6 Mentorship Do’s and Don’ts

UPDATED: December 28, 2016
PUBLISHED: December 28, 2016

David Matthews, managing director of REVTECH, a seed venture fund and startup accelerator, says he is wired to help people—it’s what makes him tick. His passion for helping others led him to found REVTECH, which has a large network of mentors. He shares these tips for both mentors and mentees.

Related: The Art of Mentorship With Kevin O’Leary

For mentees:

  • Even if you’re unsure, dive in. “I think anybody and everybody who is coachable needs and will benefit from a mentor,” Matthews says.
  • Find someone who truly has relevant experience for the challenge you’re working on.
  • Look for groups of mentors so you can get help from multiple people.

Related: 10 Ways to Find Your Ideal Mentor

For mentors:

Before anything, ask yourself whether you really have the resources and knowledge to help an entrepreneur who approaches you.

  • Don’t expect anything in return for your mentorship. Most of the time, you’ll get a return in more and different ways than you expected.
  • Make sure the person is actually coachable. “There is a subset of people who are just not coachable,” Matthews says. “These are the people who already think they have all of the answers.”

Related: 5 Things Your Future Mentor Will Love You For


This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Jamie Friedlander is a freelance writer based in Chicago and the former features editor of SUCCESS magazine. Her work has been published in The Cut, VICE, Inc., The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider, among other publications. When she's not writing, she can usually be found drinking matcha tea into excess, traveling somewhere new with her husband or surfing Etsy late into the night.