The Importance of Mentorship in a Startup’s Journey
Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rizek tells us how he became an entrepreneur and shares how mentors have made an impact on his journey and experience.
What did you do before becoming an entrepreneur? What inspired you to switch?
I have been working since the age of 14 across different industries – from aviation to renewable energy to tech, but found I always had my own unique way of getting the job done. When I turned 16, I was inspired to establish my own company and from there started a series of businesses. Earlier last year, my co-founder, Ahmad Mazroui and I decided to develop a platform that provides the community with a wide variety of services, delivered right to their doorstep.
How important is a business mentor for startups? Who is your business mentor and what is it that they offer you?
Mentors are possibly the most important figures in a founder’s journey as they give you access to very rare experiences, insights and learnings that otherwise would consume a lot of time and effort for a founder to capture on their own. The team and I have been blessed to have multiple mentors around us, the likes of Ma Chi, Ammar Al Khudairi, Abdulaziz Jazzar, Fadi Ghandour and others. Our mentors have been offering us guidance and direction from their past experiences, helping us accelerate and adapt faster than others.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a startup? How did you overcome that?
A startup is stimulating by nature; there are always new challenges – the biggest of which is to rapidly adapt to unexpected turns and try to solve bumps with the minimum amount of resources and time. The key to succeeding is knowing that there is always more to be learnt and embracing the lessons the journey has to offer. I also find value in appreciating people’s different skills and experiences, so I make sure to surround myself with great people and talent.
Describe being an entrepreneur, in one word.
What advice would you give anyone who’s considering entrepreneurship?
In my opinion, entrepreneurship is the natural continuation of a person’s independence. It is a door to manifesting your potential to the world. I feel it is a choice everyone has to make at some point – whether you fail or succeed is irrelevant, you have to try.