A business mentor is someone that can provide you with advice, coaching and support as you tread the path to the success you plan to achieve. In many ways, they act like a coach. A word of warning here, some encouragement, and help with clarifying your thoughts makes a world of difference when you are just starting out.
Many people, when they begin their business venture, can feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. Finding customers, managing the bills, promoting the business - it can all add up to a feeling that you can’t cope with the demands on your time and energy.
Then someone asks you if you have a mentor. You stop for a moment, and realize that you don’t know what a mentor is, let alone have one.
But, how do you get a mentor?
For most, finding someone that has done what you hope to do is not easy. Let’s say that you are running a tyre shop and a service centre for family sedans. Is there someone in the industry that has made a huge success that you can copy? Would they give you a fraction of their time each month to help you as you start out?
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in - there are hundreds of successful businesspeople that have ‘made it’. Many of these professionals have publicized their success in books, magazines, and audio programs. Your first step when finding a mentor is to take a look at some of these business success stories that have been published. Find which story best resonates with you - the one that you connect with the most. Then, read all the publications of this person or business model. Listen to any audio sessions and programs. Attend their seminars if they are available.
If you know someone that can play the role of a business mentor, then take them to lunch and ask them if they wouldn’t mind being your mentor. Tell them exactly what you are asking from them, (time, commitments, etc), and how often you would need their support. Remember that successful people are also busy people, and if you can make it as easy as possible for them to help you, you stand a better chance of hearing a “Yes” to your request.
Starting and running a business does not and should not be a lonely path to travel. Others have gone before you, made mistakes and had successes that you can benefit from by learning what they did and didn’t do. Get started by checking out what books and audio programs you can learn from, and then take it from there.
Source: Creative Junction, Mad Bugle, February 15, 2008