mentor

The Importance of a Having a Business Mentor When Starting Up

As an entrepreneur, you have a fierce independent streak. It’s how you got your business off the ground in the first place. However, there will come a time where you hit a wall when it comes to growing your business. When you reach that point in your journey, it’s important to have a business mentor to help. A mentor is anyone in your industry with more experience than you. They don’t necessarily have to be older than you, but they do need to have a deep understanding of your field of work that you don’t quite have yet.

Here are a few reasons why entrepreneurs need business mentors, and how you can find one:

Learn from past mistakes

This is one of the top reasons to have a business mentor. As an entrepreneur, you’re inevitably going to make mistakes, and that’s OK. You should always be adapting and learning, but if you can avoid some common pitfalls, you’ll be ahead of the competition.

Having a business mentor to guide you along the way will help you work smarter, not harder, which should always be your goal.



Cultivate community to really succeed

Entrepreneurs often reference their hustle and grind, in which sleep is a luxury and working all hours is the norm. However, this is a huge mistake for long-term success.

It’s important to be surrounded by like-minded individuals to truly grow your business and achieve your goals. If you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of, you’ll get stuck in an echo chamber. Being around other, more experienced entrepreneurs will inspire you to achieve your dreams, instead of that empty “hustle” that many entrepreneurs constantly find themselves striving for.

Master mindful networking

You know the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? You guessed it; this applies heavily to entrepreneurs.

If you’re not networking, you’re potentially missing out on huge opportunities: Hubspot reports that 85 percent of jobs are filled through face-to-face networking.

Your next business connection, the key to finishing a project or a skilled freelancer is out there, and if you’re not out there with them, they will meet your competition.

This is where your mentor comes in. When you gain a trusted business mentor, you also gain their circle of connections. They can introduce you to important people, get you into events you didn’t have access to before, and show you a new side of entrepreneurship.


Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

How do you find a mentor?

Hearing all the benefits, you’re on board to find yourself a business mentor. Great! However, quality mentors are not just hanging around, waiting for you to message them on LinkedIn.

Here’s how you can start your outreach:

Make sure to demonstrate your value

  • If you don’t have anything valuable to offer a mentor in return, you’re not going to find one. Before pursuing a business mentorship, make sure that your resume is polished and your social media presence is professional
  • Have a plan in mind when approaching a potential mentor, and share your intentions

Reach out to past connections

  • Old bosses or co-workers are great options. If you have an established relationship, a mentorship relationship can naturally follow
  • This is especially helpful if you’ve worked on the same team, so they already have a pre-established understanding of your work ethic. Just make sure you’re not in directly competing fields

Go to networking events frequently

  • If you don’t have any past employers to reach out to, you can find your business mentor at a networking event. By making that effort to put yourself out there, you’ll show them that you and your business are a worthy investment of their time
  • Attending networking events before finding your mentor is also beneficial. Until you find your perfect business fit, you can gain the wisdom of all the people you brush elbows with while networking

Sign up for a mentorship program online

  • There are programs all over the country for entrepreneurs and small business owners who need a mentor. Start your search at the U.S Small Business Administration. You can also search “(Your Area) Startup Mentorship” to find local resources

Moving forward with a business mentor

Finding a mentor is an investment in your business and your personal development. You will avoid common industry pitfalls, excel over your competition and develop important connections. Hopefully, the skills you learn as a mentee will allow your business to flourish, so someday you can pay it forward.

Total
26
Shares
Previous Article
age

The Average Age of a Successful Entrepreneur (and the Benefits of Starting a Business Later in Life)

Next Article
success

4 Steps for Creating Lasting Entrepreneurial Success

Related Posts
metaverse
Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Business Success in the Metaverse 

There’s no hiding from it: The metaverse is coming, and it’s on track to disrupt the world of business as we know it. Championed by newly rebranded Meta (formerly Facebook), the metaverse will be a network of 3D, 360-degree immersive and interactive micro-worlds. These digital spaces are where we will buy products, consume media,  learn...
focus groups
Read More

Build on Metrics by Designing Effective Focus Groups

Click-through rates, purchasing history, engagement rates—such metrics are helpful, but for ultimate success as a brand, you need to get beyond the what of customer behavior and uncover the why.  Focus groups are one of the most effective ways to do that. They allow you to engage your customers in conversation and gain valuable qualitative...
entrepreneurs
Read More

Entrepreneurs: How to Focus Ruthlessly and Win in 2022

New and aspiring entrepreneurs often fall victim to impatience and imperfection. When something’s not working perfectly to their standards (or worse, fails), they take it personally and don’t know how to move on to better iterations after the setback. But that’s what startup life is all about. To win, you have to learn how to...
wjr business beat
Read More

WJR Business Beat: Customer Service is King (Episode 350)

On today's Business Beat, Jeff discusses survey results on how underwhelmed people are by customer service these days despite it being the greatest opportunity for small businesses to rise to the top. Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about the survey:   Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings...