Life as an entrepreneur is, to state the obvious, an exciting experience.
However, it also is a great responsibility towards your team members, customers, investors, and most importantly, your family. How to attract the top talent and guide them into achieving great things for the company? What is the right business model that maximizes adoption and revenue? How to grow the company with minimal resources? How to create positive impacts for beneficiary organizations? How to measure and track your progress? How much equity to give for various contributors? How to know you are not making a mistake?
These are all critical questions in your entrepreneurial saga that need the fervent presence of a vested mentor to help you find real-life answers. A vested mentor is someone who has not only “been there, done that,” but who more importantly has interest in your success.
A good business mentor is someone with more entrepreneurial business experience than you, and one who serves as your trusted confidante over an extended period of time. While you as an entrepreneur can benefit tremendously from a mentoring relationship, the benefit a business mentor expects from this relation is accountability and acknowledging their help for your venture. A good mentoring relationship always works in both directions – it can be a Win-Win partnership. A trusted business mentor can provide a clear vision for your business, connect you with potential clients, unbiasedly point out flaws/holes in your business plan, and brainstorm on new ideas with you.
Business mentoring can be defined as a process that greatly enhances the skills of the entrepreneur in their current role and also grooms the entrepreneur to be a mentor in the future. It empowers you to make decisions that define you, your influence and your efficiency. Keeping in mind the following factors will allow you to make the most out your business mentorship.
Define clear goals for you and your venture – Identify the pain points on which you want to get advice from an external expert, and then zero in on the right mentor for the issue. A person who can successfully lead you on cost effectiveness and budget constraints may not be able to enlighten you on the best marketing strategy to adopt. So give shape to your needs or else you will land up with a bad mentor.
Hear, analyze, execute, and live up to the guidance – Mentors who are good at what they do prefer mentees who are willing to grasp and take quick actions from their advice. However, you should know the difference between blind acceptance and thoughtful practice. Comprehend the foundation of the advice and thoroughly implement action items.
Own up to your responsibility and do your homework – Remember, the best mentors are busy people, and wasting their time is something they wouldn’t accept. The best way to reach out to them is by doing thorough homework, getting a clear perspective of the issue at hand and taking small chunks of their time to talk about it. This way, you could make the best out of even the ten minutes you might get with your mentor in private.
Keep in mind the distinction between a mentor, a coach and a friend – If you expect a mentor to tell you what you want to hear, you would probably end up getting disappointed. Remember the difference between a friend and a mentor. While a mentor won’t beat around the bush and directly address the specific situation you are in, a business coach will be focused on helping you with generic skills. The same person can’t be all of these.
Update your mentor on the current scenario and the tasks at hand – Making it clear that you are following through makes a potential mentor more open to assisting you as it is positive feedback on your association.
Reach out to a business mentor who is inspirational, impressive and expert in his/her niche segment. MentorCloud has a connected network of hundreds of mentors who find immense satisfaction in sharing what they gained from the industry. They are more than happy to add value to someone else, and in the process learn about themselves and their own leadership style and influence. Having hassles operating inside a start-up? Need suggestions for perfecting your tasks inside the organization? We are at your service!