Who a mentor is, and how can he help your business
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Who is a mentor?
A mentor has already achieved success, has a few bumps on his way, and can help less experienced people to choose a more accessible way thanks to his knowledge.
A mentor is more than a coach. They use similar tools: working without directives and helping the mentee find the correct answers. They give the rod, not the fish. A coach explains how to achieve goals. The mentor helps the mentee see growth points and develop in different ways.
Another vital difference between a mentor and a coach is that the latter does not necessarily have to be an expert in the same industry as the client.
Why do we need a mentor?
To be able to do something, you have to learn it. There are different ways to learn these skills. I was graduating from college. Or get a job and ask for help from senior colleagues. Some large companies even have mentoring systems.
But there are areas where almost anyone can feel as if they have been thrown into the middle of a lake and not explained how to swim — for example, business. There, knowledge and skills in a multitude of areas are required. Even if one can delegate, one must understand accounting, reporting, and other things beyond the subject matter to cross-check employees. It is complicated because there are no supervisors over the entrepreneur, so no one will tell you what to do next.
Situations, where the businessman will run into a wall that is unclear how to get around, will begin to recur. And this is where the advice of someone who has already dealt with obstacles on their path comes in very handy. The mentor brings his knowledge and helps you take a broader look at what’s happening to find a solution.
This sharing of experience will benefit business beginners who are just testing ideas and don’t have much money. The mentor keeps you from losing money and making unwarranted investments. He has been through all this before and knows the market better.
But even if the business exists not the first day and thrives, it is still not bad to have a person who stimulates growth and sometimes simply gives that support which helps to take up arms and not to turn from the planned way. After all, there will always be a role model in front of your eyes, someone who has succeeded. It is essential that the mentee, or mention, as it is also called, is in an active position. It is not simply the recipient of life’s wisdom. On the contrary, it is on his shoulders that the bulk of the work falls. The mentee gives the compass and the map. The mentee outlines the route and follows it.
Why would a mentor help someone become more successful?
The mentor may have a financial interest. The mentor also typically works with mentors who do not have a full-time job and do not have full-time jobs.
The case studies do not reveal any particular program or program type. Mentors often help for free. But they still benefit:
A personal brand and business reputation. Business successes bring fame, but if a person actively helps others, society treats him more loyally. The effect is similar to doing charity, but the mentor develops as an expert.
New experience. Knowledge is not only given but also received. These ventures do not all have the same business path, and their mentors do not have the same business experience.
Repayment of “debt.” Often people believe that if they were once helped, they should repay the same, passing the good along the chain.
Self-affirmation. Knowing that an excellent and successful business grew under your mentorship, no matter how you look at it, warms the soul.
Interest. If a person already has a steady income, he can afford to do something, not for the money but simply because he is curious to see what happens.
What to look for when looking for a mentor
There are several essential criteria.
The mentor must be at least a step or two ahead of the mentee to have something to pass on. Ideally, he should be well-pumped in those skills that mentees lack. Then his expertise will cover the gaps that the mentee has nothing to fill.
Mentor and mentee should not be copies of each other. Otherwise, their work will not be fruitful: the sum of two worldviews is better than one for two. However, in critical issues, it is not harmful to look, as they say, in the same direction. For example, if the mentee wants to build an environmentally friendly business, and for the mentor, profit is more important than environmental protection, they will argue and stand still. However, similar views could quickly reach a consensus and rush toward the goal.
A mentor is, first and foremost, a person who has managed. He works with his mentees without disconnecting from his production.
One of the mentor’s tasks is to inspire and instill confidence that everything will work out. If he is burned out, there is little effect from such cooperation. But this criterion is very subjective, so you have to rely on your feelings.
A good mentor listens much more than he talks. He should not revel in the sound of his voice but ask questions, helping the mentee find answers. And then there are situations where there are no apparent solutions. And it’s vital that in such cases, the mentor doesn’t wash his hands of the situation but analyzes what went wrong and how to fix it.
Where to look for a mentor
There are different ways.
Most likely, the right candidate can be found in your environment or among acquaintances. It is enough to ask around to see if there is a person nearby who could help you.
At industry events
One of the main functions of conferences, round tables, and other gatherings is establishing contacts. From the content of the reports, you can assess the speakers’ expertise, their view of the world, and their energy. Here it is also convenient to walk up to selected people and talk to them.
In thematic communities and social networks
Online events don’t happen every day. But on the Internet, life is buzzing. Business people can always be approached in comments, personal messages, or on social networks.
On special platforms
There are services designed to find mentors, such as thematic Tinder. The benefits of this approach are apparent: Participants declare their intentions right away at the site — some want to share their experiences, while others need a mentor. But it is cooperation on a commercial basis.
What to remember
- A mentor is someone with experience who will not do anything for you. But he will help you go your way, albeit independently, much faster than alone.
- Mentorship can come in handy at any stage of business development because difficulties and new challenges are always encountered.
- The mentor helps not only not so much for the money.
- For mentoring to have an effect, the mentee has to work very hard. The mentor has to work very hard, perhaps even harder than he would if he were working alone.
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