Nobody knows your business as you do. But while you learn the ins-and-outs of your company, it’s a lot more challenging to see the forest for the trees. And without outside advice, it’s easy to make mistakes that could cost you both time and money. There’s one solution: find yourself a professional mentor who can help guide your business and steer you clear of costly blunders.
What is a mentor, and why do you need one?
A mentor can help you establish a strong foundation for your business. A mentor will provide crucial insight into the state of your business and what you need to do to reach your goals.
A mentor lends their perspective from the outside by offering advice and guidance in particular aspects of your business. Mentors are typically successful entrepreneurs who have “been there, done that.” They know how to set up a company from scratch, raise capital, and grow it into an empire. Mentors won’t do your work for you, but they will offer strategic advice on how to get there.
How to find a mentor
Finding the right mentor can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You can find an experienced professional through your business network, online or in person.
You might want to start by asking yourself these three questions:
- What are your goals?
- What kind of advice do you need?
- Who is your ideal mentor?
Once you figure out what you need, it’s time to get creative in figuring out how to make it happen. It may take some time and effort, but finding a mentor is worth the investment! Go to conferences and seminars, join a professional organisation like the Chamber of Commerce or SCORE International, or reach out on LinkedIn for recommendations.
Types of professional mentors
Many people confuse a professional mentor with someone managing their career, but they are two different roles. An experienced mentor is someone you look to for advice and guidance in your profession. You may not be able to find a mentor in your field, and this is ok! Another option is to find someone who has faced similar challenges in their profession. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur and want advice, you might speak with a professional facing the same challenges; for example, Krissy Jones is an award-winning entrepreneur and has a wealth of experience under her belt.
Questions to ask before becoming a mentee
Before you start looking for a mentor, the first thing to figure out is, what will you gain from this experience? What do you hope to learn from the person who agrees to mentor you?
There are many reasons someone might want a mentor. Some people are looking for business advice or help with networking, while others seek help with marketing and branding.
You’ll need to think about your needs before finding a mentor. If you want help with your marketing strategy, find someone who knows marketing well. If you need help with branding, look for someone who has experience in that area.
Once you know what kind of help you want, it’s time to ask yourself these three questions:
- How much time can I invest in this relationship?
- Do I have enough money to pay my mentor?
- Am I confident in my abilities as an entrepreneur?
If the answer is “no” to any of those questions, then finding a mentor might not be the best option for now.