Every successful entrepreneur is able to climb to the top of the market due to their tremendous amount of experience and knowledge. No one is able to become successful without failing numerous times and learning from them. Most importantly, they manage to reach their standing position due to the guidance of a more experienced person in the industry.
They are what we call business mentors. A business mentor is a professional individual who helps entrepreneurs by providing support, assistance, valuable advice, and encouragement. These are the people that have years of experience in the industry, which you can say, they have seen it, been there and done that.
It is exceptionally favourable for any entrepreneurs to seek mentors for their own improvement. You can only better yourself and your company when you learn from the best. The relationship established between mentors and mentees is what we call mentorship. In other words, it can also be called a growth program, as the purpose is to grow towards becoming better for professional and personal development.
Find out more about business mentors with our Entrepreneurs Programme.
Everyone needs a mentor at some point in their career, if not several. Think of it this way - you want friends and families who you can count on during your ups and downs in life. You want to have people that you can easily reach out to for advice and guidance for whatever problems. Therefore, it is the same for you to have people who can provide that same level of support in your career.
Hence, business mentors can help you at any point in your career, whether you are seeking a job, adjusting to a new position, looking to advance, or taking a risky new path. Every mentor is not the same. They each have different skills and expertise. They even have different teaching styles. However, good mentors do share a few key characteristics. These are the qualities in anyone with whom you wish to form a mentor-mentee relationship.
Mentors are not the only ones who should show respect for others, but it should be at the top of your list. You do not want someone who is harsh and unconstructive in their criticism of you, mistreats you or your colleagues, and eventually gives you a terrible reputation. It will result in a relationship that is both ineffective and frustrating.
Plus, mentors should not pass judgement on others, voice their opinions on others, or lecture you about others. They are people who respect each other's differences. They help you to overcome your weaknesses instead of comparing you to your other peers. This isn't helpful to you and others, and it goes against the mentor's promise of confidentiality.
Mentors who are the most encouraging person feel that professional achievement goes beyond what they can achieve in their own jobs. They want to make a difference in their field through other ways, so they get committed to educating their peers. These experienced experts realize the benefits of sharing their expertise. They acknowledge that training you on how to become a valuable member of your area can actually assist them to influence the industry and secure its long-term viability.
Ascertain that your possible mentor will cultivate a relationship that promotes your professional development. You should sense their genuineness in the way they express their willingness to assist you. Excellent mentors are driven by a desire to help others, and their reward comes not in the form of material goods or money but in seeing the people they have greatly assisted achieve success.
A mentor must be emphatic because they may have all the answers in their brain, but if they do not want to listen to where you are coming from, they would not be able to steer you in the way that you want to go. Rather than telling you what to do, your mentor should ask you questions. They should show that they are really curious about your ideas, opinions and why you are up to it.
That curiosity is crucial because you want someone who can relate to you from your perspective. People who frequently try to impose their beliefs or ways of doing things on others can be a mentor's destruction. So choose someone you can rely on to prioritise your ideas and input over their own.
A good mentor knows how to give constructive, straightforward, yet polite feedback, and they are not afraid to be honest to prevent from hurting your feelings. You need someone who is willing to call out on your mistakes and errors, as that type of mindset is hard to come by in the job. Having someone like them on your side, you will make better decisions and emerge stronger.
The most crucial trait to seek in a mentor is honesty, even if what they say is not what you want to hear. A genuine mentor will tell you the truth. Their criticisms can be tough to hear at times, but it is better to hear the truth than to be disappointed by reality later on. Honesty is a way for them in preparing you to be the best person you could possibly be.
Business mentors are essential in the lives of those who want to achieve new levels of achievement, whether for personal growth or career ambitions. Many of the world's most well-known entrepreneurs have mentors. They recognise that success is not a one-person show and that mentors can assist them in keeping their company significant to the public and inventive. One of the main reasons entrepreneurs do not seek mentors is because they believe it is a sign of weakness, yet this is a common misunderstanding. Entrepreneurs who have mentors demonstrate that they are eager to learn, open to new ideas, and adaptive to change.
Mark Zuckerberg is one of the well-known entrepreneurs that made headlines for bringing his net worth to $33.3 billion after developing an innovative business. So, how did he build a multibillion-dollar business that has changed the world? Zuckerberg mentioned that his inspirational mentor is Steve Jobs, where he describes how Jobs advised him on how to develop a workforce that was as committed to creating high quality and excellent things as Zuckerberg. They both also believed that lives were designed for something other than starting businesses. They wanted to make a difference in people's lives. Then, Zuckerberg showed his appreciation through a goodbye Facebook message, where he said, “Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world.”
Bill Gates is currently the wealthiest person on the planet. Warren Buffet, the Harvard dropout's mentor, businessman, and investor, is credited with a portion of his achievement. Gates praised Buffet for teaching him how to deal with difficult situations and think long-term. Buffet is also empowered by Gates. He admires Bill's passion to educate things that are complex by putting them in simple forms so that people can comprehend and gain benefits from all his knowledge. He also mentioned that he appreciates Bill's perspective on what he does with the fortune he has amassed, as he recognises that he is able to contribute his gain back to society.
It is vital to remember that not every lesson can be taught from a book when pursuing a career in business. While books can provide a solid basis of business knowledge, firsthand accounts of business experiences frequently give a more in-depth perspective. Learning from a mentor increases the likelihood of success since it provides the entrepreneur with information on which pathways to avoid that can obstruct business growth.
Maintaining a long-term relationship with a mentor will help assure the success of your firm. A mentor assists people to be more resilient by encouraging them to focus on their responsibilities and goals. According to the Small Business Administration, 70% of mentored enterprises survive for more than five years. That is quite a tremendous achievement, considering that just 30% of new businesses last more than a year.
A proper growth program has been demonstrated by a study to have a tremendously positive influence on young entrepreneurs. Having someone who can walk you through the process and share your concerns with you, gives you the confidence that you will succeed. Plus, entrepreneurial success commands a high level of self-confidence.
According to a 2014 Telegraph report, having a high level of self-confidence is more important for career success than skills or competence. Mentors can assist young entrepreneurs in developing their self-confidence and seeing every problem as an opportunity.
Other than that, working one-on-one with a mentor gives you the advantage of getting direct answers to your queries and having a discussion that clarifies any concerns you may have. It may lead to the discovery of details regarding company ideas that have the potential to bring your company's revenue. Hence, you will start to believe in your abilities for yourself and your company's success.
Entrepreneurial success demands emotional intelligence. When a young entrepreneur receives advice from a more experienced and successful mentor, they are much more likely to be in control of their emotions. We all know that mixing business with emotions or making critical decisions based on emotional sentiments is a particular way that contributes to a company's downfall.
Situations like this can be avoided if you have mentors who can advise you on appropriate ways to react in specific situations. They can offer advice on how to handle tense situations with coworkers or clients. An inexperienced CEO is prone to making emotional decisions, but one with a mentor is able to overcome large-scale obstacles by making rational, decisive decisions.
The video below further emphasises the importance of business mentors.
It can be life-changing and incredibly useful to your personal growth and business development if you have an experienced mentor. A growth program may empower you and dramatically boost the chances of your business thriving, whether your relationship is for a year or for the rest of your career. While it is crucial to be deliberate in your search for a mentor, it is also best to avoid forcing it or expecting everything to fall into place immediately.
The best strategy is to continue networking and creating relationships with individuals while also learning from them. Remember that having a business mentor is not about becoming that person, but rather, it is about aiming to have their knowledge and expertise. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a successful career, and yours is likely to differ significantly from your mentor's. You can rely on them for advice and encouragement, but make sure you stick to your guts and do what feels right.