Richard SinkFounder of Critical Connections
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Top 1% Worldwide Profiles on Linkedin & SlideShare & Top 50 Social Business Twitter Accounts. My clients hire me to establish how new technologies, SEO campaigns, web optimization and social media outlets can solve business problems, improve business processes and achieve a competitive advantage that will positively impact the bottom-line results.



Recent Answers


I’ve been asked many times over the years to share specific professional and personal insights that enable others to benefit from my experiences. And I never took it seriously until I came across several structured online programs that demystified the process and outcomes which enabled me to establish some engagement guidelines.

I consider the mentoring experience as just another opportunity to network and build valuable connections.

The best mentor/mentee matches include clear expectations from both parties about what they want to gain from working together, honest communication about any differing objectives, and mutual respect. Mentees need to honor their mentor’s time constraints and boundaries about what the mentor is willing to provide. Mentors need to understand their mentee’s goals and values and be active listeners.

There are many interpretations of what a mentor is and what are the responsibilities to mentor someone. I approach mentoring as connecting with professionals who are looking for help in shaping and guiding them through a career objective or a specific challenge. I do this through ongoing dialog and interaction and I expect my mentoring assignments to operate via a strict means of accountability. I find it more productive to establish a road map of anticipated results during our engagement that can be measured and maintained.

As a mentor in several current engagements, I commit to an initial period of time to evaluate the extent of our working relationship, including the way in which we cooperate with each. This is the single most important quality of any mentoring arrangement. Without cooperation, we’re just going through the motions. The mentoring process demands that you genuinely care about the journey and successes, it should be important to everyone involved. How else do you justify the time and attention spent working with someone else?

Some people are lucky to have a mentor in someone they work closely with, hence learning from their experience. Others must look outside their circle, and for those there are several places to being the search.

SCORE.org: A nonprofit association of more than 13,000 volunteer counselors who individually mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners. It also offers training, advice, workshops and resources dedicated to entrepreneur education.

MicroMentor.org: An initiative of nonprofit humanitarian agency Mercy Corps that offers free online guidance to entrepreneurs, particularly those with low incomes and limited access to business resources, and connects them with a business mentor. This is where I signed up for assignments.

SBA.gov: Ever the small-business resource, the Small Business Administration’s Mentor-Protégé program serves firms eligible for its 8(a) Business Development program, an initiative to help socially and economically disadvantaged Americans gain access to economic opportunity.

VA.gov/osdbu: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched its Mentor-Protégé Program to pair mentoring firms with small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans and other veteran-owned small businesses to create long-term relationships and provide business assistance.


Knowing where to reach your potential customers online is key to your success. Consider the scope of the online marketplace and its valuable demographics.

• One out of every 7 people in the world has a Facebook page, but close to 9% of those accounts have been identified as either redundant or inactive
• Nearly 4 in 5 active internet users visit social networks and blogs
• 25% of all female internet users have a Pinterest account
• 97% of consumers search for local businesses online

I recently authored an article on where the best places are online to advertise... http://mvb.me/s/8cf7cb



Here are some places to start your search;

SCORE.org: A nonprofit association of more than 13,000 volunteer counselors who individually mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners. It also offers training, advice, workshops and resources dedicated to entrepreneur education.

MicroMentor.org: An initiative of nonprofit humanitarian agency Mercy Corps that offers free online guidance to entrepreneurs, particularly those with low incomes and limited access to business resources, and connects them with a business mentor. This is where I signed up for assignments.

SBA.gov: Ever the small-business resource, the Small Business Administration's Mentor-Protégé program serves firms eligible for its 8(a) Business Development program, an initiative to help socially and economically disadvantaged Americans gain access to economic opportunity.

VA.gov/osdbu: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched its Mentor-Protégé Program to pair mentoring firms with small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans and other veteran-owned small businesses to create long-term relationships and provide business assistance.

LinkedIn is an excellent resource for all types of mentoring opportunities. I searched on the keyword and came up with 997,940 results. You can refine your search results by identifying which groups or individuals have the criteria you’re looking for. www.linkedin.com.in/rsink


Over the years I have been listening to professionals struggle with how to get their message out there into today’s marketplace that is interruption-driven. So much noise, so many outlets to participate in. Who has the time or the expertise to find their online audiences, deliver their value propositions and respond to inquiries?

People respond to me online mainly because I focus on two online best practices that ensure a high probability of success for any professional agenda... http://mvb.me/s/51dfd5


There are many discussions these days about how small business owners struggle to get connected and stay connected with their communities of interest. Whether the priorities are personal or professional, the concerns are the same; where do I go to find and share amongst my peers, relevant and consistent exchanges of ideas, values, interests and market intelligence?

Building and maintaining an online community centered on your agenda is the single best way to find what you’re looking for. My thoughts continue at http://mvb.me/s/35d923


There are many interpretations of what a mentor is and what are the responsibilities to mentor someone. I approach mentoring as connecting with professionals who are looking for help in shaping and guiding them through a career objective or a specific challenge. I do this through ongoing dialog and interaction and I expect my mentoring assignments to operate via a strict means of accountability.

As a mentor in several current engagements, I commit to an initial period of time to evaluate the extent of our working relationship, including the way in which we cooperate with each. This is the single most important quality of any mentoring arrangement. Without cooperation, we’re just going through the motions. The mentoring process demands that you genuinely care about the journey and successes, it should be important to everyone involved. How else do you justify the time and attention spent working with you?
www.linkedin.com/in/rsink/


Reid Hoffman, the Co-founder of LinkedIn offers up a suggestion, "Your networks are a store of distributed intelligence that can enable you." All you have to do is know who to ask and where. I authored up an article on this subject recently to a group of small business owners at http://mvb.me/s/35d923


Over the years I have been listening to professionals struggle with how to get their message out there into today’s marketplace that is interrupt-driven. So much noise, so many outlets to participate in. Who has the time or the expertise to find their online audiences, deliver their value propositions and respond to inquiries? My thoughts continue here: http://mvb.me/s/51dfd5


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