experience of having lived through similar circumstances.

Unfortunately, many people do not have access to mentors and no two mentors are the same.  The thing that I am most passionate about is being a mentor to women and underrepresented minorities so they know how to access the same entrepreneurial and educational opportunities as everyone else.

Basically, I am trying to emulate my mentor, Bob Cottingham, who is a successful entrepreneur, father, husband, Olympian and philanthropist.  I have a long road ahead of me, but it is never too late to start the journey.

Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

I am excited to announce that I will be serving as a mentor to a female entrepreneur based in Jamaica for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.  The mission of the Cherie Blair Foundation is:

“Our vision is a world where women have equal opportunities and the capability, confidence and capital necessary to establish and grow businesses, resulting in a brighter future for the women themselves and their communities as a whole.”

As the father to a daughter, who I hope one day becomes an entrepreneur, Cherie Blair’s program immediately resonated with me.

I applied to join the program through Bank of America, and once I was accepted there were several requirements.  Including an intense training session about international cultural norms as it relates to women.

Being a mentor in this program is extremely exciting because I get to:

  1. Help an entrepreneur grow their business
  2. Contribute to the growth of Jamaica (my mother’s birthplace)
  3. Encourage more women to become entrepreneurs
  4. Assist in reducing the achievement gap by women in third world countries

There will be more posts about the program, as I get more involved.  In the meantime, I invite you to check out the link and see if you want to participate in the future.