ENTREPRENEURSHIP / MAY. 04, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Find the Ideal Mentor for Your Startup Business

Mentoring

Most entrepreneurs are successful because of the people who provide mentorship, support and influence directly or indirectly. Many of these mentors are successful entrepreneurs themselves. Finding the right person for mentorship can be quite challenging and elusive since most other entrepreneurs are busy with their own lives. Many of them shy away from receiving appeals for mentorship because of their busy schedules. However, there are significant ways to find the exact mentor and earn a place on their calendar of things to do. You must first find the right mentor, which means you have to look for different criteria such as:

  • Someone who has already had successful achievements in your field
  • Someone who is an excellent coach
  • Someone who has a business with a solid personal brand

These mentors don’t have to be overly rich or famous, but should have had more success than you have had. Use this information as your measuring rod.

Do Your Homework

To find a mentor, you must do your research. Find someone in a related field or industry. Look for someone who has a passion for your industry. Find a company where volunteering is available. Volunteer your services and this will allow you to be close enough to your potential mentor to be indirectly mentored.

Motives

The mentor must have good motives for helping you. You don’t need anyone with a big ego or someone looking for an opportunity. You also don’t want to deal with someone who has a hectic lifestyle. This will impede your progress and growth. Look for someone who really wants you to succeed and grow. Even when your mentor has the best of intentions, some potential mentors don’t have the time to really focus on guiding you. At times, you will get the person to agree, but not to follow up with it. It can be quite frustrating and exhausting to chase the mentor. Save the frustration and select a person who will honor their commitment.

The Ideal Mentor

To find the ideal mentor, you should create a business relationship where there is something in it for them such as a possible partnership or other expectations. For example, if you are a writer, you could offer a full page ad in your book in exchange for mentorship. It is important that you have something to ‘bring to the table’ too. Ask what the mentor’s needs are and identify ways that you can support each other. It could also involve providing your services once a week in the mentor’s office.

Ask For What You Want

Be sure to ask the mentor for exactly what you expect. If you need an introduction into the industry, then that is what you would ask for. If you need mentorship when it comes to problem solving or ongoing support, be forthright and specific about it. If you need permission to send an email with specific questions, then by all means ask first. The clearer you are with your demands and your objectives, the more likely you will have a favourable outcome.

Your mentor should be on the ‘same page’ as you are. It is going to be someone who truly enjoys helping others. Don’t give up if your search doesn’t result in immediate mentorship. Continue to build your business as you search.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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