Everyone is a mentor to someone, whether they know it or not. Mentorship is a personal growth activity that can be achieved through various mediums such as one-on-one coaching, online courses, and books. It’s up to you how you go about this goal and where you’re more comfortable. No one knows what path will be right for you like you do.
It’s a pretty well-known fact that becoming a successful entrepreneur requires passion, vision, knowledge, capital and many other aspects. However, it also requires a strong mentor who is able to impart valuable advice.
One of the most influential people in your life can be your mentor, someone who will inspire you to pursue your dreams and offer guidance when times are tough. This person could have financial know-how, have gone through similar situations as you or just have strong leadership qualities that can guide you through your career.
While this might sound simple, you might feel there are certain aspects of a business mentor that are unattainable based on their position or level of influence. Calls for respectability politics aside, business mentors are individuals that have done something great – whether it’s owning their own business or being an important figure in a major corporation.
4 benefits of a business mentor
Encouraging startups by learning from the best
A startup mentor is someone that is an expert in their field, and will share their knowledge with you. Your startup mentor will help you by giving you actionable insights into the industry, specific to your business. Startup mentors can be found in many different places. The best way is to find someone who has already done what you’re trying to do. They can share their experience with you, and help keep you motivated when things get rough. If you want to start a business, you need a startup advisor. They can help you figure out what type of business is right for you, and help you avoid common pitfalls that many new businesses fall into. You need a startup advisor that has been in the industry for a while or runs their business the way you hope to.
Mentors in business are objective
When it comes to mentoring, you want objective points of view, be it on your product, branding, new hires – whatever the situation. A mentor should help make your business better. These mentors can provide an objective look at your business and provide advice based on their experiences so you can act on it immediately. A mentor’s role is to help a mentee reach a goal or to transmit a certain quality. A mentor may have gone through similar challenges and achieved success in the past, which means they can share their wisdom with you to make things easier for you. Having someone you can turn to for advice on various aspects of running your business certainly sounds useful.
As a businessperson, you need to surround yourself with mentors that will allow you to take full advantage of their experience. No matter where you go or what you do in business, you’ll want to find a mentor that is very honest with you and who knows how to offer constructive criticism in order to make you a better businessperson.
Feedback can be constructive, informational, inspirational, motivational, informational, or destructive. Without feedback, it’s hard to know if you are doing things right.
Mentors in business provide discipline
It’s always good to have a business mentor to help you along your career path. A mentor can help you assess opportunities that may come your way, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. It’s their job to guide you, give you real world experience, teach you the skills you need to perform well, keep you accountable for tasks throughout your career, and so much more.
A strong work ethic and drive will be beneficial in fulfilling your duties and commitments, and how you devote time to them. A strong work ethic and purpose gives you the power and motivation to execute your tasks, and helps you focus on what is important by taking advantage of opportunities that arise. For example, when you’re stronger in this area it will motivate you to achieve your targets if you know that by doing so will earn you respect from leaders at your organization. If there is a lack of discipline in this area it makes good leadership much more difficult because people may not follow through on what they’ve agreed to do. When it comes to starting a business, or growing a business, or building a successful business there is no one set path to achieving that goal. There are mentors, and effective mentors provide discipline.
Mentors in business have connections
Whether you need a little guidance or a lot of help in a specific area of a business, a mentor is the perfect person to turn to in times of need. Mentorship can be invaluable in advancing your career or business.Networking is the lifeblood of any business and if you want to find success, you need to jump on it. Granted, not all businesses can become as successful as those who make it onto the rich list; however, every successful business without exception has one thing in common: very active networking.
The success of your business relies on your ability to successfully network and connect with people. When you grow your network of mentors, you increase your odds of success in business because of the influence they can have on introducing you to future investors and contributors to your business as well as help specify your target audience. Expanding your social network gives you an in with senior-level decision makers that you may not have had access to without the connections of your mentor. They can help you form relationships that lead to opportunities for growth and development for your career and your business.
What is the best place to look for a business mentor?
Online coaching is a fairly new and innovative concept, and it can be a great way to learn and grow your business. A coach could be another business owner in another part of the country that has already been through what you’re going through. Maybe they’ve learned something that could help you — or maybe they just know intuitively what you should do to get through your challenges
Online mentoring can be a tremendous help especially for a small business because you’re getting the benefit of another person’s experience. You can ask questions and get answers from someone who has six or seven years of credibility, expertise and experience. It’s like working with that established business owner who you know will give you good advice based on their track record in the market. That can be really valuable when you’re figuring out what you should be doing next in order to grow your business.
Mentors in the workplace
The easiest way to find a business mentor is by talking to people you admire. Hopefully, there are people at your company or in your extended personal or professional network, who you respect and/or admire, yet don’t work with. Everybody wants a business mentor, but nobody is willing to ask. This might seem like an obvious way to find a business mentor, but many people hesitate to ask a coworker or manager for business advice. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere and asking for assistance is not weak or a sign of failure.
To establish mentor relationships, you’ll want to make yourself as visible as possible. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who you look up to professionally—they might be more open than you think! When you see someone at work that you like or respect, find out if they are on LinkedIn. If they are, connect! It’s good practice for later when you want to reach out to them personally for mentorship.
If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, getting an MBA or Master’s degree in business is a great place to start. Taking online classes can give you the skills you need to start your own company while still keeping your day job.
Additionally, when you are in school, take the opportunity to learn from your professors. While your professors are at their best when teaching about subject matter they are experts in, they are often able to provide invaluable guidance on issues you might be having with your job search after graduation — for example, an email etiquette issue or how to finesse a tricky phone call. Professors who teach business courses can also be great mentors because they have insider information about what type of businesses are most likely to have internships and full-time job openings during or right after school is over.
In your community
Once you’ve compiled a list of people you know around you or from other sources, start researching those individuals to see if they’re viable candidates. Check out their blogs, social media profiles and generally see if they post content that resonates with you or your business. Then reach out to them and see if they will spend time mentoring you. If you’re feeling bold, consider asking them in person during a networking event or coffee meeting.
Once you’ve found some people you can connect with via social media, especially those with shared skills and knowledge, be sure to follow up. The point of social media is to make connections, not make them passive. Don’t contact someone once every month or even once a year. To stand out, send them a LinkedIn connection request regularly–at least once a quarter. The same holds true for joining groups where you may find potential mentees. Reply to their comments and ask questions when applicable. Be consistent with your online networking and you’ll see the payoff in the form of leads and maybe even new business opportunities!
Business mentors are not just for start-up ideas, they are for every business even if you have been doing it for a long time. At the end we will realize that we need more than one mentor in our lives and in different areas.
We all need a mentor to help us in establishing our goals in life. The importance of a mentor in business cannot be overemphasized in the current society because we have a lot of mentors at work places, home, online and classes etc. who can help us get to where we wish to get.
We all need mentors. Without them, we are left to fend for ourselves with nothing but our own resources and instincts. Mentors provide us with direction and motivation on the journey of life. Business mentors give us an objective view of our business and help us make decisions without worrying too much about the potential consequences. They direct us to the best way to achieve short and long-term goals for business success while making sure we don’t lose focus along the way. So, we need to join with a mentorship program for startups to grow our business in the right way.