Of course, many entrepreneurs lead very lonely lives. Finding someone who understands what you’re going through can be very difficult. It can be even harder to find someone who could actually offer you advice that’s relevant to the difficult challenges that you face every day. Even if it’s difficult, there are many reasons you should try to build a relationship with a mentor. You may find that with a mentor, you can reach levels of success that were not possible when you were going it alone.
There are many ways to find a mentor, and there are a lot of ways that a mentor can help you. We’ll start by explaining how to find a mentor in your area. After that, we’ll tell you how to make the most of having a mentor around.
Finding a Mentor
Finding a mentor can be very difficult, especially if you don’t already have someone lined up. If you do already have someone lined up, you should skip to the next section about how to take advantage of a mentor. This section is going to focus entirely on how to find a mentor in your local network. We’ll begin by discussing some of the first places you should look.
Good Places to Find a Mentor
Mentors can be found all around you. In particular, you should look for good candidates in the following places:
- Family members
- Community Leaders
- Local Business Owners
- Spiritual Leaders
You can find good candidates in all of these places, depending on what you’re looking for in a mentor. Remember that a mentor doesn’t need to be in the same exact industry as you to be able to give you good advice. You could be struggling with many different parts of running your business, and you may be surprised who could offer you the advice that you need to overcome your latest challenge.
Knowing where to find mentors probably won’t help you that much though, unless you also know how to choose the right one. There are specific qualities that you should look for when you are choosing the right mentor. We’ll go over some of those qualities now.
Qualities to Look for in a Mentor
Choosing the right mentor is extremely important and there are several reasons why you don’t want to choose a mentor who doesn’t have all the qualities you need. First, a mentor that doesn’t meet your needs could actually be bad for you. You won’t be able to get good advice from an inadequate mentor, and that defeats the purpose of having a mentor in the first place.
You should look for the following qualities in a mentor:
- A Good Connection with You
- Familiarity with Your Circumstances
- Experience with Business/Life
You may not be lucky enough to find a mentor with all of these qualities, but you should be able to find someone who can at least offer you expertise that you don’t yet possess. After you’ve found someone who can serve as your mentor, it’s important that you utilize your mentor correctly. We’ll give you some tips on how to do that now.
Making the Most of Your Mentor
Now that you have a mentor, it’s important to remember why you are taking advantage of one in the first place. Hopefully, you’ve picked a mentor who can teach you things that you don’t know, and help you out with advice when you’re dealing with a situation that you don’t understand. Of course, none of these benefits mean anything if you aren’t taking advantage of them. You need to find opportunities to speak with your mentor and take his or her advice seriously.
Find Times to Meet with Your Mentor
It can be very easy to lose contact with people when you’re focused entirely on running your business. You want to avoid this as much as possible, but it’s particularly important to keep up with your mentor. Try to keep him or her informed of your situation as often as possible. That way, they’ll understand what you’re going through, and be able to offer you more relevant advice when you do come to them with questions about what to do with your business.
Take Your Mentor’s Advice Seriously
The whole point of having a mentor is taking advantage of their expertise. You can’t do that if you’re too proud to take advantage of the advice that they give you. Even if the advice doesn’t make sense when you first hear it, you should try it out to see if it works for you. You may be surprised at how effective good advice can be when you’re starting out. If that advice is frequently successful, you’ll know you have found a mentor that you can trust for the long haul.
Go Out and Find Your Mentor
The sooner you find a mentor, the better off you’ll be. Starting a business is not something that you want to take on alone, and you won’t have to if you find a mentor you can trust with your most serious questions.