“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”John C. Crosby
Finding a good mentor is much more than just talking about business over coffee. It truly is the best buddy system a business could ask for. It’s a casual problem-solving relationship with a higher purpose. This motivational kick-in-the-butt helps hone in on what you want to accomplish while pointing you in the right direction.
A mentor is someone who sees the talent, high hopes, potential and ability within you that you may not see in yourself. A mentor helps to bring all that good stuff out after they’ve burst that comfortable bubble first.
What prevents many people from getting a mentor:
- fear of asking for help
- the fear of coming off as incompetent
- not knowing what to expect
- concerns about the competition
- fear that it is too time-consuming
To put this worry aside, you have to find the right kind of mentor that suits your needs. It’s important that you feel comfortable in a conversation with someone regarding what you do and what you want to accomplish. Mentors are nothing more than having a casual chat about ideas, experiences, failures from a different perspective. There’s no judgment, no timeline, and it definitely does not come with a test at the end.
“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.”J Loren Norris
The value of a mentor is priceless. Some of the biggest business people will tell you that working with someone is the best thing they ever did. It’s so easy to stay in a bubble while getting into the habit of doing the same thing every day. However, if you want real progress you will need to rebel against those comfort zones. Routine doesn’t allow business to progress. Taking a break from playing it safe could be what your business needs.
Here are six reasons why you should get a mentor:
- It’s more than advice. Often a good mentor asks better questions instead of always providing all the answers. The mentoring experience is an ongoing discussion that can shine a light on how they see your business as an outsider looking in. They can pinpoint weaknesses, opportunities you might have missed and new markets you may not have thought of.
- It gives you a fresh perspective. We have a tendency to get so involved with our own work that we forget to socialize or see things from another perspective. When we get stuck, we may have trouble seeing the light. A fresh perspective may just be the answer you’re looking for. Problems can become too large when we force it to change, or when we look at it from the same angle over and over again.
- It helps you set goals. Sticking to a plan has got to be one of the hardest things we try to focus on. We live with distraction, appointments, meeting the needs of customers while trying to balance our lives. Goals sometimes take a back seat. Having someone help you make a plan in the right direction can definitely keep you on track.
- It helps you stay accountable. After you’ve got that plan nailed down, it helps to have someone to help you stay accountable. When you check in from time to time, this helps you from slacking off while preventing you from getting too comfortable. When we get too comfortable, we let things slide. Set deadlines and have them check in to see how you are doing. Sometimes we just need someone looking out for us so we can continue to grow personally and professionally.
- It’s an open place for ideas. Idea sharing is one of the most creative things a company can do. Throwing ideas around is a wonderful distraction from regular day to day tasks. The ideas are not always the main focus but the connection can be. Connecting ideas is where innovation comes from, and connecting with people makes those innovations come to life.
- It can help you prevent burnout. Being in business does not mean going it alone. You can love being in business and being your own boss; however, it can run you dry if you do not create a healthy life-work balance. Any career comes with a certain amount of risk and a certain amount of stress. Having a mentor to discuss concerns with and vent frustrations to will help you feel that you are not alone. We all need support , guidance and a good conversation to feel connected on the good days and the bad. Having a mentor may seem like a lot of work, however, if you stay committed and work on a plan, it can help your business grow to new levels you might not have thought possible.