How to find a mentor for your startup? Finding the right mentor is no longer a secret to success. No man is an island. Thus, every entrepreneur needs a support network.
Learning from someone experienced in your business line has proven to be of a valuable asset.
Finding the right mentor can be challenging because it entails more than just finding someone you aspire to become like and merely asking for advice, not to mention someone right for your needs, strengths and setbacks.
That is why you need to carefully scrutinize who is reliable to take up this task. Without any subsequent delay, let’s get into it.
How to Find a Mentor for Your Startup?
Here are 5 Steps to find the best mentor for your startup:
1. Target the ‘Been There, Done That’ Kind of Mentor
“A mentor with an experience has more to offer than one with none.”
You would be guided through to prevent any form of bankruptcy in the long run. A mentor that has ‘been there,’ has seen it all, both the period of business boom and decline; and a mentor that has ‘done that,’ has taken all the risks.
Your business is less likely to fail when being guided by an experienced mentor. Research individuals in the same line of business you want to engage in.
2. Active Participation in Business-Related Events
Expanding your business circle is another great way to finding the best mentor. This can be done by actively participating in business events. Volunteering, registering and attending events like seminars, workshops and conferences related to your proposed line of business.
This helps to enhance your web of connections by meeting with successful entrepreneurs that are familiar with your business field.
However, successful entrepreneurs are drawn to startup actively participating in events. It will gear them to mentor you.
3. Go for a Mentor That Aligns With Your Values
There are lots of accomplished entrepreneurs in the world; nonetheless, only a few of them would actually align with your business values.
A mentor that has similar business values as you, is the kind worth keeping. This is because, they would have similar business ethics and principles and would not compromise them for anything. Good business ethics are important in maintaining transparency.
You can also check their track records to see if it’s the kind you envisioned for yourself.
4. Find a Mentor That Keeps You on Your Toe
In business, you have to be prepared for any outcome; and the only way to be fully prepared is to get mentored by someone that would always keep you on your toes. A mentor that would get you out of your comfort zone into the real business world.
It is advisable to look for a mentor who will provide an honest feedback and a constructive criticism; but will also be supportive. A mentor should challenge assumptions, when they feel their mentees are headed down the wrong path; and be able to have those tough conversations.
You won’t gain much by having a mentor that has similar perspectives with you when it comes to taking risks. Risks in business can either yield a profit or loss. The job of a mentor is to make sure you’re not afraid to take those risks based on assumptions, even if it could mean embracing a setback.
You can also find out from the other mentees, if the mentor is one that aspires you to reach your goal.
5. Look for a Mentor That Strengthens Your Weaknesses
Finding a good mentor is similar to finding a spouse. You should always select a mentor that fills the gaps in your experience and skill set, someone that completes your vision and purpose. A mentor that possesses all of the strength you lack is asset to your business growth.
Find a mentor that is living your dream life and ensure their strength can complement your weakness. This will prevent you from making any wrong decisions.
Don’t Quit Until You Find the Right Mentor
There is every possibility you don’t find the right mentor at the initial start, but that should not be a reason for quitting. You would get to explore different people in the search, until you find the right one. Never settle for a liability, someone that does not meet up to the standards of your values.
If you don’t like your mentor, you have every right to break up with them and find a new one. When you finally get the perfect mentor, you will know, and results will prove it.
Mentors – The Entrepreneur’s Unfair Advantage TED Talk Video
From the video: Now, why mentoring is important? It’s something I’ve noticed while I’ve been mentoring these 100-odd companies is that how these founders think about mentoring actually is a predictor of their success.
The ones who attract mentors, attract lots of mentors, and then actually manage to be singularly disrespectful of their time. In other words, they get much more time out of these important people than they would perhaps deserve, is a real skill. Something which these guys have mastered, and hopefully, will go on to master for other people as well.
But I think the corollary is also true. The people who don’t master mentoring, never seem to get off the ground. So if I invest in a company, and I don’t hear from them for a month, I’ve sort of mentally written them off, because they are not going to master the skill.
They think they are going to be doing it on their own, and that’s a fallacy. They won’t be able to do it. So great mentors attract great founders, and great founders attract great mentors, and that’s important to understand.
So what does mentoring mean exactly?
First of all, it’s somebody who is going to help you repeat their success. Somebody who has done it before and who will help you on your journey in startup world, or indeed any new skill you’re likely to master.
As an example, if you want to learn polo, the person who is going to be able to teach you best is the best person you know who can play polo. Not somebody who doesn’t know how to mount a horse. It can actually be around one specific area.
For instance, we often hear these days of young people mentoring older people about things like social networking and technology.