parts of their descriptions.
You should still do this even
if you think you already know how
you will solve the problem. Go
in with an open mind. Don’t be a
hammer on a nail hunt.
Line up your mentors
New founders seek copious feedback on their products or services.
But getting the business itself right
is just as critical. To do that, you
should develop relationships with
veteran entrepreneurs. Although
it’s too early to be thinking about a
board of advisers, setting up a kind
of proto-board comprising folks
who’ve been there and done that
will help you head of mistakes.
Nathaniel Ru is co-CEO of
Sweetgreen, a healthy, fast-casual
chain with 83 restaurants and
IN THE FIRS T DAYS of being an entrepreneur, you need guidance and
advice from other entrepreneurs.
They’ll tell you if you’re on the
right track. And they’ll compel you
to think beyond your immediate
survival to the company you want
to have two years from now.
At the very least, you’ll want an
experienced eye to look over your
business plan, if you decide to do
one. At Sweetgreen, our mentors
(the three of us each had three to
fve) asked a lot of tough, helpful
questions–about our fnancial
model, our brand positioning, our
restaurant design, and more.
But they also urged us to look
up from the frenetic day-to-day
activity and think more long term
about our mission and the language we’d use to communicate
it. They started us thinking early
about the kinds of people we’d
want to bring on board one day, so
we’d be able to spot great talent
even if we weren’t ready to hire.
University faculty often make
good advisers (many business
A LIFETIME OF
To date, Sir Richard
his Virgin Group
or has an interest
in more than