A mentor is a figure that imparts advice based on their vast knowledge and experience. For your business to grow, a mentor could be an essential figure to guide you through dilemmas, give you their opinions and thoughts on how to tackle obstacles and in some cases, put you in touch with the right people. Who is a Good Mentor? A good mentor is one that is willing to share their skills, expertise and knowledge, who takes an active interest in your business and gives you constructive feedback. A good mentor is someone who encourages your business to thrive and helps you formulate a plan to take your business forward. How do you find the Right mentor? The Right Mentor could play the role of a Business Consultant, an Experienced Executive or a Personal Coach, or all three in one. Remember to pick the mentor who is most suited to your business needs. Here are the steps to follow maximize the benefits of your mentorship: • Choose a person with experience in your field: As an entrepreneur while you may see yourself as a path breaker or trail blazer, it is important to realize that there have been businesses that have come before you and can offer you invaluable insights. It is also important to choose someone you identify with and think you can build a solid relationship with. If you choose an individual you can trust and look up to, only then will their advice serve to take your business forward • Find a mentor who balances your strengths and weaknesses: Every entrepreneur has strong points and others which need more effort. Find a mentor who balances out your strengths and will be able to, through advice and skills sharing compensate for some of the areas you are not as strong in. E.g. If your strong suit is in analytical thinking and technical knowledge, find a mentor who can be of assistance to your business from the point of view of marketing • Make the Most of your contacts: When starting a business it is key to network and find people who can help take your business forward. Networking and building relationships can take a substantial amount of time and effort on your part. Remember to follow up on the matters you are seeking advice on and also remember to thank your mentor for his/her time and inputs into your company • Ensure your mentorship a two way street: More often than not, your mentor is someone who will be extremely busy and whose time is valuable. By sharing skills and insights that you have with your mentor, you stand to make your relationship with your mentor invaluable on both sides. An ideal mentorship should be a give and take, this will ensure you have a long standing relationship with your mentor. • Be Flexible: Remember your mentor is a person you have chosen because you admire their business acumen, this does not mean that your mentor will be at disposal for advice at any time or juncture. Be flexible to ensure that you do not become a burden to your mentor and remember you don’t have to take all the advice he or she offers but rather you must focus on the new perspectives she/he is able to provide. The right relationship with a mentor can help you brainstorm new ideas, find new ways of funding and grow your business. An important point to note, is as your company grows and expands you too should take the time to mentor a new entrepreneur.
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