Let Me Be Your Mentor
In the rest of this article, we are going to provide you with advice and tips on what to look for in a mentor and how to find the perfect mentor for you.
Some of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time had mentors, Bill Gates had Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, and Michael Jordan had Dean Smith. As you can see having a mentor can be very beneficial. The ability to secure the right mentor, can push you many steps ahead, and can prevent you from making detrimental mistakes. Those who dismiss and underestimate the power of mentorship are less likely to succeed in achieving their goals. In the rest of this article we are going to provide you with advice and tips on what to look for in a mentor and how to find the perfect mentor for you.
The definition of a mentor is "an experienced and trusted adviser”. As you can see the benefits of having a mentor is in the definition. Having an "experienced adviser" guide you in your business journey is so valuable, by getting advice and knowledge from someone who has gone on the path that you wish to go on, is so helpful because they understand the struggles that you are facing or may face in the future, they can best prepare you on how to handle these obstacles and most importantly there are in a place in life where you want to be. Having a mentor with these traits can help you stay motivated in business, and make you more likely to accomplish your goals, because your mentor can push you to learn, help you avoid mistakes, and help guide you to make the right choices in business.
Two years into my entrepreneurship journey, I met a tech co-founder at a networking event and I offered to work for his start-up. During the 6 months I worked at the start-up, the co-founder mentored me, he gave me an unbelievable insight into his industry. He taught me the ins and outs of the business, changed my mindset on certain things and most importantly he helped me develop into the person I am today. Having this guidance and experience is priceless, I don't know if I would be where I am in business without mentorship.
I tend to find that one of the biggest mistakes many new entrepreneurs make is that they feel they are entitled to receive mentorship. Some people assume that a successful person will be willing to give up their most precious asset, which is their time and energy to mentor someone with nothing in return. Similarly to networking, finding a mentor should be about adding value first, you cannot just ask someone "can you mentor me" because they will probably decline. Of course they will be some exceptions, but most likely they will say no because they don't know you and you haven't provided them with any value.
So the first piece of advice I would give is to make sure when it comes to finding a mentor you focus on providing some value first. For example, when I was mentored by the tech co-founder, I added value to his life by working for him. Some mentors will ask for money in exchange for their time, others may ask for equity ( a piece of your business), some may ask for you to work for them, or others may simply just ask for a cheeky dinner. Whatever the offer is make sure it is something that you are comfortable and happy with.
BossGirl the most important piece of advice is to make sure you find the RIGHT mentor. Even though we mentioned earlier how some mentors will ask for money in exchange for mentorship, thanks to the Internet there are countless of "online gurus'' and "scammers'' who have meaningless courses that cost $1000+, who are created by people who have no credible results in business. You should really beware of these types of people because they prey on the young and vulnerable for a quick cash grab. I would strongly suggest BossGirls that when you look for a mentor, you make sure to check their business history and their results, you want to be mentored ideally by someone who has achieved success in the industry you wish to enter in. For example, if you want to start a makeup line you would want to be mentored by Kylie Jenner. The way to check someone's credibility is to do research on their company, check if it's been registered, check their profile on LinkedIn, see what others say about them, and lastly you can also check their social media accounts to see if they're the type of person you want to be mentored by.
If you do find a mentor to meet up with physically or virtually, make sure to ask the right questions, study the knowledge they give to you, and apply the advice they have given. I constantly see entrepreneurs ask successful people vague questions or questions they can find out from google, like they ask "how to be successful" or "how do I start a business" these types of questions are too vague and can be googled. By asking these types of questions you're showing to your mentor that you are not bothered to do research on topics, which then makes you seem unserious. What I would strongly suggest when you meet up with your mentor is that you ask specific questions like "my business is doing X in revenue. I am wanting to invest back into influencer marketing would this be a good idea?", these types of specific questions are most valuable.
The second thing I would say when you find a good mentor is to make sure you definitely make notes but also don't forget to study the knowledge that they have given to you, do research on the advice given, and see if applying the knowledge would be best for your business. Too many people treat successful people like they are Gods or perfection and they can't make mistakes. This attitude is wrong, not everything that your mentor says is 100% right, the world of business changes quickly, what may have worked for them may not work for you. So BossGirl it is so important to research everything your mentor has told you. Lastly, make sure to APPLY the knowledge you don't just get mentored for the sake of it. Apply the knowledge into your business, do the strategies, and follow the steps.
I am someone who deeply believes that a mentor does not have to be someone who is physically there to accompany you in meetings. I understand that not everyone can find someone who can meet with them on a regular basis to exchange business advice and knowledge. Thanks to the internet there are many different resources that you can seek mentorship from. There are countless valuable books detailing people's business and life experiences, numerous podcasts sharing expertise in business, multiple business forums exchanging valuable advice, and various blogs written on the subject of business. As you can see mentorship comes in many different forms, so don't limit or put pressure on yourself to have to find a mentor who will agree to physically meet up with you, and don't put pressure on one person to be your mentor, I have many different mentors for different things, you can have multiple mentors that can give you value and teach you different things in business or in life. I wish you all the best of luck in finding your mentor. Lastly, I am always here to be your mentor BossGirls, if you have any questions or queries about entrepreneurship I'm only one email away.
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I hope you have an amazing and productive day.
Go on girl, do your thing and be the boss. Xx
"Every great achiever is inspired by a mentor" - Lailah Gifty Akita