Find your Yodas before you build your company.
That’s the piece of advice that entrepreneurs offer about advisory boards that surprises me the most. To find your Yodas, you need to be clear about who you’re looking for and how they will further your vision, and you need to meet them where they are.
While he was developing Energy Inside, Veer Gidwaney networked “pretty aggressively over a couple of years.” He talked to people about his vision and continue to build relationships with those who like what he was doing.
Teju Ravilochan and his Unreasonable Institute co-founders “went to where the action was,” both online communities and conferences. “SoCap was a really important place for us to connect with people and begin talking about what we were doing,” says Teju. Before that even, Teju and his co-founders networked on Twitter. They developed relationships with people who supported social enterprise who liked what they were doing and introduced them to other well-known people in the sector. And then they returned the favor. They made an effort to introduce people who had made introductions to them. “It makes people feel good about how they’ve helped you.” It also shows that you’re connected in your industry and that you stand for something larger than yourself.