founder and CEO of ERG EnterpriseNationally recognized thought leader on entrepreneurship, investment and leadership.
“Develop your business plan.” “Practice your pitch.” “Hold a meeting with investors.” A myriad of responsibilities may have been detailed according to the advice. But these important sources often overlook one of the most important recommendations for an entrepreneur’s early career. Find a mentor before you write your business plan or practice your pitch. Profession.
But why and how? In this article, we’ll share four reasons why you should look for a mentor, along with tips on how to become a successful mentor.
1. Mentors help set appropriate expectations.
Without getting in touch with entrepreneurship, it’s easy to set false expectations about a career. Research shows that most people become entrepreneurs because they want to be their own boss, because they want to pursue their passion. , to make more money, and so on. There is no guarantee that your sacrifice will be rewarded. A recent study found that more than 8 of her 10 entrepreneurs work nights and weekends, and the average US entrepreneur base salary is about $61,000.
Setting the right expectations is necessary to endure this tough but rewarding path. Not everyone is for it, and the sooner you learn this, the better it will be for your career and well-being. It came through the guidance he received from a surgeon who owned and ran a hospital. has given me insight into the meaning of
2. Mentors improve your action success rate.
leadership. sale. marketing. human resources. total. legal. The list is exhaustive. As a founder of a start-up, I am involved in all aspects of the business and do almost everything. Over time, your role will evolve as the company acquires clients and hires employees. Leadership becomes the main focus. So is strategy. Your focus shifts to higher responsibilities.
Make countless decisions that matter throughout the lifecycle of your business. And this highlights another value proposition for mentors. Mentors help us make the right decisions and improve the success rate of our actions by “being there and doing it.” At startup, scale-up and mid-market stages.
3. Mentors help build networks for career success.
Entrepreneurship is a social endeavor and no one person can build a successful company. All too often I come across founders who are eager to independently build highly successful companies.
Mentors are key value drivers in entrepreneurship social enterprises. In addition to providing key knowledge, we introduce key connections to entrepreneurs, partners, investors, and others that will not only help you in your current business, but also in your entrepreneurial journey. (In my experience, the latter is much more important and valuable than the former.)
For example, my mentor introduced me to key individuals who helped me start and build multiple companies. They also helped me build my career as an investor. I’m sure other serial entrepreneurs share my thoughts on the impact of mentorship on their success.
4. Mentors are ambassadors for your business.
There is nothing wrong with building business ambassadors—people who are emotionally and intellectually invested in a company’s success and who believe in its existence. Mentors are ideal advocates because by investing their time, effort, and knowledge to help you, they inevitably gain ownership of your business.
Here’s why it’s important: It’s positive publicity. Ambassadors can extend the reach and visibility of your business through word of mouth promotions, social media and more, and add value to your business in many ways.
How to find the right mentor
Having a mentor to help you grow as an entrepreneur can speed your path to success. But here comes an important question. How do you find and retain the right mentors? Here are five tips to get you started.
• Find successful entrepreneurs.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, you want to learn from those who have experienced success. That means finding someone with experience in building and growing a viable company and bringing about a positive exit event, such as a sale.
Mentors are most attracted to ambitious students who are passionate about their craft, eager to learn, and value support. So it’s important to exhibit these traits when looking for the right mentor. Show interest in and admiration for your mentor’s business and career accomplishments. Be passionate about your profession as an entrepreneur. Beyond that, be open to coaching and show that you appreciate the help they can provide.
• Leverage LinkedIn.
With more than 774 million users, LinkedIn is the top social media platform for professionals, making it the ideal way to connect with potential mentors. Finding entrepreneurs who have experience in your industry and who share connections with people you already know is easy.
• Join your local entrepreneur community.
Every city in the United States has a formal and informal community for entrepreneurs. Whether accelerators, incubators, or nonprofits, these organizations exist to support your growth as business builders and connect you with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Accelerate your career development.
Entrepreneurship can be one of the most challenging and demanding professions, and going it alone can be dangerous. To increase your chances of success, seek the science of entrepreneurship and the support of people who understand what it takes to move from A to B. By starting your search for a mentor, you can quickly track your path to success and avoid some problems. Hard lessons other founders learn firsthand.
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