Startup Life

Volunteering ROI, or, Just Because I Have Ears

Just Because I Have Ears
Just Because I Have Ears

There’s a Pattern Here

The funny thing about teaching, or, mentoring is that more often than not, the teacher ends up learning from the student. Such was the case yesterday when I was volunteering as a Mentor at FounderFuel‘s Mentor Day.

I was talking to one of the Cohorts & they were expressing their frustration with customer acquisition. I related well to the situation where you have your Unique Value Proposition but the prospect gets bogged down in an area you perceive to be out of your problem domain. As Startups, we have to stay laser focused on what we aim to deliver & can’t afford to entertain distractions. But in this particular case, there was a pattern to what  prospects were asking for, and it was a barrier for entry.

Fortunately, within a few suggestions, there seemed to be  a solution in sight. All without a line of code being changed and no additional costs to expanding the Unique Value Proposition.  We’ll see if they experiment with the idea & the respective results, but the point is there’s a pattern here. It’s the “Just Because I Have Ears, It Doesn’t Mean I’m Listening” Pattern.

I Think I Do My Best Thinking When I’m Asleep

So I wake up in the middle of the night recalling a conversation I had earlier in the day with Chris Arsenault. Chris was asking about & while he seemed to appreciate the Unique Value Proposition, was concerned about the onboarding process. The Problem: How do I know who are my preferred contacts to invite to Are you asking me to manually go through everyone in my Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc? The Solution: I didn’t have any because that list of preferred contacts would be a result of using Shazbut !

Later that day I was talking to Naomi Goldapple who’s seen & wants to sign-up.  Do you know what her problem was? Same as Chris’.  Same as others interested in signing up. 


I don’t think so because Naomi asked:

Why can ‘t I just import everyone & let figure out who are my preferred contacts?

Naomi not only got the Unique Value Proposition, she was also was telling me the pain she faces adopting it and then went even further by giving me the Solution: Import all the contacts you have & use to weed out the ones most valuable to you & your network. Sort of like…

Menschenables' Preferred Contact Conversion Process
Menschenables’ Preferred Contact Conversion Process

Experiment Time

Let’s see how folks react & take it from there.


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