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All you need to know about ‘Business Mentors’

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The presence of a business mentor won't ensure magical solutions to all the problems overnight

A business mentor, in plain and simple words, is an entrepreneur, who guides another individual by sharing his/her entrepreneurial experience. Business mentors act as a support network to combat challenges faced by the mentees on their entrepreneurial journey, apart from helping them develop the skills they need to be successful.

The tips given by a business mentor are based on his/her own knowledge and experience, which is extremely valuable in the sense that they share the wayouts to conquer the challenges they themselves have faced in their lifetime.

Business mentoring often results in fruitful conversations between the mentor and the mentee, where both persons exchange their perspectives and tactics. And mentees are not mandatorily the newbies in the world of business. Sometimes they can be even experienced entrepreneurs seeking out advice and guidance from their industry peers.

Mentoring can either take the form of a one-on-one relationship or a mentoring circle within an organisation. Whatever the form is, a mentoring session can only be considered successful if it involves two-way learning and reciprocation.

Mentors help professionals feel more engaged, derive more meaning from their careers, and grow their businesses. According to one survey, 70% of small business owners who receive mentoring make it through the first five years of business, a rate twice as high as those who do not receive mentoring.

How To Find Mentors?

The first option is to check your industry circle. Make a list of successful business owners, do a detailed study of their success recipes and see if you are looking for similar approaches to ensure the growth of your business. A good medium to find such personalities is LinkedIn.

Investigate contacts within your specific industry. This suggestion may seem counterintuitive for competitive reasons. However, experienced professionals passionate about their field often offer mentorship services to other small business owners in the same industry.

For women entrepreneurs, there is a very good example in the United States in the form of the Pink Mentor Network, a mentorship community-based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Make a short list of potential mentor candidates and see to what extent your personalities and viewpoints align. You can even arrange informal meetings with them to discuss your goals and business trajectory, before officially asking one of them to be your mentor.

Still wondering why you need a business mentor? This article will clear the air.

Showing The Mirror

You might be too confident about taking a business call, which you believe if implemented properly, will fetch you success, but in reality, may be the worst call you are about to take (in others’ opinion). Maybe you don’t have this habit of listening to others.

That’s where a business mentor will come in handy, in terms of showing the mirror and telling what is going wrong with you. A great mentor will challenge your preconceived notions and encourage you to have a flexible approach towards things. He/she will listen to your business ideas, while at the same time, the person will question some or most of the points associated with your idea. The person will even use data, case studies and stats to prove his/her points right. You will be forced to think differently. In the end, it will only help your ability to make “Informed Decisions.”

Providing Access To ‘Sphere Of Influence’

A mentor can guide you towards a large network of industry connections, which can later come in handy for you, in terms of expanding your business footprint and prospects. There are high chances that you will find more distributors, potential customers and new vendors. The bigger your sphere of influence gets, the better things become for your business’ growth.

Helps You To Understand The Value Of Time

The mentor-mentee relationship at the end of the day is a formal one. Remember, your mentor is also having a successful venture of his/her own. For the person, every meeting with you has to be a productive one. So the mentor-mentee relationship also helps you to understand the fact: time is money. Every meeting that happens between you and your mentor, in order to be successful, must have a pre-decided set of parameters like times, dates, and agenda items, so they can be efficiently conducted.

Remember, the mentor-mentee meeting is just like any other client/board meeting, in a less formal way.

Will Be With You Throughout The Journey

It’s important to have a cheerleader in our corner, especially when running a successful small business. The right mentor genuinely wants you to succeed, encourages you during your lows, and celebrates your highs.

Also, the presence of a business mentor won’t ensure magical solutions to all the problems overnight. A brilliant mentor will make sure that the mentee is putting in the required efforts to make sure that the business is becoming a lucrative one.

The mentor will also discuss with the mentee regarding the progress on the business goals, while setting the accountability.

“Having someone hold you accountable for your own success is important because it motivates you, even on the days you don’t want to face the world,” AllBusiness continued further.

Will Share Their Own Experiences

Every successful business mentor is a treasure trove of learning, learning about successes and failures. How it helps a mentee? Well, the chances of the person landing in similar situations (mostly tough ones) that the mentor faced during his/her early years in the industry are always high. In that scenario, a business mentor will step in as a guide to help the mentee sail through those tough moments by sharing survival tips.

Learning from others’ mistakes can be invaluable. Who wouldn’t want to shorten the learning curve when it comes to building a small business? In most cases, a mentor is older, wiser, and has years of business experience. With this experience comes stories of both great success and tough failures. Having honest and vulnerable conversations with your mentor will help guide your future business decisions.

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