If you are about to embark on the adventure of starting your own business or are currently in the throes of having started one, it may be wise to consider getting a business mentor. Whilst a lot of us take pride in the thought of ‘going it alone’, there is no shame in seeking help from someone who has been there before.
So, if you are teetering between whether you should or shouldn’t get one, here are 8 reasons why you definitely should.
- Mentors Have The Knowledge That You Perhaps Don’t Have
The chances are as you manoeuvre your way through being a first time entrepreneur there will be things that you aren’t necessarily as clued up on as you would like. A mentor can provide you with useful insights into starting up a business; whether that may be flaws within your business plan or the best way in which to budget – these small gold nuggets of information will allow your start-up journey to tick a long quicker than if you soldiered on alone.
- Mentors Can Be used As A Sounding Board
There is a high chance your friends and family may be getting slightly tired of hearing you talk about your business ideas and innovations, so who better to use as a sounding board to bounce ideas off than your business mentor. ‘The key here is ‘bouncing ideas off’ as you know you will be getting something back from them. They will hear your idea and perhaps give you another perspective or equally tell you if it isn’t a good idea. Their guidance can nurture some potentially fantastic ideas and stimulate your company’s growth.
- Mentors Can Connect You To Others
Mentors can also be considered as ‘connectors’. Mentors can link you to those who could really allow your business to flourish; whether that’s investors, people with expert skill and knowledge within your industry or potential partnerships, your mentor could give your business a whole new meaning of life just through the people that they connect you with.
- Mentors Can Share Their Past Mistakes With You
Everyone is human. The great thing about mistakes is being able to learn from them, but also being able to warn others of the pitfalls that led you to fall into them in the first place. Your mentor will only be too familiar with their past mistakes and won’t want you or your business to share the same misfortunes they have.
- Mentors Are disciplinarians
Everyone needs discipline in order to achieve success and your mentor can set you goals that will enable you to do this. The boundaries in which your mentor carves out for you in order to achieve these goals will make your focus sharper and your work ethic stronger. A bit of tough love and a couple of reality checks in your quest to reaching those goals goes a long way…
- A Mentor Can Be Someone You Can Trust
It’s difficult knowing whom you can trust and whom you can rely on in business, so having that ‘go-to’ person in the form of your business mentor is a real saving grace. They are personally invested as opposed to formally invested with a stake in your business so will act as an objective third party; happy to offer advice and guidance when it’s needed.
- A Mentor Will Give You Tough Love
It’s very easy to let your dreams get carried away with you and sometimes a bit of tough love to bring you back down to earth is exactly what you need to hear. You may not listen to your friends or family, but you hopefully will from your business mentor someone who has been there before you and has you and your businesses’ interests at heart.
- A Mentor Can Reassure You
Just as your dreams can get carried away with you, your self-doubt can also engulf you and so you will have days or weeks where you think you may not be able to do it. Your mentor should be someone who will reassure you of your capabilities and instil confidence into your ideas and visions for your business.
There is no shame in finding a good mentor. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs you know had one, be it Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg or Apple’s Steve Jobs. Whilst we have all been told the road to success can be a bumpy one, having a good mentor can sure as hell make your journey on the way up a smoother one…
Twenty Mile Club