In the year and a half since we introduced Keith as a new SCORE mentor, he has had ample opportunity to reflect on the challenges and the rewards that come with the role of being a volunteer SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon mentor. Keith has carefully analyzed a few of his most frequent challenges, and they may resonate with other mentors. He also reflected on the ample rewards
Client-mentor relationships are dynamic by nature and each one will have unique challenges.
“There are several challenges that have proven to be intrinsic in a high percentage of new clients. First would be the lack of understanding of basic business concepts. I am quite grateful for our Simple Steps classes and quite often refer clients to those courses before spending significant time on the clients' prospective business. Doing so causes the Simple Steps classes to be somewhat of a filter to weed out those who are subject to the second-largest challenge, that being the lack of understanding of the amount of work it takes to adequately start a new business venture. Third, and I thank Ed and Jeanne for their guidance in this regard; is to make sure that the client understands the difference between a business consultant and a mentor. I will always remember Ed telling me that ‘Mentors are guide rails, not copilots.’”
SCORE mentors experience the rewards of helping the small business and nonprofit community to succeed and grow.
Some mentors are fortunate to develop strong bonds with their clients while creating positive change for their business or organization. Keith Landis has found rich rewards during his time as a SCORE mentor.
“I have spent a significant amount of my career in the periphery of the post-secondary education industry. As such, I am a fan of education. It is always enjoyable to leave the SCORE office knowing that the guide rails are intact for the clients met in the meeting. What they do with the information is up to the client. At the end of the day though, I can go home and know that I did what I could to help one more person or couple experience the exhilaration of building their own entity.”An exciting development on the horizon in 2020 for SCORE mentor Keith Landis.
An exciting development on the horizon in 2020 for SCORE mentor Keith Landis.
In February, Keith will be joining Catamaran, the tech accelerator in Harrisburg. He will be one of four firms that will spend three months at this incubator where they will benefit from services such as design and software engineering valued at $35,000 per company as they prepare products for the market.
“I have to start by thanking John Sider from Ben Franklin Technology Partners for pushing me to the Catamaran relationship; he has truly been a reliable and stalwart advisor. Secondly, I have built FinTech businesses for over 25 years, and some have raised a significant amount of funds but never in Central PA. It is a new experience and honor for me, with my newest venture, Quvits, to be involved with, to my knowledge, the only private incubator/accelerator in the area. The value that they offer and their commitment to innovation in Central PA is highly impressive. As an entrepreneur obtaining experienced advice is invaluable, and I am looking forward to engaging the Catamaran partnership starting in February and continuing. With being a SCORE mentor, the more that I experience, in theory, the more valuable, I can be for SCORE and its clients. I trust that it will be a win for all parties involved.”