Finding a good business mentor can make all the difference on the trajectory of your business. Whether you are just starting out or have been going for a few months or years, mentors can have a palpable impact on your business operations and your entrepreneurial mindset.
Business mentors have the experience and networks that can bring great opportunities your way and save you from making the same crucial mistakes they made early on in their business. They have the battle scars and the lessons learned that you can benefit from.
Find Business Mentors
This is one of the reasons we started the Lonely Entrepreneur learning community! Through this community we share ideas, get feedback and really learn from people who have already established businesses and gone through the ups and downs.
Before launching the Lonely Entrepreneur I was in the trenches working at my business IncentOne, which was the first health rewards company in the United States, and in the beginning I went from a big office in a prestigious New York City law firm to a basement and a startup.
The whole process – trying to find answers and seeking information about business growth – taught me so much about entrepreneurship that after my company was acquired by Welltok in 2013, I spent a considerable amount time developing the Lonely Entrepreneur to be the one place you go to for answers to help you drive financial results and turn your passion into success.
In my experience, finding a great professional mentor is not as simple as it sounds. Not every successful business person can be a mentor and not every mentor will be the right fit for you.
While building the Lonely Entrepreneur community, the following rules were major points we considered, so before you start hunting for a business mentor or a startup mentorship campaign, consider these three things:
1. What Exactly do You Want From a Business Mentor?
What role do you want the mentor to play in your business growth? Are you looking for somebody to coach you on how to be a successful
Do you want a mentor who can help you jump-start your networking endeavors or show you how to raise money? Are you looking to get advice on product differentiation strategies, how to manage yourself, how to communicate effectively with your team?
Make sure that your expectations, objectives, and goals are clear in your mind. Doing so will most likely align you with the right mentors to boost your career path.
2. Who are Great Mentors?
A great mentor may not necessarily be that entrepreneur who makes the most money. We all know that there is much more to the entrepreneurial journey than just making money. You should always keep this in mind when you think of where or how to find a mentor in business.
Some research has shown that mentors who ask a lot of probing questions are more likely to help you succeed. Such mentors challenge you to go beyond your goals. They use their own experiences to show what it is achievable and in so doing, they help you to discover your hidden potential and opportunities.
It is noteworthy that the best mentors will not lay it all bare for you. They will not spoon-feed you, instead they will help you understand the foundations and complexities of issues like entrepreneurial innovation or decision-making in a way that will help you understand and think differently about how to solve problems in your own company.
A good mentor understands that each business situation is different, and even though the entrepreneurial process is very similar for most, mentors should be able to advise you in such a way that you can go back to your company with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed.
3. Do They Have Time For You?
When you find business mentors, it is important to make sure that they have time for you. Most entrepreneurs are very busy managing their businesses and the best way is to build a real relationship organically from the beginning.
You can start with CEO’s and founders of reputable organizations in your locality, email them or connect with them on LinkedIn and say how you admire their work or their business.
If you heard them speak at a conference or local event, mention how that inspired you to become an entrepreneur and ask for some more advice about a specific issue they have solved over a cup of coffee. A direct approach will always work.
Who Can Be Your Business Mentor?
You can find business mentors all around you. From friends and family, your college professor or even the local businessman who owns the shop down the street, there is always something to learn. Here are a few ways you can find a great mentor:
Family and Friends
Do you know someone in your circle of friends and family who is very successful? They are likely to be the mentor you are looking for! Even if they are not, they might know somebody who can help you on the road to success as an entrepreneur.
This is one of the best ways to make beneficial connections. It gives you the opportunity to meet all kinds of people, from students to
active professionals and retirees.
Making a connection with all these people gives you the opportunity to learn something new in your line of work. In addition, it is a
golden chance for you to give back to the community – thus improving the acceptability and credibility of your business.
Networking functions bring people together with the aim of helping each individual to expand their professional network. Many successful entrepreneurs favor these events because they provide them with opportunities to make new, beneficial partnerships. It is a good place for you to look for a potential business mentor.
As mentioned before, it is really easy to connect with influential business people on LinkedIn. The messaging is direct, there is no spam folder and the recipient is almost guaranteed to see your message. You should always aim to do your research before contacting or messaging someone and always make your messages more personal.
Business Mentors For Entrepreneurs
Information is everywhere but it is disorganized and it’s hard to find the right answers. How do you stand out from the crowd? How can your company grow sales? What is the best social media strategy? How can you be more productive? How can I build the right team for the job?
There are all questions that every entrepreneur will face at least once in their business. If you are a serious entrepreneur, you don’t have time or money to waste.
You need to gain all the knowledge and tools in your business and we have built the learning community which includes over 150 modules, video coaching, tools and templates and so much more to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
And don’t forget, you can join our community free for 30 days here!