Do I need a mentor. Interesting question, isn’t it?
So what do you think? As a new or aspiring entrepreneur, or even as a more established business owner, do you?
If your answer is ‘no’, you might be thinking that you don’t have time for a mentor. Or that you don’t need one. Or even that you can learn everything you need to know, from the internet.
But I would whole-heartedly disagree. We ALL need a mentor. Here at Tabono HQ, we are lucky to have two. And we can quite honestly say that our business would not be where it is today without them. Helen Steel of Streamlion Consulting is also one of our Tabono Experts.
But why are mentors so important?
A person’s mentor is someone who gives them help and advice over a period of timeCollins Dictionary
To me, mentoring is not about telling, or even teaching someone what to do. It’s about having an external person, or people, in your corner. They are there to question you, challenge you, encourage you and advise you. They are there to be candid, and to tell you things that you don’t necessarily want to hear.
If you don’t have a mentor, you remain ‘inside’ your business, and the perspective you end up with can end up being very narrow. If your only ‘external’ influences are friends and family, you may also not get an impartial perspective at all.
Mentors will also suggest things that you probably haven’t even thought of, but which can be hugely beneficial. They could open doors for you, make introductions, and champion your success.
So how do you choose a mentor?
If you’re considering working with a mentor, there are a number of factors to think about in making your choice, but here are my top four:
- Values – your mentor should share your values. If you conflict with each other, this will create tension, rather than a supportive relationship
- Experience – everyone’s experiences in life are different, so it’s really important to choose someone who is appropriate for your needs. Do you want someone who is further along your chosen path? Or someone who brings a completely different perspective? Or indeed both?
- Communication – a successful mentoring relationship is founded in strong communication. Choose someone that you are comfortable talking to.
- Personality – do you actually get on?
So to finish, let’s go back to the original question. Do you need a mentor for your business? Absolutely yes! Think about who the right person for you would be, and bring them into your business team!