I am currently working with some entrepreneurs who are truly visionary in where they would like to take their idea and transform it into a viable business. In some cases they have already put into place a growth trajectory that they now wish to take to a higher level. In other cases we are starting at the beginning of the journey and the vision is still not all that clear.
Understanding our purpose or “why” is critical to establishing the vision. Most organizations cannot answer “why” they do what they do and having that sense of direction is a must have.
How important is mentoring? Sage has done some great work as a result of surveying over 11,000 small and medium sized businesses in 17 countries across the world. Here are some interesting results:
- 93% of small and medium sized businesses acknowledge that mentoring can help them to succeed.
- 28% of small and medium sized business currently make use of business mentors
- 27% of business decision-makers would be most likely to go to people they know for business advice and mentoring.
- 9% of business decision-makers would go to ‘select business mentors’ as their first option for business advice.
Mentoring can and is a critical part of the success factor for any entrepreneur which is why it is important to select a good mentor – one that understands the process and has had some form of training. I have seen a number of entrepreneurs that have stumbled and fallen and poor mentoring was an enabler of that failure. I have stepped in and worked with some entrepreneurs that have had those bad experiences and they have lost a sense of direction on their journey.
One thing that I have found is that most business mentors have focused purely on the business aspect and have not touched on the personal challenges that the entrepreneur may be dealing with. A great example is an entrepreneur that does not see the value in what they offer or does not think that they can do this or even be successful. It is very difficult to stand before a potential client to pitch your product or service when you don’t believe in it or yourself first. I spend a fair amount of time addressing challenges like that so that I have a whole person to work with once we tackle the business challenges. This is a skill set that was developed as a result of proper training.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur that wants to see your vision become a reality then you need to embrace the “gift of mentoring.” Take the time to find a great mentor that you have the chemistry with. It is a nice to have that they have worked in the same industry as you, it is not a need to have. I mentor a number of people that I do not have industry specific knowledge. I ask a ton of questions which ensures that we both learn as we travel on the journey to success together. “Embrace the “gift of mentoring” – Can you afford not to?
Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®.
Doug shows organizations how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).
Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).
Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2019.
Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.
This article was originally published here