Editor's Note: In celebration of National Mentoring Month, we are re-running the very first Mentor Q&A we did when we launched this series in the summer of 2019, featuring one of our chapter's most active, most visible, and most venerable mentors, David Broner.

David Broner is a volunteer mentor with the Southeast Michigan chapter of SCORE. A retired second-generation business owner, David is a longtime, and very active, mentor with SCORE. Here are four questions and four answers (4x4) with one of our longest-serving mentors...

Why did you decide to serve as a volunteer mentor with SCORE?

I was looking for a way to help entrepreneurs as a way to “pay it forward” as others helped me.  Also, to share some of the mistakes I may have made when decision time was crucial.

What has been your greatest area of fulfillment you’ve received since starting your mentorship service with SCORE?

Watching others accomplish their goals. And getting entrepreneurs to “Believe in themselves” as they struggle to learn the realities of being a business person.

Entrepreneurs often refer to “a-ha moments” when being mentored by SCORE volunteers. What was a recent a-ha moment one of our clients had that you think will have an impact on the success of his or her future endeavors?

Recently, a client, Cheryl Salinas from Rouge Salon in Ferndale, was able to purchase a failing supplier wthat manufacturers a line of cosmetics. Cheryl expressed some discomfort with "the numbers" and, after several weeks of conversation with me and co-mentor David Hennessy, understood them well and made a deal that was good for the seller and for Cheryl.  This line of cosmetics will be another income stream for Cheryl and her team.

What’s been the biggest surprise?

I have been surprised by the debt many entrepreneurs bring to their businesses. Whether it's student debt or credit card debt, the numbers are often staggering and debilitating. It takes time to get beyond those hurdles. It takes a plan and discipline.

I was also GREATLY surprised by how few businesses have and use accountants or bookkeepers. I tell them that, without the metrics, they have a HOBBY — not a business. As a result, I will often request that any client seeking a mentor should have such a support person on their team.

About the Mentor:

Prior to volunteering with SCORE, David Broner owned and managed a wholesale distribution company, Broner, Inc and Broner Glove & Safety Co. The first supplied hats and gloves to a variety of retail outlets across the country. The safety business provided solutions that prevented injuries in the construction and industrial markets. The companies continue under the leadership of my son, Bob, and my daughter, Stephanie.

Mentor Q&A: 4X4 with David Broner