Many Hands Make Light Work – The Value of Mentoring
March 15th, 2018
Entrepreneur’s possess a seemingly infinite to-do list; constantly checking things off and adding more to the agenda. In the pursuit of operational perfection, self-development and improvement are often overlooked.
Choosing a mentor is the best way to ensure that you as a business owner continue to grow, learn and progress along with your company.
Begin by accepting the fact that you, in fact, do not know everything. Play up on your strengths and identify your weaknesses, selecting a mentor who compliments those limitations.
Not sure how to find a mentor?
If you don’t have someone in mind, join up with professional or industry groups, attend seminars, and get involved in your community. This is the easiest way to be surrounded with other like-minded entrepreneurs who are generally willing to act as a teacher to other self-starters.
Start by shadowing your selected mentor to get an idea of the day-to-day responsibilities. This is the time to ask questions and take notes, however, be mindful of the fact that they are running a business and generously allowing you to gain valuable experience through their eyes.
As you start up, advice will begin flowing from unexpected outlets- family members, friends, colleagues-everyone will have something to say. A mentor is a great way to help sift through the pile of suggestions, as they have the “been there, done that”.
Business mentors are there to answer questions and provide perspective, but like any other type of coach, they are also there to boost confidence and provide support and encouragement.
Be sure to choose someone who you respect, with similar values and who you feel comfortable with. Go with your gut instinct on this one, and select a mentor who will challenge you to always strive for more.
Additionally, being able to challenge your mentor is how you encourage collaborative learning, allowing your mentor to also gain something from your interactions. If your mentor intimidates you, you will not enjoy the fruits that this symbiotic relationship aims to provide.
Remember that securing a mentor is much like any other acquisition- you must consider the return on investment. The relationship must be constant, the impacts tangible and the developments obvious.