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Why You Need a Mentor to Grow

Updated: Jan 19, 2023


According to Nationalmentoringday.org 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs. And, did you know that Forbes Magazine, The Harvard Business Review, and The Atlantic all site mentorship as one of the benchmarks of 70% of the Fortune 500 companies? So, if you are running a business or an organization without the benefit of a mentor (or a life coach), then read on to discover the tactical advantages of having a mentor in your life.


I started my business with nothing more than a dream and a hope to craft the type of future I wanted. I began by listening to tons of podcasts, reading books, and becoming an expert student of Google and YouTube Universities. While these tools were great for ideas, learning and growing my skill set, I would regularly find myself in need of some valuable feedback and falling short of meeting my goals. That’s when I knew I needed a mentor to bring regular accountability to the table.


THE BENEFITS OF A MENTOR

In my educational journey I quickly realized that all, and I mean all the most influential and profitable people I followed in the business world credited mentors with their success. In fact, the list of the rich and famous is littered with people who were mentored along the way, such as Hugh Jackman, Oprah Winfrey, J.J. Abrams, and Denzel Washington, to name a few. So once I recognized this fact, I knew I needed to take it seriously. So, what does one look for in a mentor?


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD MENTOR:

Your mentor candidate should be a successful person in their line of work. However, it can be someone in an unrelated field to yours. For example, I’m in the digital marketing field but my first mentor was a home decor influencer with national magazine photo spreads and a published author. Yet she was savvy, effervescent, successful, and a real cheerleader, which were all the qualities I needed to spur me forward in those early days. So think of this as a chance to think outside the box when seeking out your ideal person.


A Good Mentor Should Embody One or More of the Following Qualities

  1. Be a good listener.

  2. Able to give you valuable feedback about your goals, and ideas, etc.

  3. Firm enough to help you stay on track to meet business deadlines.

  4. Able to give you valuable insights based on their wisdom and experience.

  5. A willingness to be your cheerleader during difficult seasons.

  6. Someone willing to share their own mistakes or failures.

FINDING YOUR MENTOR:

First, make a list of all the people you know that you admire and respect. They can be friends, acquaintances or even someone you met briefly that impressed you. Each of these people should possess one or more of these characteristics.

  • Have a successful business.

  • Run an organization of some kind.

  • Have proven leadership skills.

  • Or, possess lifetime accomplishments in any arena.

ACTION STEPS TO TAKE

Narrow down your list to about two or three candidates. Starting with your first choice, politely invite this person to a zoom or coffee meeting. Lay out your business ideas and goals and your reasons for asking them if they would be

willing to mentor you. If the answer is no, then move on to choice number two and so on. Believe me, one of life’s most flattering things is being asked to help someone on their journey, and many people are happier than you might think to share their knowledge with you. And, once you find your mentor, you will discover yourself flourishing under the consistent watering of their input.


WAYS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR MENTOR RELATIONSHIP

  • Bring a "To Do' List of goals/tasks to each meeting.

  • Be willing to go over the previous week's accomplishments.

  • Be ready to debrief the previous weeks "wins" and "fails."

  • Discuss lessons learned and takeaways for moving forward.

  • Brainstorm ideas with your mentor for honest feedback.

LIFE COACHING

I could not cover this subject without discussing the finer points of engaging a life coach. Life coaching is mentoring on another level. Perhaps you are already running a business or organization and are seeking to establish new strategies and goals - then a life coach may be the preferred option for you.


Because mentors and life coaches have similar objectives some may be confused about their differences. However, unlike a mentor, a life coach is a certified professional that helps you strategize your business. While mentors focus on a long term objectives by drilling down into your story and making the journey with you, a life coach focuses on assisting you with specific targets.


Mentors advise and offer life experience-based info while coaches give goal-oriented assistance that prompts their clients towards action. Life Coach Ted Gorski of Get Your Edge explains it this way - he helps clients laser-focus on the issues that may be holding them back, and provides guidance, tips, and a 360-view of how to improve most effectively and quickly. Ted has helped hundreds of people get focused, motivated and strategize their way to success.


The truth is that we all have some areas that are stronger than others and that is where a life coach can be extremely beneficial for you. In her blog post titled “What you Should Ask Before Hiring a Life Coach, Amy Perez poses some important questions that you should ask when seeking out a life coach's services. Having answers to these types of questions will streamline the selection process and match you to the right person.

In conclusion, whether you’ve never had a mentor, no longer have one, or you are looking to find another one, the benefits of having that person in your corner are priceless for your personal growth, your state of mind, and for your business. Oprah Winfrey said it best, “A mentor is someone that allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”


Here's to you getting started on a new mentoring journey today. And, remember that the best investment you can make in your business is in YOUSELF!


 

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