In this episode of The Boss School, I chat with my dear friend Tracy DiNunzio of Tradesy (you know, just THE largest peer-to-peer resale site for luxury goods.). I bet you’re going to find Tracy’s interview just as exciting as I did–she has TONS of helpful advice on getting out there when starting a business.
And she knows what she’s talking about: Tradesy serves millions of the world’s coolest customers and has secured backing from iconic investors like Richard Branson. Just how did Tracy do it without any connections in the business world? She says it was all about finding the right mentors.
When it comes to mentorship, your mentors should want nothing from you, except to kind of pass on and pay forward the advice and support that they're able to offer. Click To Tweet
In our conversation she gets granular about everything from email etiquette to creative ways to get – and keep – a prospective mentor’s attention. Cultivating relationships with people you admire means doing your research, finding ways to connect and following up by acting on whatever advice you receive. If tended with care, these relationships can sometimes even change your company’s whole trajectory, as when Danny Levy decided after a few meetings to invest $25,000 in Tradesy.
Over the course of our conversation Tracy details the critical elements that fledgling entrepreneurs must constantly be juggling, including growth, metrics, investor relations and even tending one’s own health and well-being. But more than anything else? It’s all about resilience and grit!
“I didn't understand that when you ask people to invest, you are giving them a chance to make money. I thought I was begging them to give me something. But there's a huge distinction. Click To Tweet
Enjoy hearing a little of Tracy’s amazing story and how Tradesy emerged to dominate in the online marketplace.
- Identify what kinds of mentors you need based on their expertise and network.
- Create lists to help locate and narrow down mentors who would be a good fit. Tracy’s list included bridal content creators, venture capital investors, female entrepreneurs, marketing influencers and SEO specialists.
- Do your homework: Prospective mentors notice preparation and knowledge.
- When you reach out via email, ensure it’s thoughtfully and professionally written.
- Don’t ask for a mentorship relationship upon first meeting.
- Face-to-face is always the best way to connect.
- Follow-up on mentor advice with demonstrable action you can then report back.
- Incubators can be a huge help in developing a winning business plan.
- Asking for capital is not about begging; it’s about offering a legitimate investment opportunity.
- It’s okay if you and your mentor move on as your company changes and grows.
- Have a very strong handle on your business metrics at all times.
About Tracy DiNunzio: