Most successful business leaders and owners have a mentor- someone who provides advice and assists one develop both personally and professionally. By providing knowledge and accountability, mentors ensure leaders and their businesses achieve set goals, and in my experience, become or remain profitable and sustainable.
As a Profit Coach, I get asked regularly about the role of a mentor and what benefits it will have on a business.
I answer this question simply by explaining that a mentor not only helps with specific issues, for example a lack of cash flow, but most importantly to assist with the bigger picture- mentoring is about getting help not only when you need it, but also because you want it.
So how do you know if you need a mentor? To answer the question, you need to understand what a mentor is.
A definition I use is “a mentor is someone who offers their knowledge, wisdom, and advice to someone with less experience.”
If a business is not as successful as it should be, it is primarily because the owner doesn’t know something. When business owners seek help, it is because they have a problem and realise that they don’t have the knowledge to fix it. With the help of a mentor, an owner can then resolve the issue and move on.
The biggest problem is where an owner just doesn’t know they have a problem and find out often when it is too late after experiencing major implications. This can be termed unconscious incompetence, which is when an individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognise the deficit.
Having a mentor can not only provide a business owner with knowledge they simply do not have, but can also bring many other major benefits. Below are seven reasons why you need a mentor;
- Experience: A mentor has a wealth of experience. They have experienced success in your area of need, and you can benefit from their learning’s. Generally, this will save you a great deal of time and money.
- Accountability: One of the largest problem an owner can face is not completing tasks that are highly important, but often not urgent. A mentor can provide accountability to get the important objectives completed, including prioritisation.
- Coaching: A good business mentor will teach you how to use the appropriate skills, tools and techniques to work on your business. These will remain with you for life and you will be able to pay it forward and teach others.
- Personal development: A mentor can play a major role in an owner’s personal development including motivating, encouraging and confidence building.
- Advice: A mentor can provide advice when making decisions based on a combination of experience and wisdom. This can save you making very costly mistakes. Mentors are prepared to ask the hard questions and have the hard discussion, they act as a great sounding board.
- Connectors: Mentors can assist greatly in putting you in contact with the right people at the right time.
- Direction: Many business owners don’t have a clear direction, not only for themselves but also their business. A mentor can have a major influence on assisting with the establishment of the strategic direction of the business.
For any business owner, to consider having a mentor you must have a clear WIIFM (whats in it for me), including financial and personal outcomes. You must have a clear case of the financial and personal rewards sufficient to motivate you to want to have a mentor.
To get the best results, a mentor needs to be long term investment, therefore the selection of the right mentor is critical.
A mentor will significantly enhance your chance of success, so once you have made the decision to have one, the next decision is who?
The following are a few tips when looking for a great mentor. They must;
- Have significant experience
- Have a proven track record
- Be someone you trust and respect
- Have a health respect for you
- Be passionate about helping you making a difference.
And where possible seek referrals from past clients.
If you would like to know more about mentoring and how it can help you and your business please contact me;