You need a great idea, some start up cash (the bigger, the better), business experience and intelligence – wow! Entrepreneur in the making….
You want to drive your business to success, so you are continuously making errors and breaking rules. It is not easy to be an entrepreneur, there are times when you feel you are left with nothing and think that things cannot be worse.
Is there some secret weapon that you can leverage in order to create a wider network of resources and contacts? This invaluable and most powerful weapon is termed as a ‘Mentor’.
A great mentor can support you in thinking through the idea, recommend ways to generate capital in a start-up and offer you the experience and intelligence that you are missing. When you have a great mentor to bank upon, you will receive all the praise when you deserve it, and also get a heads-up when there is trouble, much before you have sensed it!
You want the just right marketing strategy and a wow impact? Go, get a mentor!
Sometimes, you ‘don’t know what you don’t know’ and have to still get things done. Mentors can offer their expert advice here and ensure that you do not commit those crucial mistakes in your early years. Your imperfect plans can change to perfect plans – courtesy of mentors!
Here are some defining qualities of a great mentor and the reasons why entrepreneurs need mentors:
As an entrepreneur, you should look for a mentor who can guide you in the areas where you lack expertise. You should be able to leverage his skills in these areas. So, think again if you have chosen an industry veteran! You may want to go with a small time player who knows the tricks of the trade and has been through all that you are experiencing. In this case, your mentor will not be a name and picture on your website, he or she will be your anchor to success.
That’s true! When somebody is accountable for your success, it is imperative for him to have achieved success in the same field. So, if a mentor is focussed on helping you become a great entrepreneur, he should have been through that cycle of entrepreneurship and should have had achieved a great deal of success in the cycle. That way, your mentor will be a living proof of what you want to do and you will get the reassurance that it is definitely possible to achieve the greatest possible heights. After all, they have already been through what you are going through now and genuinely want to see you succeed.
You may be thinking about a great mentor who may not have enough time at this stage. In case you are convinced that his expertise can take you places, you should not give up on your hopes and ensure that you do continue to follow up with him. It is known that great mentors are extremely patient and committed. So when you are finally able to convince your mentors, they will be there to guide you. They will commit their time and support you through their actions. It’s important however to realize that the best in the business are extremely busy and not all are going to be available. Don’t expect everything to stop for you, even if you are used to that. Top experts get hundreds of such requests every week, so remember that if you don’t hear anything for a few day!
Great mentors do not use harsh words and yet provide direct feedback. You should be assured that they are genuinely interested in your development. They can get the harshest of the message across through supportive words and positive reinforcement.
Well, you should first work on understanding your needs. Would you want some financial advice or are you looking at your social media strategy? Once you have narrowed down on your choice of a mentor, you can show up at a speaking event or a conference that your prospective mentor is attending. Think about ways in which you can get an introduction. If you do not have a friend who can introduce you, figure out a manner in which you can offer to help your prospective mentor. Be willing to pay for the time of a mentor if necessary, it will certainly be worth it if they help you get to where you want to be.
It is time to proactively seek out for a mentor who can guide you and participate with you in your success as a small business entrepreneur, feeling genuinely happy for your accomplishments.
Perhaps that is the reason George Patton has said – “A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow”
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