Striking out on your own can be rather intimidating, to say the least. If you’re about to take your first steps in starting a small business, seeking out the council and guidance of mentors is one of the best things you can do. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes, from family and friends, to teachers and bosses. Working side by side with those who have struggled and succeeded in your chosen line of work can be more educational than all the college degrees that can fit on a wall. And if all goes well and your business becomes a success, don’t forget to return the favor by lending a helping hand to those who follow in your footsteps.
As makeup artist and eyebrow expert Suzie Moldavon explains, one of the most rewarding aspects of her business is collaborating with others and teaching them what she knows. Often times, Suzie will be paired with up-and-coming beauticians to assist her on projects, and she relishes the opportunity to help them grow and master their craft. As Suzie has come to appreciate, learning to empower others is really the best way to empower yourself.
Some businesses are inherently more social than others. Nonetheless, take advantage of every opportunity you have to network and mentor those who are just starting out. You can help turn those intimidating hurdles—writing a business plan, the fundraising process or instilling good financial management habits—into surmountable steps for the next generation. The more you help people within your industry, the better you will be regarded by co-workers and customers alike. Ultimately, not only is being a mentor good karma, but it also sharpens your own skills and helps keep you at the top of your game. After all, the assistants of today will be the business partners of tomorrow.