Three Reasons Why Behind Every Great Entrepreneur There is a Great Mentor
By Luz María de la Mora Sánchez, Founder, Vital Voices Mexico
There’s a saying that “behind every great man, there’s a great woman,” and without a doubt, behind every great entrepreneur there’s a great mentor. One of the most effective ways to develop and grow a business is by seeking the advice of a mentor who has lived through the good, the bad, and the ugly of the entrpereneurial life, and who is willing to share his/her knowledge with less experienced entreprenueurs to make their business experience easier.
By establishing a personalized relationship, mentoring allows a successful entrepreneur to share the experience that he/she has acquired in a particular area with another entrepreneur with less experience. The entrepreneur will benefit from knowledge that will permit her to make better informed decisions and allow her business to grow much faster.
The benefits of participating in mentoring are many but in order to ensure that you’ll get the most out of the time invested; you’ll need to know what you hope to get out of it. Establishing a mentoring relationship without knowing what you need from it or want may end up being not only a waste of your time but also of your mentor and it could lead to burning a bridge that could have eventually made a difference in the development of your business. Additionally, not all mentors are equally suited to all entrepreneurs. A good piece of advice would be to approach different mentors who can offer you their experience at the various stages of the development of their business.
Below we describe how a mentoring relationship can help your business grow and take off.
1.Opportunity for reflection
A mentoring relationship can help verbalize a problem, identify its root, come up with options and define lines of action, since it offers us an opportunity to reflect. Having a dialogue with a mentor helps you gain perspective and get a sense of the topic, which allows you to make better decisions. This opportunity will not only allow you to reflect; it will also give you a chance to solve any doubts and to be truthful without fear of being judged or criticized.
Tip: Before becoming involved in a mentorship process, identify the area you want to work on and focus your mentoring relationship on it.
2.You won’t be alone
We all know that an entrepreneurs’ path can be a lonely one. Being able to count on a mentor is having the support of someone who is at your side and who accompanies you in the process of establishing and developing your business, especially at key decision points. Your mentor can also help you reflect in order to find your own answers, while considering your goals and possibilities. A mentor won’t give you the solution to your problems nor will he/she tell you what path to follow; he/she is not a psychologist or a business coach. Instead, he/she will help you come up with your own answers. In the end, the responsibility for decisions is yours alone, but your decisions will be better informed.
Tip: Identify the type of mentor that could best accompany you in order to help you with the topic that you need to work on.
3. They can help you extend your network
A mentor will never know everything, nor will he/she be able to orient you about every aspect that you might want to know about. However, he/she can share with you his/her network of contacts and introduce you to them so that you can have access to seasoned people who are willing to share their knowledge on specific topics with you. This will pave the way and will give you a powerful tool to grow your business.
Tip: Identify whom it would be useful for you to meet in order to grow your business and don’t hesitate on asking your mentor on contacting them. If your mentor doesn’t know him/her, then there will be someone in her network of contacts who could make that happen for you. It’s all about networking.
It is very common to see our time being consumed with urgent matters, to the point where we think we can’t find time on our calendars to work with a mentor. Whether the mentorship lasts a single session or a longer period, the ideal situation would be that the growth of the business is accompanied by a mentoring process, since doing so will allow you to reduce risk and unnecessary costs. Being able to hear from the experiences of another entrepreneur will not only let you be better prepared and informed to make decisions, but it will also help you avoid costly mistakes.
Involving yourself in the mentoring sessions offered by WeXchange may be the best business decision that you make, as it will expose you to a vision that you won’t find in books or on the Internet and it will provide you with a personally and professionally enriching experience.