In this episode of the Idea Climbing™ podcast I interview founder and managing partner of a venture capital firm, Jason Jacobsohn. You’ll learn why mentoring is a two-way street and how both parties can benefit from one another.

Key point: It’s not an “age issue”, an older person can learn from a younger person and vice-versa. There should be a learning experience going on for both sides. Successful mentoring relationships grow into long term relationships when both sides get value from the relationship.

How Can Mentees Give Back?

First, mentees should show a genuine interest in the mentor. They should be seeking ways to help the mentor with feedback and possible connections. Sometimes just being a mentee is enough – the mentor wants to give back because someone helped THEM at some point in their career and now, they want to help someone else with THEIR career.

To make that happen the mentee has to take ACTION with what the advice that their mentor gives them and then report back with the new results that they’ve achieved and bring more questions to the table to continue the mentoring conversation. This lets the mentor know that their mentee is serious about the relationship.

There’s No Quick Fix

A mentoring relationship can’t be forced for quick results. It gradually happens over time as trust is built. In the case of Founder Institute, as time goes on mentors become more actively engaged with the companies and continue to provide invaluable guidance as the startups grow. As the mentees continue to take action with their mentors’ guidance, they get to know each other personally, and trust is formed. That’s when mentoring relationships start to thrive.

Getting Started

If you want to create successful mentoring relationships, you need to reach out to people and ASK for help. The worst thing that can happen is that you hear “no”. The best thing that can happen is that the trajectory of your professional life is changed for the better.

Listen In!

Listen to the podcast to learn more strategies that you can put into place to create successful mentoring experiences and relationships!

About The Interviewee

Jason Jacobsohn is well known in the Chicago area as a “connector” and go-to person for entrepreneurs who want to grow and maintain their success.  Currently, Jason is the Founder and Managing Partner of Propellant Ventures, which is an early-stage venture capital firm that boldly invests in a broad range of innovative companies in underserved and undervalued regions across the U.S.

Prior to launching Propellant Ventures, he was a Principal at Bascom Ventures, which is a private, for-profit venture capital fund for Wisconsin alumni that invests in seed, growth, and later stage companies with a Wisconsin alumni connection.  In addition, Jason launched and currently runs the Chicago chapter of Founder Institute, which is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, with chapters across 180+ cities around the world.

For most of his career, he has provided venture development services to align emerging businesses with resources for growth.  Jason is looking to meet like-minded people who share his passion and interest in the entrepreneurship and investment communities.