Been There, Done That

Good Relations

Once you've established a relationship with a mentor, how do you make the most of it? "It really helps when you follow their advice," Schwarz says. "If someone takes time to spend with you and you don't follow their advice at all, they probably won't help you as much [in the future]."

Also, update mentors on your progress. Says Schwarz: "When one of our toys [Monster in My Closet] was picked as one of the `Best Toys of the Year,' I called and told [my mentors]: `Remember when we were having problems with it, and I asked you whether we should do it?' Mentors like seeing the project move from start to finish."

Get to know successful entrepreneurs. How did they rise to the top? What mistakes did they make and how did they overcome their errors? By learning from mentors, you boost your chances of making it big with your business.

Sean Lyden is the CEO of Prestige Positioning (a service of The Professional Writing Firm Inc.), an Atlanta-based firm that "positions" clients as leading experts in their field-through ghost-written articles and books for publication. Clients include Morgan Stanley, IFG Securities, SunTrust Service Corp. and several professional advisory and management consulting firms nationwide.

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This article was originally published in the January 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Been There, Done That.

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