Emmett Nelson is passionate about helping people and sharing his business knowledge and experiences. It led him to become a mentor for EforAll South Coast almost 3 years ago. Emmett has a master’s degree in business education from Texas University and works as an education and workforce development manager. Before that, he worked with various startups, doing digital marketing and content development.

What made you want to become a mentor?

My background is in entrepreneurship, and throughout my career, I had many unique positions that allowed me to help companies understand their markets and their landscape, strategize, and generate revenue. So I just want to help and pay it forward.

What is your favorite part of being an EforAll mentor?

My favorite part of being a mentor is using my experiences, skills, and knowledge to help someone else. I’m not an expert on anything, but I know a good amount about a lot of things, so it’s nice to give entrepreneurs a new perspective on their business. It’s hard when you’re the only person thinking about your business. Outside input is always helpful. I’m happy to be able to provide new perspectives and thoughts on what they’re already doing.

Is there a specific mentoring experience that you are most proud of?

Working with Yashira from YSoaps was special. She wasn’t confident enough to go in and express what she wanted. By the end of the Accelerator, she was looking at it in a completely different way. I enjoy framing things a little differently for the mentees and letting them start thinking about them in other ways. She knew she knew what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it, but she just needed someone to point her in the right direction. 

What do you think makes EforAll special? 

The entire program is fantastic! Helping entrepreneurs from marginalized communities who might not have access or resources to programs like this is amazing! I was really excited when asked to mentor. Bringing experts from all over the place to speak about accounting to marketing is impressive. It’s like a mini MBA at zero cost! I paid a lot of money for my MBA. I’m still paying for it and will probably forever. 

What advice would you have for entrepreneurs?

You have to hustle; no one will do it for you! You have to come up with the idea and go for it. Plan it out and have a road map; think about it as a marathon and not a sprint. That’s absolutely critical. I had a professor in graduate school who taught a handful of my entrepreneurship courses, and he said business plans are always going to be wrong because you can only plan for so much. So take everything with a grain of salt and try to be the master of your own fate. It’s your business, so do what you want to do, we’re only here to help, guide, and give thoughts and insights, but ultimately, the entrepreneur makes all those decisions. As long as they’re strategically thinking about it and making decisions based on facts rather than hopes and desires, they will succeed. 

Interested in becoming a mentor? Learn more here.