Mentorship… is it necessary? Or is it all just a smokescreen?
Well, I can tell you this: Some of the wealthiest, most successful entrepreneurs swear by using business mentors as an effective way to catapult your career.
Yeah, that’s right— we’re talking “the one percent” entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg and Gates. They’ve both had mentors early on in their careers before they were the mega billionaires we know them as today. You gotta start from somewhere, right?
Owning a small business is the epitome of starting from scratch. When small businesses invest in hiring a professional mentor, they are taking the first step in the journey towards reaching their fullest potential.
Whether you are a budding small business owner without a clue or you’ve been open for a while and need a kick in the right direction, small business mentors can provide you with valuable wisdom to mold you into an unstoppable force in your industry.
What is a Small Business Mentor?
A small business mentor is a person who has a lot more entrepreneurial business experience than you, their mentee. Mentors are viewed as trusted confidantes who are willing to share their past mistakes and experiences in order to help you and your business grow.
They assist you in developing the necessary skills needed in your role while also assessing what aspects need to be corrected to improve the functionality of your business.
Ultimately, they are there to help you identify, initiate and achieve all of your goals, big and small, as a small business owner.
How Can Small Business Mentors Help You?
We’ve touched a little bit on how small business mentors can help you in actualizing your business goals, no matter how small or grandiose, but let’s go into a little more detail.
They Can Provide You With a Different Perspective
When you own a small business, sometimes you need to step back to see the full picture. It can be tough to find different perspectives when you are so involved in what you’re doing day in and day out.
That’s why it is so great to have a mentor there with an outsider’s perspective on your business to help you identify problems or any situations that could be improved that you probably wouldn’t have noticed before.
Not only can they help you see the “bigger picture,” but they can also help you view your small business in the eyes of your customers, government officials or potential investors. Having this advantage will set you up for success and avoid any potential mistakes you could have made if you didn’t know any better.
Your business mentor thought, does know better and they’ve dealt with these kinds of people often, so they are there to help you understand these perspectives and optimize each one.
They Can Develop Your Business Skills
Unlike advisors and consultants, small business mentors don’t just provide guidance on the efficiency and success of your business alone. Mentors also focus on guiding you, as the business owner, to develop the skills and knowledge needed to run a booming business.
Say, for instance, your employees aren’t completing their tasks correctly and it’s wracking your brain because you don’t understand why. Your mentor will then come in and assess the situation, maybe suggest you run a forum to get to the bottom of the issue and come to the conclusion that most of your employees don’t understand your directions.
From there, your mentor will work with you on how to communicate better with your staff. You’ll have uncovered what areas you need to improve as a business leader and can take those lessons with you for a more efficient and positive work environment in the future.
At Selling Revolution, we’ve helped thousands of businesses get out of their own way so they can grow to optimize their businesses and become big names in their industry. Book a call with us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
They Help Expand Your Business Networking
The most successful entrepreneurs and businesses out there have thrived off of nepotism.
Whether they are e-commerce mentors, sales mentors or business mentors, they’ve got the connections you need to help elevate you and your business to the next level.
They can get you in touch with people they know as well as help you network to find your own business allies. The more networking you do, the higher your chances are of gathering a powerful posse of people you can trust to have your back.
Remember, just because you might have started this business all on your own, doesn’t mean it should stay that way. When you don’t leverage the support of the community around you, you’re are way more likely to burn out and inevitably go under.
Boost Your Confidence in Making Decisions
It’s always nice to have that person to validate you when making big business decisions as it can be overwhelming and stressful to do so on your own. One bad decision could easily make or break the future of your business or be hard to recover from.
The reassurance of having a credible small business mentor to turn to in these types of situations is sure to ease any business owner’s mind. They provide you with feedback on what they think you should do based on their own experiences as well as give you more confidence in your decision-making.
Additionally, great mentors will be sure to praise you when you make great decisions. This will be even more of a confidence booster as it will encourage you to be more authoritative and allow you to truly feel like who you actually are: a badass business owner!
Build Lasting Relationships
No matter how long you have your small business mentor, if you truly hit it off with these professionals, you could have the potential to cultivate a relationship that lasts your whole career.
Your mentor is not only meant to be a professional guide but someone that you can connect and work well with. If you and your mentor don’t seem to share the same values or don’t get along, you should seek out someone else.
When you have a mentor that you look up to, have grown fond of and can trust, you’ll be more likely to collaborate with them in the future, which will always be valuable to your career and the stability of your business.
Famous Business Leaders on Mentoring as Essential for Entrepreneurial Growth
Many of the world’s most recognized entrepreneurs have had, and still have mentors.
They know that success isn’t a solo journey and that having a trusted advisor will assist them in keeping their businesses innovative and relevant in an ever-changing market place.
But don’t just take it from me, take it from these five renownedly successful entrepreneurs as they share their thoughts on the importance of having a business mentor.
Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder and CEO, Facebook
The world-famous social media pioneer, Mark Zuckerberg, wasn’t born a billionaire. So how did this Harvard grad create such a lucrative company like Facebook that has forever changed how we people interact in our world every day?
He had a mentor. And get this— it was Steve Jobs.
It’s safe to say that a big part of why Zuckerberg has attained so much success in his career is due to having Jobs as his mentor. I mean, after all, he is the founder and CEO of Apple, one of the biggest companies in the world.
When discussing his experience working with Jobs, Zuckerberg said that he asked him a lot of questions. Like how to build a team that was as serious about his business as he was that also shared the same values and goals. Jobs would give him all the advice he needed to build his business and even better, change people’s lives.
Today, Marck Zuckerberg is more successful than ever. He’s recently created some buzz in the news by boosting his net worth to a whopping $33.3 billion after making $1.6 billion in just one day. He has also recently launched his new project, “The Metaverse” a virtual reality-based social media platform that further proves that his potential is limitless.
Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
We see the Virgin Group brand almost everywhere today, from airlines to cruise ships, mobile devices to books, and it’s all because of Richard Branson’s vision that dates back to 1970.
But it wasn’t only his vision and determination that got him to become one of the biggest multifaceted companies in the world. He understood the value of mentorship.
Bransons confided in Sir Freddie Laker, the famous British airline entrepreneur. Under Laker’s guidance, Branson commented that having a helping hand from the start was very valuable to him and that without Freddie Laker, he wouldn’t be where he is today in the airline industry.
He goes on by expressing that the idea of building your brand all by yourself may be admirable, but it’s foolhardy and a very unwise approach when trying to take on the world.
Bill Gates, Founder and Technology Advisor, Microsoft
Even the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates himself stands by the benefits of having a great mentor by your side. As one of the richest and most famously successful people in the world, you could say that he has a solid point.
He credits part of his success to not only someone who is his mentor, but his businessman and investor as well, Warren Buffet.
Gates has described Buffet as being an excellent teacher in helping him learn how to deal with difficult situations and think in the long term. He has also expressed admiration for how Buffet was able to help him understand complex things from his own experiences by putting them in simpler terms.
Buffet has empowered Gates to be the successful entrepreneur he is today, but what we forget to acknowledge is how the mentee can do just the same for the mentor. He’s stated that he admires Gates on his view of what he should do with all the wealth he has accumulated and how he sees himself as a beneficiary of our society.
Kiva Slade, CEO & Owner, The 516 Collaborative
Kiva Slade knows the power of mentorship. That is why she is now the CEO and owner of a successful Maryland-based online business consultancy.
Slade has been able to build her expertise in strategic planning, project and team management as well as system and processes management, and she credits her success from having exceptional small business mentors at many stages of her life.
When talking about the benefits of mentorship, she stated that mentors can change lives for not only the present but the future as well. The roles of her mentors have varied based on her needs and goals but have always been a two-way street as her mentors have learned a great deal from her as well.
Slade strives to pay this great service forward for younger, newer entrepreneurs that need the guidance and support just as she did. Not everyone can be self-made, and it’s a lot to ask of yourself to be as such.
Cara Johnson-Graves, co-founder & creative visionary, EPIC Everyday, Inc.
EPIC Everyday, Inc. is a Washington, D.C. based lifestyle brand co-founded by Cara Johnson-Graves. It’s known for its unique apparel, accessories and home goods that empower a diverse, multicultural society.
Johnson-Graves passionately advocates for business owners, new and established to utilize the beneficial role a mentor can play in achieving success. When discussing mentors, she said that it has made a huge positive impact on improving her business strategy, marketing and social media management.
Since she’s had a purpose-driven mentor by her side, it has allowed her to pivot from something that wasn’t promoting growth in her business into a direction that better-facilitated success. She further stated that support is a verb and that by fostering collaborative relationships, you will only further uplift your business and take off from there.
We get it, finding a small business mentor isn’t an easy feat.
That’s why we here at Selling Revolution are here to help you set up your business for success— which means finding you a mentor that can be like the Robin to your Batman. After all, a great superhero can’t save the world without an amazing sidekick.
Book a call with us today. We’ve got the experience, knowledge and resources you need to help your business flourish.