Finding Common Ground

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with

There’s a quick knock, and Kandoro pops his head into my office. I grab my jacket, not even glancing at the clock.

It wasn’t always like this.

I remember our first meeting. I sat, waiting for him, watching the steam rise from my coffee. I tried to keep my fingers from tapping against the table as I repeatedly glanced at my phone. My mind raced with all the things that could go wrong at my business while I was gone.

I wondered if I really had time
to mentor this entrepreneur.

The door of the coffee shop opened and Kandoro walked in. I’d forgotten that he had such an infectious grin.

When I looked at my phone more than an hour later, I was amazed at how fast the time had passed.

Kandoro was eager to grow his business.

Despite our different backgrounds, we easily filled hours talking about our businesses, our families and our faith.

Ironically, we had so much in common.

We continued to meet over the next few months. I found myself looking forward to these meetings and I always returned to the office energized.

I became the CEO of a large company in my early 30s. I worked night and day. I clutched at every hour, consumed by my desire to succeed. Before this chance to mentor an entrepreneur, I never used my business experience to serve others.

As Kandoro and I walk out of the office now, I listen to him share about a recent business success. I grin. My own successes can’t compete with the joy I feel from seeing Kandoro grow as an entrepreneur.

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