Mentorship 101

This page is a more practical addendum to our views on mentorship page with practical information and FAQs about becoming a mentor to Earnest Capital portfolio companies.

Time Commitment

There is no minimum time commitment for mentoring at Earnest. We know that many mentors are busy running their own companies, managing their own investment portfolio, or juggling many projects. We structure our program around mentoring never becoming an overwhelming burden on your time.

What you get as a mentor

Community: the Earnest community is remote-first so it primarily lives in Slack, for synchronous chatting, and Basecamp, for longer-form threaded discussions. Founders active in both—asking questions, sharing what they’ve learned, posting milestones, and generally hanging out—and mentors are welcome to join the discussion.

Office Hours: At least once a month (often more) we do an office hours session with one Earnest mentor on a topic that is both within their expertise and relevant for founders. We open a thread beforehand for founders to ask questions, do a live Zoom office hours, and share the recording with the community. This is in the “what you get” section because most mentors find it incredibly fun.

Podcast: We record audio of the weekly founder check-in meetings, office hours, and any other recordable events we have at Earnest and put them in a private podcast feed for Earnest founders and mentors only.

ECHO (Earnest Capital Home Online): We want to give mentors as much context as possible so we have an internal resource site with all of our recommended experts, resources, and a company directory including podcast interviews, company details, investor updates, and any live metrics the founders choose to share.

What we ask of mentors

Get on the same page: please make sure you’ve reviewed our approach to mentorship. We provide more details on this in the onboarding, but we are serious that we don’t want mentors who view this is as a personal brand-building exercise or an opportunity to stroke their own egos by pontificating on how to be successful. This is a community of builders truly helping other founders succeed.

Roll up your sleeves: We put a strong emphasis on mentors actually sitting down and doing work to help founders move forward. The founders in our portfolio are typically very early stage and have no shortage of good ideas to do. What they mostly need is direct help getting through roadblocks and prioritizing which of the many good ideas they actually need to do.

Tell us how best to utilize your time and energy: we are happy to adapt to your schedules and preferences as long as we have open communication from you on the amount and best format of mentoring you can provide. We have had mentors do any of the following:

  • Scheduled 1:1 Zoom calls with founders on specific topics
  • Hang out in Slack or Basecamp and answer small questions
  • Join our weekly all-founder check-in and provide quick suggestions
  • Open office hours on a specific topic or area of expertise
  • Join a Slack channel helping one company with a specific “sprint” (ie growth, hiring)
  • Opt in to a quarterly ongoing check in with one specific company (we encourage these when there is mutual interest)
  • Respond to direct asks (facilitated by the Earnest team) for introductions, referrals, or feedback on specific strategy questions.

Interested to join as a mentor? Apply here.