On the surface seeking a mentor may sound self-indulgent, but the majority of small business owners work IN their business at the exclusion of working ON their business. A Mentor or non-executive can help you to work ON your business. Like all businesses a small business which has the owner actively involved in the management of it, will have issues that need to be assessed and decided on quickly.
Frequently there is nobody else with whom to discuss these issues; – everyone needs a good reliable sounding board, a 2nd opinion, and sometimes just emotional support. A Mentor can bring an outside and fresh perspective to the issues and aid in the decision process. They also bring clarity and help you focus on the issues that matter to assist you in reaching your business goals and potential.
The practice of mentoring taps the ancient tradition of consulting an elder. Even if you have a degree and business experience, you may still gain from a Mentor’s perspective because of their breadth of experience. Once you start running a business and you’re suddenly wearing every hat, there is going to be gaps in your knowledge. A Mentor can help you fill those gaps and their hindsight can become your foresight.
A Business Mentor provides a confidential sounding board, thinking room, and support for working through crucial and often complex decisions. You can learn from others’ mistakes and successes. A Mentor does not have to have experience in your particular industry. They don’t have to be up on the latest trends or technology. Their role is to share with you lessons from their experience in the hopes that you can learn them a bit more quickly and easily.
Mentoring does not have to be formal. Informal mentoring, such as catching up with a group of like-minded business friends for coffee, can also be valuable. This informal mentoring process is about seeking out people you trust and admire to provide support and advice. However formal mentoring can provide much more benefit – by having someone like a Mentor whose focus is on your business you can create clear paths and goals in order to achieve success.
Choose a Mentor who can be objective about your business. You need someone with an external viewpoint who can ask the tough questions and give you a clearer perspective on your business practices. Friends and family usually don’t make good mentors because they want to be supportive of the business decisions you make.
When you run your own business you often miss the professional network and support that a large company can offer. Mentoring is a great source of support and advice, as well as providing you with the confidence that the decisions you are making are based on solid foundations. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by finding a good Mentor.
I personally think it such a good idea that sometimes I recommend that a business owner may need more than 1 business mentor! For instance the mentor may bring certain industry expertise and contacts, while a different mentor may help with the people or financial management when those tough decisions are called for.
If you want to know how to find a good mentor or non-executive to grow your business contact CMC via the form below or call 01494 829181.