I was fortunate enough to have a mentor early on in life. My mentor built a business from scratch and taught me the value of hard work and persistence, fearless entrepreneurship and sustainable success.
My father was my mentor and his guidance helped shape where I am today, both personally and professionally. Growing up talking about business at the dinner table, watching my father develop a business and witnessing the hard work paying off, was the seed planted. You can find that seed from your parents, your friends, colleagues or industry leaders.
The concept of mentorship is not new, and exists in different forms. A mentor is someone you can learn from, whose work and values you respect – the ones you require to be successful. It is possible to have a number of mentors, either at different stages of your career, or for various improvements you wish to make, who collectively have the attributes you need to succeed.
As an entrepreneur, whether you are at the beginning of your idea or well into your journey, it is important to be open to finding that person or people who will provide you with the knowledge you need to help guide you along the way. Chances are they have already made mistakes and can share those lessons. A mentor is a useful resource to help you progress in business or even your personal life.
What to look for in a mentor
It is important to find a mentor related to your chosen field or industry. For example, if you are an architect, you want to find someone who has been through a similar journey that you are on. You want to learn from their experience in the industry, and see things from a different perspective that will help you think outside the box.
My father and I share the same purpose and direction in life, and I was able to learn the skills I needed and then apply them to my business.
Be open to different types of mentors, as they come in different forms. You can have a formal or informal mentor. You can also have business or personal mentors, or a life coach who can help you set your goals. As an entrepreneur, my family, friends and colleagues have helped shape the journey I am on.
Keep an open mind – you may find that you need more than one mentor. As change happens around us faster than ever before, we need to learn to adapt to different conditions. There may be more than one mentor you need, especially throughout different stages of your career.
Choosing the right mentor
Having the right mentor is very important. First, look around, because chances are the best mentor for you is right under your nose. It could be someone you work with or a friend or family member.
As mentors can be successful business people, you need to be aware and respect that they may have limited time, so use the time you do have with them effectively.
Here is a guide to getting the most out of your relationship with your mentor:
Come to your meetings with a clear agenda.
Think about big-picture questions, not day-to-day operational issues.
Ask them what continues to motivate them.
Find out what they read and where they get their information.
Seek insights into your industry and strategies that helped them become successful.
Remember that a mentor can help you in a specific area and that the relationship is a learning experience. Keep an open mind and listen.
A good mentor will want to see you succeed and will attain satisfaction from being able to impart their knowledge and experience to help another. I highly recommend the lessons you’ll receive from the relationship.
*Original Article by Hezi Leibovich: http://www.brw.com.au/p/entrepreneurs/hezi_leibovich_many_heads_make_light_SXpmMrPNCvx4ORqE5VNwVM