Entrepreneurs know how exciting it is to bring a new idea to life. Yet, however great the idea, they may not know how to develop it into a working business model to generate revenue. That’s where a mentor comes in. Over the years, we’ve had several mentors who have been an integral part of our success and taught us invaluable lessons that helped us avoid poor business decisions.
Mentees aren’t the only ones supported by a mentoring relationship, either. We mentor small business owners and find the work incredibly satisfying. Becoming mentors ourselves has enabled us to continue to grow as business owners as we advise our mentees on their pain points. It has helped us continue to learn, grow and improve our own processes.
The following list offers six reasons why new business owners should seek out a mentor:
Mentors offer a plethora of information
We had no idea what was involved in running a business when we first started. If we’d had a mentor from the beginning, we could have avoided expensive mistakes. Finding mentors later on in the process was essential to our growth and helped us avoid costly mistakes when it came to negotiating a lease and budgeting, for example.
Mentors help you improve
Mentors are really good at seeing what you can’t and providing essential perspective and insight. We didn’t want someone to give us a false sense of confidence if there were areas in which we were falling short. Being shown areas where you can improve is a priceless gift your mentor can give you.
Mentors support personal and professional growth
“Know thyself” is a classic proverb, and a mentor can help you better understand yourself. Our mentors would pose questions and ask us to come back with several different answers. They also helped us set goals to give us something to strive for and to see how dedicated we were to the process of building our business.
Mentors push you to do more
There were times when we wanted to quit. If we didn’t have mentors along the way, we may have given up. However, we had dedicated mentors who encouraged us, and their guidance made us feel like we could build the business of our dreams. Mentors not only provide moral support, but they may also be able to facilitate networking connections to move your business forward, too.
Mentors provide honest feedback
When we started out, we had so many ideas for types of businesses to start. Our mentors helped us to see what could and couldn’t work for us. It was brutally honest, but it helped us understand we needed to focus 100% on one idea in order to make it successful.
Mentors help prevent you from making easily identified mistakes
Mentors have made their own mistakes and are willing to share them, so you don’t end up repeating them. Our mentors were transparent about the situations they wished they’d handled differently. We used that transparency to learn from them and avoided repeating common business mistakes.
While every entrepreneur experiences the journey in his or her own manner, the challenges and perspectives a mentor can offer have many positive, long-term effects. Take the lessons we’ve learned, and find a mentor who will change your life.