Why Networking Fails Founders, and How to Learn Even Faster

The tragic Catch 22 for all founders is that they desperately need to learn from peers to grow their business, but never have the time to do it. Sound familiar?

The need for insight from other founders has only grown during the Covid-19 pandemic as consumer behaviors and businesses operations evolve rapidly. But with the disappearance of nearly all in-person meetings and events, founders have never been more alone. Critical business decisions are increasingly being made in isolation, creating unprecedented risks for the health of small businesses.

But even if you could attend conferences, masterminds, or entrepreneur meetups right now - the reality is these are often an inefficient use of time for several reasons:

  1. Unqualified or Irrelevant Connections - Uncovering significant value from random interactions with a group usually doesn’t happen. Most conversations occur with someone unqualified to provide useful advice, or whose entrepreneurship experience has little relevance to the needs of your business.

  2. Shallow Conversations - At founder networking events, all attendees are hungry to learn or build valuable relationships. But when speaking with someone where most of the value is flowing one way, we are incentivized to cut the conversation short. That leaves founders with just minutes to discuss their most pressing challenges from someone who can help. To fully explore big strategic questions or issues, founders need more time, depth, and focus than traditional networking options provide.

  3. Off Topic - Conversations can flow naturally at networking events, but the topics covered usually navigate a wide variety of domains rather than focusing on the most pressing questions you need to solve in your business. There are many reasons why this happens. It can be fun to explore many terrains, and we try to make sure the conversation is valuable and enjoyable for both sides.

But if traditional networking efforts aren’t giving founders the value and insight we need, how should we be learning from our peers? Is there a better way?

At the Founders Coffee Club, we’ve experienced firsthand the limitations of conventional networking, and crafted a better solution to help founders learn from their peers that includes:

  • Curated Connections - We believe that hoping to meet the right person online or at a networking event is not an efficient use of time. Instead, we ask each member what they need to know, and put them in contact with someone who can help.

  • Selective Membership Criteria - We handpick entrepreneurs in tech-driven businesses who are most knowledgeable about the latest trends and innovations. All founders admitted have at least three years of entrepreneurship experience, and valuable industry expertise of interest to our members.

  • In-Depth Consultation - All members serve as both mentors and mentees each month - offering one hour of support for every hour of mentorship they receive. Creating the space for founders to go into detail about their business, challenges, strategies, and experience allows founders to see blind spots in their decision making process, identify innovative solutions, discover important insights, and collaboratively solve problems.

  • Networking on Autopilot - What founders need to know is constantly evolving. One minute, you’re exploring new marketing channels for growth - and the next minute you’re exploring how to streamline your billing process. Your network should be growing and evolving to accommodate the emerging needs of your business. By putting you in touch with someone new who can support your latest business need - you can attend less conferences and events, and let us broker new connections for you.

And while all of the benefits above are practically useful, they’re a small part of the Founders Coffee Club’s mission - to help a community of founders to grow and thrive.

We know that entrepreneurship can be a lonely path. By providing all the ingredients for community: relevant connections, in-depth conversations, and expectations to support one another - we sincerely hope that the conversations we broker are an initial spark that builds over time into meaningful mentorships, partnerships, and friendships.

If you’re interested in joining the Founders Coffee Club, fill out this application - and we will be in touch soon about next steps.

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