Pick any name from the business industry and you will find every leader had panels of mentors and advisors who contributed to their success. Appleâ€™s Steve Job had John Sculley and Ed Woolard. Bill Gates has Warren Buffet as his mentor. Bob Eger gives credit to Tom Murphy (his boss) for his success at Walt Disney. Today we will let you know why every entrepreneur needs a mentorship for business.
As a small business owner, you must be wondering it is out of my league to find mentors like these. Itâ€™s true, not all entrepreneurs have world-famous executives to mentor them but that doesnâ€™t mean you donâ€™t need mentorship.
Kabbge Inc, a financial services company surveyed 200+ small business owners throughout the US for evaluating the importance of mentorship. They came up with the following findings:
- Only 22% of small business owners had mentors when they started out. 17% said they had advisors (paid consulting services). This means 63% of the businesses didnâ€™t have access to professional guidance.
- 92% of the small business owners agree that having a mentor impacts the growth and business survival directly.
In the early years of business, having business mentors is vital to success. A mentor provides counseling, and a fresh perspective to collaborate, learn, and help you stay focused.
Benefits of Having a Mentor
When you are freshly setting into an industry, itâ€™s good to have someone you may look up to in the field. If you are in doubt, take a look at the importance and benefits of having a mentor:
You canâ€™t learn how to play basketball from someone who hasnâ€™t been on the court or touched the ball right? Thatâ€™s why we have coaches to teach us how to play, to help us find our strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, it could just be another textbook course.
In business, your experience is an asset and itâ€™s an expensive one. It is critical to the success of your business. Reading books doesnâ€™t make you an expert unless you step into the field. Most authors donâ€™t feel comfortable revealing every truth about their journey in their books. Itâ€™s not because they donâ€™t want to share insights but because some experiences are too intimate to be shared. The way they dealt with their problems could help inexperienced entrepreneurs.
Chances of Success Exceed
Tons of surveys are out there to prove mentors are important to success. Donâ€™t take my word for it. Reach this survey. 80% of the CEOs who succeeded said they had some type of mentor.
Chances of success in business, as well as life, are amplified by having the right mentor by your side. Timely advice, accountability, valuable connection â€“ everything works to lift your spirits and provide moral guidance. This type of support can leapfrog anyone to success.
You Get Reassurance
Research has proven time and again that quality mentorship has a positive impact on entrepreneurs. Having a true friend who shares their fears with you, practically guides you along the path of success keeps you reassured that success is near.
Many skills make you a successful entrepreneur and self-confidence is one of them. In fact, confidence matter more than talent. With the help of a mentor, young entrepreneurs can tap their confidence and take every challenge and as an opportunity.
Stay in Business for a Long Time
How many startups have you known that have failed in the first, second, third, fourth, and then the fifth year of business? Probably many. Maybe it was your friendâ€™s business or even someone in a close family. It goes without saying your boat will into the river if you donâ€™t take an experienced sailor with you.
Donâ€™t want your startup to fail? Then get yourself a mentor. 30% of new businesses hardly survive in the past 2 years. 50% donâ€™t even make it past 5 years. However, if you have a mentor, your business can take the plunge and thrive for 5 years and more.
Stronger Emotional Intelligence
Letâ€™s face it, most of us aren’t born with emotional intelligence. A mentor can instill it in you. With a mentor by your side, you are likely to have greater control over your emotions.
Stress is not the only problem, most entrepreneurs are quick and aggressive at making decisions based on feelings. In situations like these, a mentor can become your shield and keep you from reacting. He can help you make smart and decisive judgments.
Encouragement during Failure
Not all entrepreneurs are blessed with success right away. Failure to launch, problematic campaigns, lack of capital, tax mistakes in the first year of business, and similar other problems will appear time and again.
Being unable to meet your goals and expectations can make you depressed. This could affect your decision-making abilities. A mentor can help you channel your depression. Words of encouragement and motivational speeches from the one who has experienced everything you are experiencing are a big acknowledgment.
â€œIf they made it, I will make it tooâ€ â€“ this is the thought that makes you keep going.
Rewarding Network Opportunities
Mentors have connections in a range of industries. The people whom they will introduce you to make for valuable connections. The more you tap into their indispensable network, the more opportunities you seek. One thing is for sure, you canâ€™t make connections like these on your own.
How and Where to Find Mentors?
Now it all begins with finding the right mentor to work with. But where?
Fortunately, several organizations out there connect young entrepreneurs with mentors. The problem comes down to time. Most entrepreneurs are too busy trying to make their business successful that their commitment to finding a mentor becomes unmanageable. Well, having a mentor is just as important as the best ISP (because speed matters).
Here are some tips to help you find a great advisor or mentor to rely on:
Start with Networking Groups
Startup incubators, networking groups, and social media can help you find mentors in your niche and possibly even in your community. Look for a person who has a wealth of experience in your field. Their knowledge and commitment matter at the same time.
Find Someone Who Understands Your Business
Itâ€™s ok if you can’t find a mentor with the same career background as you. What matters is finding the person who understands your business. Some industries have more mentors than others. If your industry falls into the category where a limited number of mentors are available, work with the one who has a thorough understanding of your business.
Ask Indirect Competitors
Your direct competitors will obviously be reluctant in giving practical advice on succeeding. So donâ€™t bother reaching out to them. Instead, find indirect competitors (businesses serving in industries other than yours) to recommend a mentor. Chances are they are in business longer than you. They could provide you with the names of leading mentors in the community.
Their leadership might be willing to share some pearls of wisdom with you. Strive to develop a relationship with them by offering free services, if applicable. Itâ€™s totally fine not to hire them as mentors but they could act as your advisor when needed.
Do A Little Twitter and LinkedIn Search
There is nothing you canâ€™t find by doing a good old social media search. Twitter and LinkedIn are filled with profiles of social entrepreneurs, community leaders, advisors, consultants, and mentors.
The best thing about this is that you can find mentors based on your demographic area and industry easily. Donâ€™t flood their inbox with a list of questions. Never beg them to mentor you. Ping them by introducing yourself casually. If they are welcoming, then pitch the idea of mentoring your business.
Search for Entrepreneurial Hotspot
Every city or region has its own entrepreneurial hotspot. You just have to look harder to find yours. A startup incubator is another term for it.
Itâ€™s probably an open workspace where entrepreneurs from various industries meet, brainstorm ideas, share creative thoughts such as what things to consider before selling, and simply chill. Keep your eyes open for such clubs. Attend whenever you find an opportunity. You may not find a mentor there directly, but connecting with fellow entrepreneurs will help you get in touch with one.
The truth is, convening a small business owner or entrepreneur to work with a mentor is harder than finding the right one. Donâ€™t let your big business idea fail because of one negligence. It may seem like a costly investment but itâ€™s better than failing, right?