Are you new in business, or looking to take the next step and grow your business? Working with a mentor, who has extensive professional and business experience, can help to provide guidance and support for you and your business.
There are so many benefits of having a mentor. Not only can they provide you with the guidance and support you’re looking for, but they’ve ‘been there, done that’. They’ve had their fair share of success and failure, and they’ve made it out the other side. A mentor can help you to avoid some of the common mistakes that many business owners fall into, and help you with experience that can’t be found in a textbook.
Many people often get confused when they hear the term business coach, or business mentor. But they are in fact quite different. Let’s look at some of the main differences between a business coach and a mentor.
A business coach:
In comparison, a mentor:
Being in business can be lonely, particularly if you are a sole trader or run a company on your own. Sometimes simply having someone who can act as a sounding board for your ideas, or to flesh out problems with, provides a huge benefit to your business.
Over the course of your business ownership or professional life, it is very common for you to have several mentors.
If the mentor relationship is effective, your personal and professional development should get to a point where you have evolved sufficiently that the intensive mentor connection is no longer required. A good mentor will understand this and identify that the person has grown beyond the skills and experience they can offer.
This will usually lead to a change in the relationship and in many occasions result in the creation of a life long friendship.
Choosing a mentor is usually based on the following criteria:
- the stage of your business (are you are a start-up, or about to level up into a growth stage?)
- specific industry or business experience that a mentor can provide
- a good connection - will your personalities work well together?
- trust and respect - conversations can get quite personal, so it is vital that you have a high level of trust and respect for your mentor (and vice versa)
- are they compassionate?
Finding a mentor that fits the above criteria, yet can still remain objective is essential. After considering the above criteria to help you choose a mentor, the next step is to find a suitable business mentor.
Finding a business mentor is not an easy task. Mentors are thin on the ground, as generally they are people that have specific experience and they are at a stage in their career that they want to give something back. You can find out more about some Queensland mentoring programs available here.
It is really important to understand more about yourself and where you are at in your business before you embark on finding a mentor. Check on the Personal Change Diagnostic, to help you gauge how ready you are to change and evolve with the help of a mentor.