Feedback, Guidance, Advice – On Tap When You Need It Most
We entrepreneurs often find ourselves in a position of needing guidance. This might be for a variety of reasons. It could be that we lack the experience and skills to deal with certain situations. Staffing issues. Difficulties associated with production. Advice on equipment, premises, or legal contracts. Accounts and tax. Marketing and sales. And more.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to be creative, innovative, and adaptable. We’re rather good at building teams, persistent to the point of success being an obsession, and we’re passionate about what we do. We’re also confident about our abilities. The problem is that our high achiever personality traits could sink our businesses.
You see, no matter how much entrepreneurs like to do everything, we simply can’t. It’s impossible to be an expert in every facet of a business. This is why we hire lawyers and accountants, engineers, salespeople, marketers, and so on.
The one area many entrepreneurs neglect is themselves. They take care of their business by hiring the best people to help them, but they don’t consider that they need help, too. For themselves. And not only when they are starting out.
A guiding and steadying hand can help entrepreneurs and business owners remain grounded and make better business decisions. In this article, I explore why every entrepreneur needs a mentor, and how being mentored in business can help you develop your leadership and business performance.
What is the entrepreneur mentor?
The entrepreneur mentor is a person with the knowledge and experience to guide an entrepreneur through startup, growth, and challenging situations. They can be a key advisor to all entrepreneurs, providing guidance on everything from hiring their first employees, developing strategies for funding, marketing, sales, and market penetration.
What is the importance of having a mentor in business?
This is the type of guidance that you simply will not get from family and friends. The advice that only a fellow entrepreneur can give. They will have faced the same types of issues that you are facing, or are likely to face. They’ll help you avoid the pitfalls they learned from, and ensure that all the decisions you make are fully informed.
What is the role of a business mentor?
Okay, so let’s get into a few details that will help you understand why every businessperson needs a mentor. Let’s look at a few ways in which mentorship will help you develop as a business owner.
Mentorship keeps you focused
As a business owner, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of your business, but this isn’t really your job, is it? You need to remain focused on the big picture, the longer-term goals, and the business strategy that will get you there.
A mentor will be able to provide support and guidance in times of need by focusing on what is important for you and your company’s success. They will offer guidance for how to develop your company, what strategies are best, and how to make sure you are focusing on all the right things that will help your business grow.
Mentors help entrepreneurs to develop plans for their businesses. They can provide advice in a variety of areas from how to improve your company’s marketing efforts, to where to find new investors, or how much money should be spent on research and development.
The mentor’s experience and expertise will be invaluable in helping you to shape your business strategy, overcome obstacles, identify opportunities, and reach milestones faster than you would have been able to by going it alone.
Support you through your process
A mentor can complement your skills with their own and give you a unique perspective on the work you are currently doing. They can give you their guidance and support through your process of personal and professional growth. With a mentor’s guidance, you will be more confident when faced with difficult tasks and decisions in your life, such as business goals and decision-making.
Teach you how to think more strategically
With the guidance and advice that you receive from your mentor ─ including providing feedback and pointing out pitfalls ─ your strategic thinking will improve. Forget fighting fires from day to day, you will be developing the strategies that help you build and maintain a sustainable business.
Benefits of having a business mentor
A mentor is someone that has your best interest at heart. They are willing to teach you everything that they have learned throughout their career, which is invaluable to your growth. They will give you different perspectives on certain aspects of your life, garnered from their experience and unique insight into whatever they are mentoring in.
By giving a mentor the opportunity to share their knowledge, you get to learn about how they managed various situations or problems within their own business, and how these experiences can be used to help shape a more successful business in the fullness of time.
Here are six specific reasons why entrepreneurs need mentors:
You have someone to make you accountable
Having a mentor makes you more accountable. If you know that someone is going to hold you accountable for your actions and decisions, then you will be more likely to take those actions and decisions.
You get access to otherwise inaccessible knowledge
Having a business mentor can be an asset to any business. You get access to deeper knowledge and skills that you wouldn’t otherwise have. You learn from someone who has been in your position and knows what it takes to succeed in your specific industry.
An entrepreneur mentor can help you overcome obstacles and navigate tricky situations. There is only so much you can learn from books!
You get an external perspective to support decision-making
Mentors can provide valuable input when you’re making decisions. It may be difficult to figure out what decisions to make in stressful situations. A mentor that has been there before will know what’s best for your industry and can help you produce solutions to problems, so they don’t happen again.
The external and unclouded perspective that a mentor can provide will help to support good decision-making, especially when it means understanding the industry and its intricacies.
You gain new connections
Mentors are important in business because they create a network of contacts for you. A good mentor will introduce you to those connections of theirs who they think will be advantageous to you, and being mentored by a respected entrepreneur should open the door for a wider and deeper network.
You receive reassurance and encouragement
Having a business mentor can make you feel less alone or isolated. You receive reassurance and encouragement from someone who has been in your shoes before, providing you a boost when your self-confidence has taken a knock.
A great benefit of mentoring is that mentors will give insight on how to take the next step with your business, with the insight and experience that will help you to remain positive, giving you constructive feedback on your ideas and advice that helps you succeed.
You realize more opportunities to succeed
As I’ve discussed here, a business mentor has the potential to offer new ways of thinking and an outside perspective on your goals.
They can provide you with valuable information and advice about your approach and your business.
They can help you by giving feedback to improve your weaknesses and build on your strengths and help you to prioritize and remain focused on the big picture.
You’ll have someone to bounce your ideas off.
Package all this, and you’ll develop the sixth sense that will lead to the realization of more opportunities to succeed.
Walk steady toward your goals with a mentoring relationship
Mentorship is one of the most important aspects of the entrepreneurial journey. A mentor will provide feedback, but also help you create a plan for your business and stay focused on your business goals.
A good mentor brings a truckload of experience and knowledge to the table. They will take time to listen to you and understand your needs. While you will develop a close relationship with your mentor, a good mentor will always remain detached to provide feedback, guidance, and advice from an unbiased position that does not suffer from emotional connection or ego.
Mentorships provide a chance for mentees to learn new things, explore opportunities, increase confidence, and improve their skillset.
To learn more about why mentorship is important in business, and explore why you need a business mentor, book me for a consultation.