How do successful entrepreneurs, athletes, teachers, and artists share a common denominator? They can recall at least one mentor who influenced their growth. The value of a great mentor cannot be emphasized, regardless of your profession, personality, or goals.
While most young, ambitious entrepreneurs recognize the significance of a business mentor, they often struggle to find one. Internet technology has brought us closer than ever before, but it has also made connecting more difficult.
This lesson will teach you to pick a business mentor using traditional and modern ways. In an ideal world, you’d want a mentor who understands your company inside and out.
Why Do You Need a Business Coach?
A mentor is just someone who has more experience and expertise in a certain field than you have. To succeed, you need to learn these talents from them. However, despite the perception that mentorships are a one-way highway, this is rarely the case. The mentorship process is often mutually beneficial to both parties.
An abundance of hope for growth should characterize mentoring relationships. If both partners learn from each other, all of the boats in a relationship are lifted by the rising tide.
What’s the Purpose of a Mentor?
It’s practically hard to educate entrepreneurship professionally. Thus founders require mentors more than other experts. Industries and sole entrepreneurs can all have their own unique set of variables and considerations.
- The following are 6 of the most common ways a mentor may assist new business owners:
- Don’t let the mentor’s lack of experience stop you from teaching them anything new!
- Assisting people in voicing their issues and grievances
- Change the way you approach problem-solving and the techniques you use
- Developing the mentee’s interpersonal abilities.
- Larger and more powerful network connections
- Inspiring others to take chances
It would be impossible to sit in a classroom and passively absorb all of it. Even if doing is the greatest way to learn about entrepreneurship, it is not the most efficient way to do it since you have to get out there and do it yourself. There are a lot of mistakes and hazards to be made along the road from novice to expert, which discourages budding entrepreneurs.
It is why having a mentor that you can rely on is so valuable. Those who have been there and done that may give you the kind of advice they wished they had at the beginning of their careers. There is no substitute for the one-on-one attention that non-formal education can offer. Empathy is, without a doubt, the hidden weapon of the most effective mentorships.
The Qualities of a Good Mentor
Your objective should not be to locate a mentor but rather to identify the right mentor for you. For example, it is like saying that you want to buy a car this week. I have no idea. Want to buy a Honda Civic or another tiny, budget-friendly car with a dependable engine? Instead, your goal may be to acquire an Audi R8 with a considerably greater price tag, such as an Aston Martin Vanquish.
It is up to you to decide what’s best for you. The Civic is a good option if you need a car to depend on to get you to work and back. Suppose you want to spend a significant amount of money on a vehicle that offers cutting-edge technology while still conveying an image of your flair. In that case, the Audi is the superior choice.
If you want to succeed in your startup, you’ll need to locate a mentor who’s right for you. Someone who possesses the knowledge and abilities you lack, as well as the clear vision you share. Someone who can both push you when you need it and be there for you when you don’t. It’s not a need, but it’s nice if they come from the same field.
Most essential, your mentor should be an excellent instructor who speaks in a language and a tone that you understand. As long as a business owner can impart their wisdom in a way that allows their protégé to retain it, their expertise is of little use.
How to Identify a Mentor Who Fits Your Personality Type
As you begin this process, you need to figure out exactly what you want in a mentor. As you begin to create your profile, ask yourself the following questions:
- What knowledge and abilities do I require?
- There are a lot of things I need to learn.
- What are the most important fields in which I can provide mentoring?
- My mentor’s personality type is a question I’m constantly asked.
- It’s time to figure out the best way to communicate.
- What can I bring to the table as a mentor?
To better understand what you’re searching for in a mentor, write down the traits and qualifications you’re looking for. Using the Honda Civic as an example, shopping for a “vehicle” is far more difficult than it is for a Honda Civic. The second search would reveal Pandora’s Box of alternatives that may quickly overwhelm you, but the first search would have a restricted number of automobiles, and it would be easy to compare them.
Once you’ve created your mentor profile, it’s time to start looking for people who are a good fit. You can get in touch with mentors in the following five ways:
In recent years, formal mentoring programs and businesses have increased, connecting aspiring entrepreneurs with seasoned mentors. With this method, early-stage entrepreneurs may get in touch with mentors more quickly and easily.
In terms of mentorship programs, there are essentially two sorts of options. Formal programs like Coach.me and The Muse, which link entrepreneurs with personal mentors for a fee, are the first step in the process of finding a mentor. An incubator like Y Combinator or AngelsCube allows members to work on their ideas full-time and receive mentorship in exchange for shares in the company. Incubators and small company initiatives tailored to your region may frequently be found at the local level.
Entrepreneurs may use this platform to locate and connect with other entrepreneurs in their area. Meetup hosts tens of thousands of digital and live events every day, making it an effective tool for creating new contacts.
Examine the roster of speakers to develop a game plan for these gatherings. If you’re looking for a mentor, you might want to check out a meetup group, which regularly brings in high-profile entrepreneurs to talk.
This type of networking may be as simple as purchasing a ticket and interacting with the speaker after the event. Still, by offering to assist at the event, you can develop your ambitious brand of entrepreneurship from the start.
LinkedIn is another social media site tailored to the needs of professionals on the go. You may begin networking with possible mentors when your profile is up and running.
LinkedIn’s biggest asset is the recommendation. You can find out whether you and your possible mentor have mutual contacts and if you can be acquainted.
We’re predisposed to trust suggestions from individuals we trust. Being introduced by a mutual friend is far more successful than any other outreached method.
Using LinkedIn’s “Advanced” feature, you may filter potential mentors by industry, area, or school. After that, you’ll have a list of mentors to contact. You get to expand your professional network even more, even if it’s a second or third link.
You and the People You Know
Often, we ignore the numerous potential mentors we already have in our lives. Meeting a famous entrepreneur like Richard Branson or Tim Ferriss would be incredible. But do they match your priorities and style? Doubtful.
Mentorship from someone with a lower profile but successful and knowledgeable should not be underestimated. Having a mentor who understands you and shares your interests may be the best approach to start a new profession or career.
Using this strategy to select a mentor ensures you’ll get honest feedback. Because having an experienced or educated network colleague assist you has so many benefits, be sure they aren’t reluctant to provide you constructive comments.
It is one of the least productive ways to locate a business mentor. However, if you’ve tried everything else and still can’t get in touch with a possible mentor, you may want to try an email pitch.
As it turns out, the most prominent entrepreneurs receive hundreds of requests for assistance and mentorship every day. It’s difficult to stand out in this sea of requests and much more difficult to avoid annoyance if you get noticed.
Cold emailing may be effective if you utilize a service like Hunter or Yesware to get the greatest possible contact information. Press releases and other firm papers that could include information on your mentor candidate can be found using Google.
Make sure you have something of worth to give them before contacting them. Mentioning them in a blog post or Medium piece is a simple way. Send them an email or tweet after it’s been published and has had a chance to get some attention.
To begin a connection, it’s important to stress the qualities of their profession that you admire. Your plea for mentorship may not go over well, but at least you’ve proven yourself to be a competent entrepreneur who can add value.
Targeted Mentorship Is Best
Whether you meet your potential mentor at an industry event or send a cold email, it’s crucial to ask for specific guidance right away. Asking a well-known marketing professional for aid with your ad campaign is one example.
Thank them once you’ve effectively gotten the person’s time and wisdom. Tell them how you used their advice, and ask if you can contact them again in the future. A gradual approach will reduce intimidation and increase the likelihood of a yes.
Don’t be afraid to tell them how well their advice worked for you. You’re not bothering them since you’re thanking them for their contribution to your success. Why wouldn’t you ask how their counsel worked out?
The mentor-mentee bond will deepen over time. You’ll be able to get the correct advice at the right time since you’ll know the individuals involved.
Entrepreneurs today have several eLearning options at their disposal to learn new skills and methodologies. We believe that taking high-impact courses and working closely with a mentor is the fastest method to achieve your goals.
Our online business courses provide advice from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. These courses can help you establish a million-strong social media following or enhance your ad copy.
Digital classes are fantastic because you can customize your learning experience. If you’re a morning person, you may work on your course every day before dawn. Even if you don’t go outside throughout the winter, you may make up for it by going out when it’s coldest.
Include eLearning in your mentoring program in numerous ways. Imagine what you can achieve when combining your natural abilities with these new skills.