Reasons why entrepreneurs need mentors

Posted on Posted in 2016 Business Opportunities For You, What's Trending Now

 

Does it make sense for entrepreneurs to incorporate mentoring into the business growth process? This is a question many newcomers – as well as corporate veterans – ask themselves on a continual basis as they hash out their upcoming strategic plans.

Right off the top, please note that mentoring has as much to do with personal growth as it does with business growth. If you are worried about greasing the nuts and bolts of your business, you may want to consider having both a personal mentor for personal growth and a business mentor (coach or consultant) with specialized skills to help grow your business.

In either case let’s take a look at the benefits of having a mentor and how it can help you grow as an entrepreneur.

 

1. Sharing wisdom and past experiences
Entrepreneurs love to tap into a mentor’s own business ups and downs. It helps them avoid the very same pitfalls, saving time and money (and aggravation, no doubt).  Similarly, mentors can suggest ideas and systems that are relevant to your situation – provided that you are prepared to take the advice.

In effect, a mentor’s function is to:

  • Push you to become the best leader possible.
  • Improve your decision-making skills.
  • Challenge you and make you a better communicator, and a better entrepreneur.

 

2. Accelerating your development
Instead of struggling through mundane issues without guidance, working with a mentor can get you through the drudgery quickly and keep you on track towards long-term growth.

By sharing time with someone who has faced similar challenges, you will gain a renewed sense of confidence about your business. While some are lucky to have family members to lean on, you may have to access a local network of entrepreneurs and work to find the right matches.

 

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3. Learning the art of acting and thinking like an entrepreneur
Recall the famous Maimonides’ saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

This is exactly what a premium mentor aims for with his student. Most business people can come in as a “fixer” for a specific project or company. However, a mentor’s goal is to transmit skills and wisdom that go beyond the current business environment to help ensure the mentee’s long career, perhaps even one that includes starting and prospering with many different companies.

What does this imply? Passing on critical thinking skills, calculated risk taking, and autonomy – among other elements.

 

4. A built-in support network
In most cases, your mentors will be active entrepreneurs themselves. More importantly, perhaps, they are likely to be part of an entrepreneurship network established by government, the private sector, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or some combination (partnership) thereof.

This means that the mentoring process in effect introduces you to different parts of civil society, business and otherwise. So if and when your current mentor moves on, you can access other experts who can also reinforce a similar mentoring function.

 

5. Connecting with someone you can relate
Although we live in a diverse society and enjoy the company of people from different backgrounds, breaking ground on a new enterprise is sometimes easier if the mentor shares something that makes us comfortable. For example, coming from the same hometown or state, university program of study, ethnic background, etc. are intangibles that can make all the difference in the mentoring experience.

Don’t discount the value of mentoring or dismiss it as something only for businesses in difficulty. These people can make a real difference with something as innocuous as a weekly conversation. Often times, a good mentor can be the difference between making a company go – or not making it go at all.

 

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