Startup Diaries: Week 4

Coffee entrepreneur Andrew Gough takes us through the ins and outs of the e2e program, and how it is changing the way he does business.



There’s no doubt the e2e program is a great opportunity, but it also comes with a big responsibility and even bigger expectations. If I do a halfway job throughout this program, I’ll only get halfway results. Instead, I need to focus on taking this opportunity to help my business, and grow as an entrepreneur.

My e2e experience

Every Monday, I get the privilege of spending an entire workday with the other e2e cohorts and various members of the business community. I spend the day discussing my week and taking direct advice and mentorship from people who have walked in my shoes, or who can provide insight into specific areas of business.

Throughout the week, I meet with mentors and other valuable members of the community, who are genuinely interested in my business and what they can do to help. Overall, it has been a great opportunity for me to soak in some ideas and make some strong connections with people I may have never known.

I estimate I put an additional 10 hours per week into the e2e program. I work on studying my competition, analyzing industry data, updating my processes manual, refining my understanding of the direction I wish to go and learning best practices for pitching my business to a variety of audiences.

Mastering my business pitch

Pitching is something I have a love/hate relationship with. On one hand, I love talking about what we do here at Reverie. But on the other, I have a hard time delivering in a very specific format. Still, I'm learning the best ways to exhibit information about my business and my goals, and how to adjust my message to different audiences. I also receive valuable feedback from other cohorts and communication coaches. I guess the more I have to stand up and talk about my business, the better I become.

Learning from mentors

I’m very lucky to have a few mentors who really help me hone in on my business and help shape the possibilities for growth in very specific areas. While I don’t wish to share those names quite yet, out of respect for their privacy, I can assure you that there are people out there who honestly wish for you to succeed. The key to a great mentor relationship is to be able to ask for help and show an honest interest in their advice.

My mentors have been more than willing to assist to the limits of their time and abilities as long as I make good use of them.

My workspace

The e2e office, located in the High Touch Building downtown on south Main Street, is a great place to work. I've actually found that I am able to get more work done there than in my own office at Reverie. In the program, I've learned that I need to make time to work on my business, in addition to working in my business. The daily grind at Reverie often gets in the way of planning.

I visit the e2e office for an hour or so each week just to get away and work on projects that often get pushed aside. Usually when I'm there, I'm able to connect with someone I wouldn’t have had the chance to see at my office.

It has been a whirlwind of fun and education that will be hard to ever repay. My intention is to do all I can for the future of our city and pay it forward. That's all I really can do.

Whether it’s another cohort or Kirstie Alley (yeah, she really did come by!), it’s a place designed for connection. There’s a large space to work or relax, and two adjacent conference rooms for if I need to have a private conversation. I'm told more desks will be installed soon, as well.

I’ve given a lot of thought to how being a part of the e2e program will pan out for me in the long run. It has been a whirlwind of fun and education that will be hard to ever repay. My intention is to do all I can for the future of our city and pay it forward. That’s all I really can do.

I've really grown up as a business owner and feel that this program will impact my business in ways I can't even begin to understand. It's pretty cool. I'm excited to see what comes next.

-- Andrew












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