With a dream and business plan in place for his own marketing agency, Amadou Doumbia came to MicroMentor seeking guidance on the feasibility of his plans and support in creating an action plan. Within a month of connecting with mentor Eric Jude, Amadou realized the importance of building his personal reputation and positioning himself as a tourism and hospitality industry marketing expert before launching his agency.
- At what stage of your entrepreneurship did you join MicroMentor?
I’ve been a member of MicroMentor for a few years now. I originally joined to connect with mentors on a previous business idea and remained an admirer of the site’s mission and the wealth of knowledge its mentors' possess. I re-engaged this time after writing out the initial business plan for marketing consultancy. What I was looking for was to connect with a professional capable of helping me review the feasibility of my plan and provide guidance on how to act on the steps needed accordingly. Engaging the platform at my noted stage has proven to be the best decision. It meant I made the effort to initially write out my business idea to then show prospective mentors my seriousness.
- How has mentoring helped you shape your ideas, set goals and find the right direction/helped consolidate your entrepreneurial idea?
First and foremost, mentoring has had a profound effect on helping me set appropriate priorities in developing my business idea. With the help of my mentor Eric Jude, I’ve been able to set a number of clear, measurable and actionable goals and understand what vital steps actually needed to first concentrate on in order to get to the eventual primary goals of the business. Having a mentor has also helped me better understand that building a business doesn’t necessarily mean having to do every aspect of the development myself. I’ve benefited greatly from adopting the approach of delegating tasks where appropriate, whether it's to my mentor or to very cost-effective third parties.
- Tell us about your present stage after a month of mentoring
Within the first month of mentoring with Eric Jude it became clear that my initial goals of setting up my marketing agency for the hotel industry first required developing my personal brand. What Eric has helped me understand is the importance of first promoting my own expertise as a marketing and communications expert in hospitality and tourism and positioning myself as a leading expert in order to gain the necessary reputation for greater work. With that in mind I’ve spent the last month building a personal branding website, compiling a promotional plan for the website and creating relevant content and related assets for the site. My goal is to have the new website and promotional activities live by late June and start raising my professional profile.
- What areas/aspects of your business would you need help from mentors going forward?
A key area for me moving forward is accountability. As my mind tends to race at a 100 miles an hour and I have a tendency of multitasking too often, having my mentor keep me accountable for deadlines and tasks we agreed to will be a great area of support. Once I have the foundations of the business set up, it will also be greatly beneficial to gain advice from my mentor from time to time on new approaches to promoting myself and identifying new business. I have spent the past decade of my career gaining the necessary skills and experience to become a consultant. How I translate those skills and experiences into a marketable and valuable service to business is where mentorship will become my greatest advantage in my opinion.
- Why do you think mentoring is important for entrepreneurs?
Without mentoring, trying to build a business to me would seem impossible. Most entrepreneurs I’ve met think multiple steps ahead when approaching a project. We all need a bit of guidance no matter how small to ensure we stay on track and are doing things as efficiently as possible. I think mentoring overall can be incredibly helpful to entrepreneurs. The key however to making that possible is to have a clear understanding of your expectations and the questions you need answered from the start.
Amadou's Key Lessons Learned:
1. Set priorities
2. Create clear, measurable, and actionable goals
3. Delegate work
4. Define your positioning
What are the key lessons you've learned from your mentoring experience, as either an entrepreneur or a mentor?