TOPICS: What is a BM? (not IBM or Independent BM) Why it’s Important, Finding, What do you Need? Networking, Attend Events, Meet to Qualify, Build a Relationship, Famous Mentors & Mentees.
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a Mentor can help you develop professional goals and provide valuable insight into any challenges you might experience. Asking the right person to be your Mentor can develop a lifelong relationship that you can both learn from. It’s important to find a Business Mentor who understands your background, objectives & work ethic. In this article, we explain: 1) What a Business Mentor is, 2) Why having a Business Mentor is important & 3) how to find a Business Mentor.
What is a Business Mentor?
A Business Mentor is an experienced professional in your field who can provide you with valuable guidance & advice. They can help you achieve your professional goals, lead by example & guide you in your career. They serve as Advisors by sharing valuable input about how you are managing your Business and what you can do to grow it.
Experience: a Business Mentor often has previous experience in managing or owning a Business. They have many years of experience in their field of expertise, and they understand how to lead & manage others. Because of their industry experience, they can provide you with valuable insight into leadership & entrepreneurship. Many Mentors once had Mentors of their own, so they’re familiar with the Mentor / Mentee relationship.
Compensation? Business Mentors don’t receive monetary compensation from the relationship. They advise you because they share a similar passion for entrepreneurship or your specific field. But some give their Mentees a Men’s Tee-Shirt !!!
Why is having a Business Mentor important?
Having a Business Mentor is important because it provides you with relevant industry guidance. Business Mentors have management experience that directly relates to your industry or field. A Business Mentor teaches you additional strategies & approaches that you won’t learn in school or other sources.
Experience: a Business Mentor provides handy tips & advice about your Business. Most Mentors have experienced similar challenges & set the same goals – so using your Mentor’s journey as an example helps you understand & visualize your own future.
Good Advice. While you grow your company, you might encounter questions or issues you need to resolve. A Business Mentor provides you with useful advice from their own experience.
How to find a Business Mentor
Finding a Business Mentor requires meeting many people and having conversations with other professionals. There are many options to choose from when searching for a Mentor such as informal Meetups, LinkedIn or official networking events. Consider taking these steps to find your Business Mentor.
Step #1. Establish what you need in a Mentor
A Mentor addresses gaps you find in your professional development. They teach you concepts you might not know or share tips you may not have heard. Therefore, a great way to make sure you find a good Mentor is by first establishing what you need. Consider what your priorities are in your Business career and what you need the most help with.
Step #2. Network with Professionals
Networking is an excellent tool for meeting other professionals and it is especially helpful when searching for a Mentor. Networking requires you to talk to several people about their experience, skills & achievements. The more people you meet and the more productive conversations you share, the more people you have to choose from as your Mentor. Specifically, network with potential Mentors in your field to find an individual who understands your Business Ideas/, Startup challenges. Hopefully, someone who has succeeded in business.
Step #3. Attend Events & Meetups
There are many community events & meetups for professionals, which are perfect for networking with potential Mentors. During a networking event or meetup, you’ll converse with others in the same or similar fields, making connections with like-minded professionals. You can also do this thru LinkedIn.
Join. Search for possible organizations to join – where you can get involved and meet people with similar passions. Attending events & meetups will likely increase your chances of meeting your next Mentor. Even if you don’t meet your Mentor at a networking event, you can still build a variety of connections that can help you professionally.
Step #4. Consider your Institutional connections
If you have attended college, you most likely have an alumni network. Consider these groups as well as former professors, instructors & extra-curricular advisors when searching for your Mentor. These people know you and already have a general understanding of your goals. Many institutions have online groups and websites specific to their alumni network. Universities hold reunions & alumni events, which provide excellent opportunities to meet potential Mentors. Try to attend these events to continue to interact with people affiliated with your institution.
Step #5. Meet with potential Mentors to Qualify
Consider meeting with several potential Mentors to find the best fit for you. Each Mentor has their own approach to running a Business and hlping develop you professionally. Maintaining a Mentor for a long time is ideal, so take the time to speak to potential Mentors and learn all you can about them.
are great for learning more about a potential Mentor in a casual setting. Initially, do a pre-qualification (interview) over the phone to determine if it looks like a match. Then do a face-to-face Interview, in the potential Mentor’s office or in a public space (ie, like a coffee shop). During an informational interview, you ask questions about the Mentor’s experiences, but doing it more as an informal conversation than an interview. This can help you get to know the potential Mentor both personally & professionally. Although a Mentor serves as an advisor, you can both learn from each other. Learning about each other’s experiences is beneficial because you each provide the other with an additional perspective.
Step #6. Think about Logistics
When thinking about your Mentor relationship, consider the logistical aspects of maintaining the professional connection. Think about your schedules & flexibility in planning meetings. If you decide you want to meet with your Mentor in person, choose someone who lives relatively close to you.
Step #7. Build a Relationship
Sometimes Mentorship happens naturally, and you gain a Mentor through mutual experience over time. This type of relationship requires a lot of time & effort put forth by both you & your Mentor parts. An unexpected Mentorship often occurs while you are in college, your jobs along the way or someone you chatted with about starting a business. A professor, supervisor, manager or co-worker could start as an advisor, then slowly grow into your Mentor. Allow your relationship to grow authentically to develop a deeper connection. Celebrate big & small victories !!!
BONUS: Famous Mentors & Mentees
Steve Jobs, mentored by two – a College Friend & Apple Designer.
Oprah Winfrey has mentored hundreds of women. She was mentored by Barbara Walters – famous TV Interviewer.
Richard Branson [Virgin Group (telecom, music, airlines, etc)] mentored by Freddie Laker – who founded Laker Airlines.
Bill Gates: was mentored by #1 Super Investor Warren Buffet – worth about $100B – and they have an World Charity together
Maya Angellou (world famous inspirational Author) mentored early by her Grade School Teacher)
Elon Musk [Tesla] was mentored by Space X’s VP of Business.
Comments: Do you know any other Steps in Finding & Using a Mentor?
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