The old saying goes, “experience is the best teacher”, but what do you do if you don’t have the experience and waiting around to gain it isn’t an option. You find someone who has the experience, tap into their vast knowledge, and learn from them.
To do that, you need a mentor. For new start-ups a mentor can be the difference in failure and success. They can give you an education that isn’t obtainable from a book. In one survey over half the CEOs that were questioned had some form of mentorship early in their career.
When you think of the number of new businesses that fail, it’s scary to jump into the entrepreneurial waters. Learning from your mistakes is all a part of the process, but with a mentor you can skip heartache, by learning from theirs. They have been down this road, and they know what it takes to create a thriving business.
One of the best reasons to use a mentor are the connections you can make. Think about it, a successful businessman takes the time to invest in you and your company. They don’t want to see you fail. They’ve got numerous resources they have worked to amass and will be more than willing to give you access to that! Again, they want to see you succeed, don’t be afraid to ask for those connections.
Making connections on your own can take time, but having a mentor gives you almost immediate access to a large network that others don’t have. It is key to being successful.
One thing you need to do now before you take that first step to getting a mentor is to make sure you show your worth. Remember, these are busy men and women, and you are asking for one of their most valuable resources, and that is their time. So for them to want to mentor you, you need to show that you are worth mentoring. Take the time to clean things up. The most obvious is your resume, but one thing you might not think about is your social media presence. Make sure you look good to any potential time investor. Get all your ducks in a row.
Mentors bring with them one thing you’ll need most. Encouragement. When you’re going it on your own, it can be stressful and overwhelming. A mentor can offer words of encouragement as they guide you along and those are invaluable. It’s easy to give up when you’re down. So having someone to reach out to, can prove to be a lifesaver for your company.
Another great example of why you need a mentor is that they bring with them different skill sets. If you’re like most people, you’re strong in some areas while other areas are lacking. Choose a mentor that can balance out those weaknesses and give you expert advice. Remember, business is strategy and you need to take advantage of everything you can that will help you grow. Think of the mentor as part of your team and find one that fills the holes of what you are lacking so not only you but others on your team can learn from them.
Remember, don’t just use your mentor, build a relationship with them. If you do that, they will be around a long time. You’ll go to them again and again, even after you feel you’ve gained your footing. A trusted friend is hard to find, so don’t let the relationship building go by the wayside.
These are just some reasons you will need a mentor. If you continue to follow us here on the blog and on our newsletter, you’ll see even more what having a business mentor is all about and why they are so important. Take the time now to sign up for the newsletter so you will stay informed.