Brittany Bettini is the founder of Bettini Enterprises Inc.
Have you ever had a great idea for a business, but didn’t know how to construct that vision? Many people dream of starting or running their own business but do not have the knowledge or experience to do it on their own. That’s where the right business mentor comes in handy.
Let’s start with a fun fact. Did you know who mentored Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg? Steve Jobs. And Bill Gates? Did he achieve everything alone? No, he didn’t. And guess who his mentor was – the evergreen Warren Buffet†
So when it comes to growing a business, having a mentor can be invaluable. A good mentor can help you avoid common mistakes, advise you on what works and what doesn’t, and point you in the right direction. But with so many different types of mentors, it can be difficult to find the right mentor for your company.
Not every leader is a visionary mentor. The right mentor will help you choose achievable goals and give you the tools to see that goal come to life. Here’s how to find the right mentor for you and your company.
1. Evaluate your requirements.
The road to finding a business mentor is not an easy one, but the rewards are worth it. Making the decision to find a business mentor is an important first step. Take the time to think about what type of mentoring and personality best suits your style so you can be successful. What kind of person do you respect? Who keeps you inspired along the way?
2. Prioritize your mentor’s qualities.
There are many qualities that make a good mentor, but one thing they all have in common: the desire to help you succeed. A successful individual with experience and knowledge of your industry and business will be able to advise you on the best way to achieve personal and professional goals while being genuine about their concerns about what is going right or wrong.
3. Source mentoring recommendations.
If you are looking for a mentor, there are plenty of resources that can help you. You can contact your industry association or even ask someone for advice on who can best assist you with your business needs – whatever best suits your personality.
4. Focus on building relationships.
Building relationships is the key to success. We all have different networks of friends, relatives and colleagues who can help us get ahead in business. Investing your energy in building connections with other companies ensures that you have a group of people around you who will give you sound advice in your decision-making process.
5. Build a solid relationship and prepare to learn.
Mentoring is a long-term investment that you should think about now. Consider your mentor’s time, show gratitude for what they’ve already done, and find ways to add value to make an impact on their lives and yours. About 90% of SMBs agree that mentors have a direct impact on their success and growth.
6. Consider their area of expertise.
Not all mentors are created equal, so you want to make sure you find someone with knowledge and experience in the field you want to grow in. If you own a bakery, a construction mentor may not be the best decision.
7. Remember that value-based decision-making is important.
I debated for a long time whether or not I should hire a mentor to take my business to the next level. I listened to a speaker at a business conference, and something he said changed my life forever: “How can you expect people to pay you money to mentor them if you don’t even hire a mentor for yourself?” Those words burned in my chest like hot lava. I hired a business mentor the following week.
In my experience, it’s essential to be open-minded about the type of mentor you want. Your needs, vision and goals may change over time, and so will your mentors at every stage of your business career. So be flexible, keep reviewing your business goals and objectives, and keep in mind that in the future you may need to change or take the guidance of more than one mentor.
8. Prioritize clear communication and trust.
Communication is the backbone of any successful relationship. It is important that mentors and mentees can communicate with each other so that the mentoring sessions run smoothly. Always look for a mentor who is reliable, clear and extremely effective at communicating. Lack of trust and effective communication will only increase frustration, quickly followed by disappointment, which can lead to feelings of discouragement and even business setbacks.
9. Consider the success stories of potential mentors.
One of the best ways to find a mentor is to look at their success stories. Can you name the companies they ran? What made those ventures successful, and what lessons do you think you will learn from them for your future business endeavors?
It’s up to you to do the research and implement everything you learn in your business. You should never expect the mentor you work with to do the work for you. Your mind should be focused on learning, implementing and picking up on every win along the way.
In the famous words attributed to John Wooden, “Delayed gratification is a virtue.” It’s not about finding a mentor quickly, but about finding someone who can help guide you through your business and professional journey.