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Someone to Watch Over Me

Why go it alone when there's help to be had?

This story appears in the May 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Chomping at the bit to get your business going? Although it's difficult to wait, you should get as much advice as possible in the pre-start-up phase before diving in. As most successful entrepreneurs will tell you, information is priceless. Their advice? Find a mentor to guide you through the "dos" and "don'ts" of entrepreneurship--that way, you can bound ahead without making too many bad calls.

If you make the mistake of trying to go it alone, you could wind up as another statistic. In fact, if more entrepreneurs hooked up with mentors in the start-up phase, we'd see fewer business fatalities, according to Jerry F. White, director of the Caruth Institute at the Cox School of Business, an entrepreneurial center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "A qualified mentor can show a start-up how things work in 'Entrepreneur Land,' saving them time and money in the bargain," White says.

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