The challenge-laden entrepreneurial journey is not for the faint of heart. One may get lost or burdened going through it, especially for the new ones. It becomes bearable when you take it with other entrepreneurs or when there is someone who can guide you along the journey. A mentor is someone who can do that and help you get to your destination faster.
It is important that you have a full grasp of the concept of mentorship to keep things straight from the beginning. Understand that a mentor is neither your boss nor instructor. You will be the one to make decisions in the end. Your mentor will only guide you towards the right path. Because you are too caught up in your venture, a mentor will help you look at your business at a different angle and see gaps and loopholes.
But finding the right mentor who can help you in your personal and professional development is easier said than done. It’s not just all about the achievements your supposed mentor should have but also the personality that can match yours as well. The main concern is where to find the one that can fit your values and entrepreneurial needs. Having a checklist of things that you prefer in a mentor will help you narrow down your search.
Family and Friends
Start looking for a possible mentor among your inner circle of family and friends. Someone close to you might be able to support you in providing advice and processing your ideas and decisions. There are pros and cons in choosing a family member or friend. While it is easy if they already know your character and work ethics, it may also become a deterrent in the mentorship as this can cloud your judgment of each other. However, if you feel more comfortable with someone familiar, then you can take this route in having a mentor in your entrepreneurial journey.
A good venue to find a mentor is a business group or organisation like EO. Such groups are composed of people who are also in the same boat as you are, some may have already been ahead while others are still starting out. In addition, they have programs and learning activities that can provide you with an opportunity to have a mentoring session with someone who can support you in your business experience.
Seminars, conferences and workshops are a a great opportunity to meet business leaders and experts who can give you tips and advice when it comes to running your business and braving business challenges that may come your way. You may even meet business people whom you look up to as a model or inspiration. Events like these can open doors for you to establish friendship with them that can lead to a mentor-mentee relationship.
There are many online platforms nowadays that provide mentoring services to startup founders and entrepreneurs. They often provide resources and experts who can share pertinent points on various apects of the business. Some platforms can even match you with a mentor. Examples of these onine applications are SCORE, MentorCity, Find a Mentor and Mogul.
There are social media networks that can connect you to other entrepreneurs. You can find some online communities where you can find like-minded individuals exchanging business insights. LinkedIn is one particular example. However, it is best to connect with a mentor through social network if you have established rapport with the person.
Once you have your eyes set on a particular person as your mentor, get to know that individual first so that you have an idea of the best approach to do the ask. Learn well from your mentor. Who knows, you might also become a mentor to someone in need when the right time comes.