Anytime I look at World and Olympic record holder, Usain Bolt, I try to imagine when he took his first ever step. Surely at that point, people helped him to stand, walk, and run. But today, he is regarded as the fastest man alive! Same thing applies in the business world. There’s no entrepreneur I know that never told me of how a certain individual taught them something they used to grow their businesses. None! Till today, they still talk about people they consult before making business, and life decisions.
There’s a reason why we were not all born the same time, why it is programmed by life that some people go before us in the direction we want to take our businesses to. This reason is Mentorship. Personally, I have learnt a lot from my business mentor in the past few years. And in this post, I’m going to show you 7 ways a mentor can help you achieve business success.
- You get the opportunity of gaining experience more than your “years of experience”
There’s this joke about employers and their requirements for jobs. It said that employers will put something like this on their vacancy post: “The ideal candidate should be less than 24 years of age by June, 2016. He/she should be a Bachelors Degree Holder with not less than 7 years working experience –post graduation”. How do you expect them to get 7 years post B.Sc experience when the average student leaves school at 21? Funny isn’t it?
Although that joke is laced with exaggeration, something of that nature still exists, particularly in countries with high unemployment rates.
A mentor helps to give you relevant experiences way above your level. Someone said to me one day, “I am twenty years old in business before I even started.” Do you know how? He got mentors, many of them. I honestly do not know how he arrived at the “20- year” figure, but I know his speed after he started was previously unimaginable.
Your mentor’s hindsight is your foresight. (Tweet that!) What he/she has experienced is what you will experience, so why not get a mentor and reduce your error rate?
- A mentor can see what you may not be able to see
“What an old man sees while sitting, a child will not be able to see even if he climbs to the highest mountain.” – Nigerian Proverb
Times without number you may think you’ve written the best business plan, the best speech to pitch for that investor or capitalist, and then someone checks it out and discovers stuff that ought not to be there. Sometimes they are grammatical errors of commission or omission, other times they are errors due to ignorance.
A mentor has been involved in this thing for years. He/she must have been on both sides of the “equation” – Investor and Entrepreneur. He/she sure knows what to be and what ought not to be when in business. Get one who is in your line of business.
- You become accountable to someone
Steve Harris was sharing on the first day of 2016 on how to achieve goals and he emphasized the importance of having an accountability partner that helps to measure how much of your goals you have achieved.
But he did not stop there; he said that the moment you do not accomplish a task within the stipulated timeline, you should pay a pre-agreed amount to your partner. Talk about motivation for success! It’s funny how much we can push ourselves to achieve when we know we’ll gain more money if we do it, or lose money if we do not.
A mentor does not need your money, but will certainly put the needed pressure on you to achieve your business goals. He/She exerts pressure on you to get the best content from you.
- You get great recommendations easily
A mentor has relationships that you do not. He has contacts that you wish to have. Getting a mentor will definitely give you the business network that can increase your net-worth.
Now, this is not to say that you should only seek a mentor because of his contacts, it’s just saying you stand a chance of getting to know and meet more people that can propel your business success.
- You need all the inspiration you can get
It is said that as an entrepreneur, you must be willing to walk alone a whole lot of times. At those times, you will need a lot of inspiration not to give up.
Do you know who can provide that for you? A mentor. Why? Because he’s “been there, done that”.
- A mentor boosts your energy to do more
Knowing that someone is with you as you make plans is enough motivation to keep you going. You should have noticed that it’s easier to get more stuff done when you have like minds on the same team with you. How much more a more experienced “like mind”?
- The service of a mentor is FREE
Common! I need not tell you how important it is to SAVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN as an entrepreneur. You get FREE advice, FREE contacts, FREE leadership just by having a mentor.
But note that you must have value to attract value. You must position yourself as a person of value to that mentor. Do not ask for anything until you’ve given enough yourself. I know a couple of people that volunteered for months in their mentor’s firm just to learn, and today they are mentors to others.
Relationships define human existence, and a relationship with a mentor will not only help you define your business, it will also equip you with what you need to make it work.