Sitting down with Jacob, he was very candid about his experience in business. "It’s said that startups don’t starve, they drown. Drown in opportunity, drown in tasks that are all necessary, drown in indecision. SCORE does what a business book can’t do: give you personalized feedback from someone already successful. It won’t do the work for you, but it will help connect you with opportunities around you, give you focus rather than more tasks, and most importantly emotional support for your crazy idea while it’s still young and needs protecting. Because of my SCORE mentor I not only received encouragement that, “this is possible,” but specific feedback on what I need to do next to improve my venture. SCORES is like a library, one of those things where you wonder who in society was brave enough to create, because it’s purely for good. It’s free, helpful, and motivating."
Jacob's experience with SCORE started 2 years ago as he developed the initial idea behind a product for my company WaterStone Fitness. It was a video course to help athletes master their handstands. "I made a good first attempt but it had many problems with it. One of the first things that I remember my mentor, Bob, doing was sitting down and letting me go through the process of using the program with him. He tested it and gave me feedback on where it was broken. He also encouraged me to remake the program, a task that I was dreading at the time, but I’m grateful to have done now." A few months later, after Jacob finished the new version and successfully launched to an initial cohort of 50 users, he was encouraged me to share his success with the community. His mentor encouraged him to pitch my business at One Millions Cups Kalamazoo, an activity he had serious doubts of doing. This not only connected Jacob with several business owners in the area, specifically two in the fitness space, it led him into getting a day job as a trainer at a new gym chain opening up in the area.
Jacob is moving along. He states, "Now that I’m transitioning to an app Bob is helping me navigate what to focus on and how to think through important decisions. These are activities other people may have suggested or done. However, because of my mentor’s success creating a company, I believed his advice more and followed through on it."
No matter where you are in the business process, looking for an idea, creating your MVP, looking to grow something already successful, navigating a complex challenge, a SCORE mentor can help you move to the next level. It will force you to explain your problem to someone else, when you’re the only one bringing this business of yours to life is among the best way to bring clarity to what you want to do.
Jacob is currently pursuing his MBA and is working as a fitness coach in the Kalamazoo Area.