What does a successful business look like? At RMMFI, we believe there is no one answer to that question. Every entrepreneur — and therefore every business — is different, and an inclusive economy is one where everyone can aspire toward the goals that are most meaningful to them and their community.
This philosophy is reflected throughout our programs, and it’s something we intentionally foster within our volunteer network. Scott Zumbahlen is a volunteer mentor who exemplifies what it means to promote entrepreneur-defined success. While he’s had a successful 20+ year career in various tech startups, he recognizes that the path he’s seen those businesses follow isn’t necessarily the one that every entrepreneur wants to take. Scott knows that each individual has different motivations and goals, and he sees the value that different types and sizes of businesses bring to our society.
Scott has worked with entrepreneurs at every stage of RMMFI programming, and he always seeks to be an active listener to understand what the entrepreneur hopes to achieve with their business. “Everyone has their own expectations and goals for what they want out of life, and I’m here to help support that.” Rather than go in with any preset notions about where the entrepreneur can or should go, Scott focuses on asking questions to see where he can add value to support their vision of success.
A great example of this is Scott’s recent work with Terrilynn Moore (Artist & Storyteller) in the Thrive Business Accelerator. Terrilynn’s business goal was very unique, but Scott was still able to provide the right feedback and encouragement to help her work toward her self-identified priorities. As Terrilynn put it, “Nobody had a project like mine, but my mentor Scott stepped up and took me on. He had great ideas and great guidance.”
For Scott, mentorship is a two-way experience. While he certainly has knowledge and expertise to share, he also enjoys learning from the entrepreneurs and their sparks of brilliance. “I view these mentees as my peers. They have a lot of expertise in their specific area, and with each of these engagements, I think I learn as much as them.”
The power of choice is a key part of building a vibrant economy where everyone can activate their potential. RMMFI mentors like Scott enable that future by helping entrepreneurs define and achieve their own vision of success for their businesses and their lives.