Mentoring with SCORE
When I moved back to the US and the DC area, aside from starting my own company, I also wanted to participate more with the community here. Through the US Small Business Administration (SBA) - the government agency supporting small businesses around the country, I came across the SCORE organisation. SCORE provides free mentoring to small businesses through a small army of volunteers, generally people who have had long business experience in a variety to fields including finance, law etc. I decided to volunteer as it was a good fit with my interests in giving back through mentorship, and SCORE thought my experience in sales, marketing and product management would be of use to budding entrepreneurs.
After a few months of being a mentor, I have found it incredibly rewarding. Firstly, it opened my eyes to the breath of ideas that people have in terms of businesses. Secondly, it's nice to be a positive support - to provide a sounding board, to help streamline ideas, to suggest good frameworks, in short, to be useful!
One of the most impressive clients I have worked with thus far, are two ladies - Rucha and Kristen, who have founded the Virtual Clarinet Academy. Virtuoso musicians and teachers, they have created an online platform for music students to supplement their regular music lessons in a fun and constructive way. You can read more about their approach on their website. What impresses me about them as entrepreneurs are multifold - their methodical way to translate ideas into a very organised program, their openness to constructive ideas and their prolific output of excellent content. Just check out their very rich Instagram feed, that demonstrates their "product" very well, is useful and has enough personal elements that is charming and speaks of them.
It takes a lot of work to generate all that content, and sometimes it's easy to let the business side go as time runs out, and other priorities take hold. But Rucha and Kristen have continued to keep on top of concerns like legal compliance and growth strategies, and are always thinking ahead. It's been a priviledge to work with them and see the big jump in following that they've achieve in just a few short months. You can follow their continuing growth here and of course, if you are interested in learning the clarinet, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org!