Today in the world of business, many small business owners are more interested in finding a co-founder to share responsibilities and bolster notoriety than a mentor. The other option that some small business owners explore is purchasing books, podcasts, and classes. These are helpful, but are much more beneficial alongside a personal business mentor. Mentors offer valuable insight from their personal experiences and gained business wisdom. Some believe that entrepreneurs should follow their own instincts to attain success. Some of the biggest names in technology had mentors. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, was mentored by Steve Jobs. In a positive mentoring relationship, a vetted business owner meets with new or potential business owners to offer guidance and boost morale.
Here are 7 Reasons to choose a Business Mentor.
Time is money. The only way to gain experience is through time. As a new business owner, reading a book offers insight that is merely theory. An experienced owner will share what they have learned over time that is tailored toward your specific industry. A business mentorship offers intimate details of lessons learned from the experienced business owner to the new entrepreneur.
As a new entrepreneur, you may ask questions and share concerns with those closest to you. Whatever the struggle, you may share it with family and friends. In turn, they may offer advice. But, their advice would be limited, since they lack experience. A seasoned business owner will be able to answer those questions from a place of experience and offer support. You will also know and understand that you are not alone.
A mentor can open doors to new opportunities that allow networking. A true mentor will offer support by introducing you to others that can offer support, guidance, and possibly invest your business. The new connections could also become new members in your entrepreneurial toolbox to assist in problem-solving along your business journey. For example, your mentor may mentor another mentee just graduating from college. As a mentee, you may have shared needing a position filled at your company. Your mentor may connect you with the other mentee and this would help each of you achieve your goal.
Being confident as a business owner is needed to be successful. A mentor serves as a sounding board for ideas and frustrations. As a new entrepreneur, it is not wise to share problems, concerns, frustrations with partners, customers, or investors. Your mentor can offer assurance and encouragement that you will make it through your struggles and begin to see them as opportunities. This reassurance can strengthen the new entrepreneur’s self-confidence. This reassurance can ensure success.
Mentorships are a way for the mentor to give back. Mentors benefit from the collaborative learning from the experiences with their mentees. As they say, “each one, teach one”. As a mentor helps the mentee, the sharing of strategies also strengthens them for the mentor. The mentor may also learn new strategies from their mentee.
Mentorships assist with allowing your business to survive. Statistics show that a small percentage of new businesses do not last longer than two years. Half of all new businesses do not last beyond five years. A mentor can assist mentees with avoiding business pitfalls that could lead to business failure.
An entrepreneur needs to be able to make objective decisions. A seasoned mentor will offer guidance to teach the mentee how to view them as business decisions and not personal decisions. An entrepreneur also needs to have emotional intelligence to create empathy when thinking of clients or customers.