In this current century, research has shown that the most powerful weapon in making a successful business is having a good mentor for your business. Finding the right mentor can sometimes be difficult, especially for new entrepreneurs, if they are trying to do it alone. No matter how resourceful an entrepreneur is, they can only get what they want with a little help, and that's where a startup mentor can help and make things work.
Steve Jobs was a mentor of Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder and CEO, Facebook
Warren Buffet is a mentor of Bill Gates, Founder and Technology Advisor, Microsoft
Sir Freddie Laker is a mentor of Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group.
Your startup mentor is someone who you will be working closely with. A good mentor for your business always serves as an adviser at critical points throughout the year. Thus as a good mentor for your business will make sure to speak for the company at the tables where young entrepreneurs don’t have a seat, like a board meeting, because this is where most of the information or probably decisions about the startup’s future are made. They can also provide guidance on career management and an insider perspective on business, as well as make introductions to key industry contacts.
It does take a bit of time to get to know someone, so don’t discount a relationship too quickly, but pay attention to any cues that could indicate long term conflict. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns or end the relationship. Odds are, you and your startup mentor are both feeling the same way.
Importance Of Mentor In Business
In an aspect of life, we need a mentor to guide us in the right direction. The same is true in the case of any business establishment. It might be a small business but mentors can increase the success rate. Having a good rapport with the mentor is the pivotal point for success. It is a gut instinct that people should be able to know immediately, even if they cannot explain it. Importance of mentor you will understand when they would stop the entrepreneur at the right time from doing something wrong and make sure to utilize the opportunities that lie ahead.
A business mentor works with you and supports you. They are focused on the agenda, discussing your business with you, they also ask questions to broaden your understanding. Mentors listen to you, provide fruitful feedback to you, and bring a diverse perspective to your business. They help and sort out many complex issues of running a business, share their understanding and knowledge. Along with it, they inspire you, motivate, and support you with the experience that they have gathered. There are many benefits of having a mentor, both for the business and personally.
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Here are the following are the criteria you can use to choose a good mentor for your business,
Experience Is Important
It is a must that a mentor should have a greater experience than the entrepreneur and a success record over the years. Thus a mentor should be a career expert. Because somebody has discovered achievement doesn't mean they will readily share it with you.
It’s not about finding a mentor with the most years of experience or the biggest title. It’s about finding a mentor with the knowledge and expertise to help you on your journey.
Sometimes a new entrepreneur needs some constructive criticism or a reality check while at other times they need a high five or pat on the back. A well-chosen startup mentor can provide all of those things. A good mentor should preferably be in the same business area as the start-up to have a better understanding whenever there is a business challenge or concern.
Compatible With You
In the process of searching for a good mentor for your business, start thinking about future prospects and narrow down on successful and admired leaders in the same stream because research has shown that successful business relationships happen when the mentor and mentee are the right matches.
Research shows that the success rates of mentored small businesses as compared to those without a mentor are much better. According to some reports, 70% of mentored businesses survive more than five years which is double the rate for non-mentored small businesses for the same period. The same report shows that 88% of business owners say having a mentor to rely on is ‘priceless’.
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Providing Honest And Helpful Feedback
Mostly as an entrepreneur, you might become overly attached to a business plan or be single-minded as to the best way to achieve your goal. A mentor can help you look past the tunnel vision of your original scope and make you realize the weakness in your model. A different perspective will help you decide to rethink your business module. It may help you see that time has come to upgrade from the outdated system to new technology. Constructive feedback and criticism from your mentor should be welcome as that input can pay you rewards.
Working with a mentor will help to maximize business performance and your performance in the business. With a business mentor, your business result will improve as well as your efficiency and it will utilize your full potential.
A business mentor may not have all the answers, but he/she should able and willing to connect you to people who can help. A good mentor can help you find investors, clients, contractors, or co-founders who will provide valuable services.
Comfortable With You
Research has shown that most entrepreneurs find it difficult to stand the presence of their mentor, thus it is difficult for them to communicate freely with their mentor, which makes things even worse. While choosing a mentor to make sure it's someone likable, someone, who can be freely spoken to about both good and bad experiences to make the business grow and help in business growth. In this way, the mentor would be a neutral party and a great adviser. You don’t want a clone of yourself or your best friend as a mentor. You need diversity to make sure you’re getting a truly different perspective on things.
A business mentor will work as a confidence booster, totally focusing on you, listening to you, and discussing your business. He/she will be there to share your successes and challenges thereby supporting you to achieve your goal. More comfortable he/she is with you will signify your success.
Mentors can help you in many ways in your career. They can help you gain confidence, develop skills in a new job, and even help you get promoted.
Trust is the most important thing as you will be telling things in confidence. The Mentor should also trust you as it will be more successful if the trust is both ways. This mutual trust can get the most out of your relationship. Make some ground rules to avoid some conflicts. After a few meetings, you will know each other better and once trust is established, you will be able to take your business ahead.
It is always advised to seek a mentor who has a strong character and traits that are worth emulating. Also while looking for a good mentor for your business keep in mind that he is caring, someone that will invest in the company’s professional growth and will always speak the truth.
A good mentor is not the one who will agree with everything you say. Importance of mentor will come to know when they should ask the questions which you may not want to hear. Challenge you on your decision, query, and drill you on your intent, which is done with the best interest and intention at heart.
Find a mentor who will give you challenges to improve. You can ask mentor any tough questions. The Mentor should be able to deliver real positive or negative feedback.
Once someone has been identified, be prepared, explain what is expected from the individual and how his insights and expertise might be helpful. Therefore, when the right mentor comes on board, a lot of decisions of the company start falling into place and things become easier for all parties involves. Make efforts to find the right person for the said business and see how the company flourishes.
If you choose a wrong mentor for you business, you can not accelerate your business. Instead, you will set back your career. You should make a plan of action for choosing a mentor for your business. The Mentor should teach you something from your failures. Picking the right mentor can be the most significant professional choice you'll ever make.