Meet Gail Kreitzer, a rising entrepreneur who approached SCORE with a dream, a mission, and a ton of energy. Gail is the inventor of My Dashboard ® Planner and the founder of The Little Big Things LLC. Her company provides training services and products that “declutter minds” to reduce stress and foster mindful productivity. (For more information, visit mydashboardplanner.com.)
Fortunately, Gail was referred to SCORE. After meeting several mentors, Gail selected one who was the right fit for business and her goals. Another mentor got added to the mix for additional help with a particular challenge.Her mentors provide clarity and active listening. The mentors are open and willing to share their extreme experience and the ups and downs of their own business career. Their knowledge and guidance boosted Gail’s confidence and kept her on track to meet her goals.
Matt Frankel is Gail's principal mentor. Matt encourages entrepreneurs to stay in the game for as long as it takes. Typically, mentors meet for an hour or two every couple of weeks. Entrepreneurs may stumble in their journey, but it’s valuable to understand the pitfalls and the root cause. You will achieve your goals and dreams if you keep going and stay focused. The mentor’s job is not to come to you, it’s up to the mentee to ask for guidance. And while mentors provide guidance, they’re not there to do the work for you, you need to make it happen. Everyone wants to make sales, but sustainable success won’t happen without a strong foundation. Having that, you’ll be able to pivot or change as the need arises which is completely normal in almost every business.
Matt points out that mentors are trained on how to work with clients through the SCORE process. Mentors also connect their clients to a list of helpful resources like CPA’s, attorneys, etc. Even connecting clients with each other can be fruitful for both parties. Matt introduced Gail to Jenn Watts of the Avalon Wellness Center in Morristown, another mentee, and together they were able to help each other in their own businesses.
As a mentor, you must understand what the client needs to do to get over a hurdle. Mentors make the suggestions, then it’s up to the client to do the work. Mentors will help and critique where they need more help and detail, but the work is ultimately the job of the entrepreneur.
The expression is – “you get what you pay for” and some believe that a free resource can’t be any good. However, a volunteer mentor is there because they want to be. They want to help you connect the dots. They’ve achieved success and want to pay it forward to help others get there, too.
When we asked Gail what she accomplished that she could not have without SCORE, she answered that her mentor empowered her with the ability and flexibility to constantly pivot and reassess progress. For example, initially, she focused on developing her product. Now that the planner is in its second iteration, she has begun to expand her training services to include businesses and schools. She felt her mentors believed in her and helped her continue to progress toward her vision. Working consistently with SCORE, she now trusts that it’s all unfolding the way it’s supposed to. She attributes becoming profitable to maintaining an active relationship with SCORE.
After leaving her career in corporate Human Resources, Gail felt like she was “back to zero” in terms of having access to guidance and process as a brand new business owner. The biggest stumbling blocks to launching a successful company were lack of confidence and clarity.