Mentors’ Monday: Adam Hebbard
I had the opportunity to talk to Adam Hebbard about how his experience as an attorney and owning his own law firm make him a good mentor. Enjoy today’s Mentors’ Monday!
RC: What field do you work in?
AH: I am an attorney. I have worked with everything from the formation of small family-owned companies to negotiating large, revolving credit lines for more established clients. In addition, I have done litigation work and criminal work.
RC: What do you enjoy most about your field?
AH: I enjoy the opportunity to help people accomplish their goals. I’ve had a varied work experience throughout my career, and I’ve found that working with small businesses is very satisfying. They are financially and personally invested in the business. It’s nice to work with people that care so much.
RC: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your experience?
AH: About 20 months ago I started my own firm which gave me a window into the world of small businesses. I felt like I ought to call some of my old clients and apologize for yelling at them after experiencing the operations end of a business. It has given me an opportunity to see things from the perspective of somebody starting their own business. As an attorney, solo practitioner, and small business owner I am more sympathetic to the idea that everything doesn’t always get done when trying to make sales and accomplishing other goals.
RC: How do you think starting founders could benefit from your experience?
AH: I have worked with a lot of startups and companies that have come a long way. I am also familiar with the types of issues that startups run into. I can help navigate some of those potential pitfalls.
RC: What is the first piece of advice you would give someone founding their own company?
AH: Know what you are trying to do. Often people have an idea and think the idea itself is a business. That is not the case. It is important for people to have an end in view. They must know what they want to do with their idea and who they want to sell it to. Great ideas often need to be fleshed out more.
RC: Have you mentored people in the FourAthens space?
AH: I was part of a Mentor Gauntlet and had the opportunity to work with four companies. In addition, I brought one company to Four Athens to help develop their idea further. I’m looking forward to more mentor opportunities in the future.
RC: What is the most interesting company that you have worked with?
AH: I really like Products for Robots. They have a great concept and are very interesting people.
RC: What interested you in becoming a mentor?
AH: I am a huge technology geek. When I first heard about Four Athens, I was fascinated and jumped at the opportunity to become a mentor. I am a big video game nerd too, so having the opportunity to work with the guys from Products for Robots was a lot of fun for me.
RC: What is the most important part of a mentor’s role?
AH: I think of mentoring as a sounding board. The most valuable part of having a mentor is having somebody to bounce ideas off of.
RC: What makes for a good mentee?
AH: I think the same things that make for a good mentee make for a good small business owner. People often get locked into their vision of an idea. A good mentee or entrepreneur is flexible and realizes that the way they see it may not be the way the idea will ultimately work.