When starting a new business or trying to grow an already existing business, having a mentor can be a favored asset. Mentoring, if done right, is a collaborative and reciprocal act. Both the mentor and the mentee will come out of the experience with improvements and new knowledge. Often between a ‘superior’ and ‘junior’, mentoring is a trusted relationship generally aimed at improving and advancing the professional career of the mentee.
Whether through career development or confidence boosting, the mentor is obtained to help mold and teach the mentee about a specific business or set of skills. The setting can be formal or informal. Formal mentorship programs will set measurable goals that are meant to be achieved. An informal relationship likely takes place with a peer or via e-communication, generally lacking the structure for measurable goals.
The Mentor and the Mentee
A mentor is an expert in their field that has the knowledge to help further the career and development of a mentee. A mentee is an eager learner who is interested in gaining valuable information to help sculpt their passion into a career or move up in their current career path.
Advantages of a Trusted Mentor
There are 2 objectives when getting a mentor: career development and psychosocial boosting. The career related advantages will aid in business development and professional performance, while the psychosocial element will set the mentor as a role model and support system for the mentee. A good mentor will help the mentee be more effective in their field, help formulate a business plan, learn new skills, build confidence, and more.
While you are learning new tactics and developing new skills, your mentor is also taking something away. Each mentee that a mentor takes on helps improve how they will teach their next student.
Kinds of Mentors
Obtaining a mentor does not have to be expensive, nor does it need to be a ‘senior’ mentoring a ‘junior’. There are plenty of free and paid routes an entrepreneur could take to learn the information needed to become successful.
The Trusted Associate
Most of today’s entrepreneurs start off small and with a bang, meaning a lot of them will fail within the first year of business. Taking your time and entrusting your ideas and methods with a trusted associate with similar interests, whether peer, superior, or junior, could mean the difference between owning a successful company or becoming another failed entrepreneur.
The trusted associate should have history in either owning or working for a similar company in which you are looking to enter. Maybe you have a friend, a colleague, or your buddy knows a guy; networking and knowing the right people are often the easiest and cheapest routes to meeting your mentor.
There are professional mentors and consultants all over the country. These relationships are often more formal, with actionable assignments and measurable goals to achieve. Finding the one that fits your needs and learning style is the tricky part. Remember that coach from your childhood that made a lasting impression? They just knew how to train you; knew your learning language. Find a mentor that brings back those feelings.
As important as it is for your coach to know how to advance your career and be your support system, feeling comfortable learning from them is equally as important. The right mentor should be able to answer your questions, improve your methods and coach you in a way that leaves you feeling inspired.
There are social media groups and podcasts that will provide plenty of value without you having to pay a single cent. In the event you join a social group, you can ask questions and interact in an informal environment. This allows you to ask the questions you would like answered, while receiving several comparable answers from mentors and coaches in an array of fields.
Listing to podcasts is a great way for the solitary or ‘too-busy for an appointment’ type learners to absorb essential knowledge. Podcasts often release subjects on a weekly basis, allowing a recurring learning session to occur for the entrepreneur that can learn from listening. Podcasters tend to record about their passions and enjoy teaching those trying to get into the same arena. They will likely have a communication channel you can use if you have more specific questions.
If a one-on-one relationship is not enough, hiring an agency could be your solution. An agency environment will allow you take use of the entire team as a set of diversified mentors. Having a group of multiple mentors in the same company can ensure that you have a wider net and larger circle to help you achieve your goals quicker.
How Can We Help?
We offer consultation and mentorship services. Our team has resources and knowledge on various industries. If you want to learn more about the types of mentorship programs or just want to get some free advice, schedule a free 30-minute session.