What is Business Mentoring & Why Do People Engage a Mentor

Written By Alla Levin
February 21, 2019
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Reasons You Need A Business Mentor 

A mentor is a person with experience who utilizes their knowledge and resources to guide you through the hurdles of entrepreneurship. What distinguishes a mentor from a coach is that a mentor is someone who has been there, done that, and their focus is on your personal and emotional development as an entrepreneur, rather than on the development of your business.

According to well-known Australian leadership and business coach, Stuart Hayes, business mentoring is for three kinds of people:

  1. An entrepreneur or business owner looking for the most efficient pathway to grow their business,
  2. An emerging leader looking to accelerate their progress, and
  3. A CEO, professional, or seasoned leader wanting an experienced and independent advisor to support their drive better results, faster.

Hayes stresses that a mentor isn’t and shouldn’t be a business partner. They need to be at arm’s length from the business, so they can provide criticism when necessary, as well as help you make informed business decisions, by sharing from the vast experience about lessons they’ve learned in the situations they’ve face.

According to Hayes the top 5 reasons why business mentors can be useful are

A mentor sets goals and provides clarityStuart Hayes

Setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART) is the foundation of every successful mentoring relationship. Your mentor can work with you and come up with an appropriate plan to help you know and solve some of the problems that are acting as setbacks towards the growth of your business.

For start-ups, a mentor will help you come up with the best ways through which you can stabilize your business and start making profits.

A mentor helps you gain experience

The best way to learn the ups and downs involved in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is through experience. Just as the saying goes, ‘Experience is the best teacher.’ Mentorship is one guaranteed way of gaining experience from others. As mentioned earlier, a mentor has been there, done that, and seen it all.

A mentor provides contacts and networking opportunitiesnetworking opportunities

A successful mentor obviously has quite a number of people who can benefit your career. The moment you hire a mentor for your business, they invest in your success, which means they’ll let you tap into their network of influential people if needed.

A mentor provides reassurance and helps you develop emotional maturity

A good mentor is the one who not only guides you but also shares your worries. Having a person who’s constantly striving to make your career successful gives you self-confidence, and makes you take every challenge as an opportunity for your business. Also, a mentor will help you develop a stronger emotional intelligence, and help you learn to have greater control over your emotions.

Mentors help you improve your skillsdevelop the business skills

Business mentors help you develop the business skills you already have, unlike advisors and consultants who are more concerned about the business venture. A mentors task is to support your personal development as you work on developing your business.

In an ideal world, a business mentor is willing to take a long-term personal interest in you and the success of your career. Often, mentors are senior people who take younger people on as a way of paying it forward, sharing back to support and develop others in the field and industry that has been good to them.

In the end, the difference between a business mentor and a business coach is one of context. The business mentor is interested in developing you in the role of business leader, where a business coach is traditionally more concerned with the nuts and bolts of the business.

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