Why have a Mentor
Why have a mentor, what benefit is a mentor to me?
Having a mentor can give you the competitive edge to stand out from your competition. Having a relationship with someone who can provide knowledge, insight, support, guidance, and one that can even open doors for you will only be of benefit. Mentoring is not new it’s been around as long as humankind themselves, it is a proven to work and continues to do so.
Having a mentor has many advantages when you have a new idea or some stumbling block that arises; having someone as an avenue to bounce ideas off, a hearing ear, or even give you that need push can only be a good thing.
Being new in business means we are inexperienced and have a huge learning curve; often we can flounder getting hung up on minor issues and losing focus on the big picture. A good mentor can help open your mind to new ideas and possibilities, identify opportunities, and how to take the next step. All good reasons as to why have a mentor.
How to choose a business mentor
The greatest benefits to be gained from any mentoring relationship is what the mentor can provide. A good mentor understands and support your goals, and your overall business vision. When looking for a mentor, you ask yourself what you need right now, and what will I need in say 1-5 years time. Are you looking for help in relation to specific aspects of your business? Are you trying to take your business to the next level? Are you looking to develop your business strategy for the next five years?
Having a list of areas you need specific help with and having them in order of priority; these can be:
The list will go on and will be determined by you.
Doing a quick SWOT analysis is a good place to help identify your, strengths and Weaknesses
Read this: Business Planning for Success
You need not go into detail with opportunities and threats but by identifying your own Strengths and Weaknesses will go a long way, in helping with identifying a mentor. It’s also a great tool to use later and share with your mentor.
From your list of weaknesses build on them in order of priority, i.e. can your strengths help you overcome these?
What areas of your business do you struggle with and you feel you need assistance with?
What can a Mentor offer me
A good mentor has been around for a while and will have detailed industry knowledge and also, over the years will have developed a large network of contacts. These contacts can prove invaluable, and they can lead to further opportunities and possible sales network as a supplier or purchaser.
Having been in the industry for a number of years and often learning the hard way a good mentor will have developed good business and life skills including best
Starting out, we lack experiences such as; best business practices, appropriate behaviours, and protocols. A good mentor can even arrange for you to participate in meetings, get work experience enabling you to observe how organisations are structured and operate.
By regularly meeting with your mentor this will provide you with another perspective on your thinking and share in your mentor’s insight will help you grow. You will likely have a vision and sharing your vision with a mentor and tapping into their wider experience can help your visions become reality. A mentor has wisdom gained from the lessons learned from their experiences, both their successes and failures, learning from their wisdom will go a long way to you avoiding pitfalls and see you achieve success
As the owner of your own business, you often do everything; you are the manager, salesperson, purchaser, accountant and more. Doing everything can get very tiring and stressful, while a mentor won’t jump in and do the work for you, they listen and help restore balance. Sharing with your mentor often creates a sense of partnership and knowing you have someone available, that has been there, done that can be a life saver.
Good feedback is invaluable, and a mentor can provide feedback to help improve and to grow personally. Working closely with a mentor they will be observing you and will give you praise but also positive criticism, taking it onboard will help you grow and be a success.
Having a good mentor will also give you a sounding board someone to discuss your points of view, test your ideas.
A good mentor is able to determine your strengths and talents and give you the required support so you can grow and develop, making the most of your abilities.
Having a mentor can be life-changing, finding the right fit is not easy. When think you have found the right fit, spend time with them get to know them and their background. Once you feel there is match, and you both have a mutual understanding, then ask the potential mentor for their guidance. It’s natural to want to help others and a good mentor will recognise you are asking for help. And if your choice doesn’t work out just having someone who listened and shared their experience, can only be of benefit
Remember: Having a mentor is about having a good sounding board, look for someone that reflects your goals, your professional style, and your overall business vision.
About Darren Wilkins
Darren is a semi-retired senior executive and serial entrepreneur who runs a number, of successful businesses both online and offline.
With 30+ years experience in management and as a management consultant Darren has a can-do attitude and offers real practical advice that can be used for any business no matter the size, Darren is using his time focusing on online opportunities and building better businesses.
With global experience managing and directing multimillion-dollar mega construction projects and businesses. Darren has a wealth of practical experience to share and wants to help you and your business.