How To Find A Business Mentor Who Is Going To Take You To The Next Level
Every successful entrepreneur, artist, athlete, and teacher has something in common. They can all identify at least one person who has had a positive influence on their lives.
Having a strong mentor is essential for success no matter what business you’re in, what kind of profession you’re pursuing, or who you are. But where do you start? In this article, we will give you some hints and tips on how to find a business mentor.
While most young, ambitious entrepreneurs understand the importance of this notion for their success, they typically struggle to find a business mentor. Our digital environment has brought us closer than ever before in many respects, but it has also made connecting more difficult than it was for past generations.
What Is A Business Mentor’s Role?
A mentor is someone who has extensive expertise and knowledge in a specific area and is willing to share that knowledge and expertise with you.
They have skills that you must learn in order to succeed. Mentorships are commonly perceived as a one-way street in which an experienced entrepreneur gives advice to a younger one just for the purpose of delivering it, but this is rarely the case.
Why Should I Look For A Mentor?
Entrepreneurs require mentors more than other professionals because entrepreneurship is extremely hard to teach professionally. There are simply too many variables and characteristics that may vary from industry to industry and from entrepreneur to entrepreneur.
Here are six critical ways a mentor might help a young entrepreneur:
Providing current information to compensate for the mentee’s lack of experience
Listening to complaints and concerns
Offering a different viewpoint on problem-solving and processes
Improving the mentee’s soft skills
Connecting with a wider and more robust network
As you can see, passively learning all of the information in a classroom setting would be challenging.
The best way to learn more about entrepreneurship is to get out there and do it for yourself yet doing so isn’t always the most efficient way to learn.
Young entrepreneurs are discouraged by the reality that the path from novice to expert needs numerous mistakes and pitfalls.
This is why the advice of a trusted mentor is so vital. They’ve already graduated from the school of hard knocks and can give you the counsel they wish they’d heard when they were starting out. They offer one-on-one help that traditional education cannot. Without a doubt, empathy is the secret weapon that drives the most effective mentorships.
What to Look For In A Mentor
Because each mentor is unique, your goal should be more than just finding a mentor. That’s like setting a goal of buying a car this week. What precisely does this mean? Do you wish to purchase a Honda Civic, a tiny, inexpensive car with a dependable engine? Is it your intention to purchase a high-performance vehicle, such as an Audi R8, which will cost you a lot more money?
That decision will be based on your individual needs and goals. If all you need is a dependable vehicle to transport you to and from work, the Civic might be the best choice. The Audi, on the other hand, is a better option if you want to make a major investment in a vehicle that offers modern technology while also making a statement about your lifestyle.
Likewise, you must pick a mentor who is a good fit for you and your business.
Someone with the experience you need, the skills you require, and the same vision as you. Someone who will challenge you when you need it and who will be there for you when you need it the most. It is never necessary for them to work in the same industry.
Above all, your mentor should be a great instructor who communicates in a way that you can understand. A knowledgeable business leader can have all the information in the world, but it’s meaningless if they can’t teach it in a way that allows the mentee to remember it.
How To Find A Mentor Who Is Right For You
The first step in this process is to determine exactly what you want in a mentor. Keep the following questions in mind as you begin to put together a profile:
What skills will I need?
What procedures do I need to master?
What industries are the most relevant for my mentorship?
What personality type will benefit my mentor the most?
What is the most effective mode of communication?
What can I contribute to this mentoring relationship?
After you’ve written down the qualities and qualifications you’re searching for in a mentor, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what you’re looking for. Returning to the prior example, purchasing a Honda Civic is significantly simpler than purchasing a “vehicle.” The first search would be confined to a small number of cars that could be easily compared, whereas the second search would open up a Pandora’s Box of alternatives that could easily overwhelm you.
Now that you have your mentor profile, you can start looking for people that are a good fit for you. Here are five of the most efficient ways to connect with mentors:
The number of formal mentorship programmes and firms that connect new entrepreneurs with experienced mentors has recently increased significantly. For many early-stage entrepreneurs, this is the most direct and straightforward approach to contacting a mentor.
There are essentially two sorts of mentorship programmes available. The first is official programmes that charge a fee to connect entrepreneurs with personal mentors, such as risewib.com and meetamentor.co.uk. Another alternative is to use an incubator, such as seedcamp.com. Incubators and small company programmes with resources suited to your area are widespread on a local level.
Meet-A-Mentor, a branch of the London Java Community, has been established since 2007. Barry Cranford developed Meet a Mentor with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and business by aiding students and entrepreneurs who are just starting out.
It has since expanded to embrace all levels of the industry. Barry recognised and addressed a deeper need for participatory communication and career discussions. Meet a Mentor who connects CTOs, engineers, and senior developers to a network of experienced experts.
Examine the speaker line-ups for these events to see how you might make the most of them. Meet-A-Mentor attracts well-known entrepreneurs, so look around to see if there’s anybody there you’d like to have as a mentor.
LinkedIn is another platform created with working professionals in mind. You can start networking with possible mentors as soon as your profile is up and running.
LinkedIn is successful because it leverages the power of referrals. You can discover whether you and your possible mentor have any mutual contacts and whether you can be acquainted.
It’s human nature to appreciate a friend’s advice over anything else. Being able to introduce yourself via a mutual acquaintance will earn you significantly more attention than other types of outreach.
Using LinkedIn’s “Advanced” option, you may even narrow down your list of possible mentors by industry, geography, school, and other criteria. After that, you can make a list of potential mentors with whom you can communicate. Even if it’s only your second or third link, it means you’ll be able to expand your professional network even more.
We are sometimes so focused on finding a high-profile mentor that we ignore the possible mentors who are already in our life. Meeting a high-profile entrepreneur such as Richard Branson or Peter Jones could be amazing. But are those people compatible with your personality and priorities? Probably not.
Don’t underestimate the importance of quality mentoring from someone with a modest profile but who is incredibly effective and competent. These possible mentors who are already familiar with you and with whom you share common interests can have the most influence because their advice allows you to get up and running quickly.