Is that what every entrepreneur requires when starting their business journey?
As an entrepreneur-starter, I will tell you without hesitating: YES
Mentorship is one of the most important factor to set the right foundation, get all your strategy and processes right, and propel your business to success.
Mentors have been there, done that. They have seen the mistakes that other have made, that they have made and they are here to help you avoid them.
Unfortunately, not everyone will confess that they have been mentored. It is clear however that the biggest names in business were mentored before they became successful. Here are just a few of the more well-known ones: Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook was a mentee of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs credited his success to his mentor, Mike Markkula, one of the early investors of Apple Inc. Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google were mentored by Eric Schmidt.
If I had to redo all of my failures and successes, I would make sure that to have the right mentor straight from the beginning, and not just anyone.
Here are ten reasons why you, as an entrepreneur, need the right mentor.
1. You Gain Experience Not Available in Books
Experience is one of the most crucial assets for any business to succeed and that’s why entrepreneurs are readers. However, you can only learn so much from books as most authors feel uncomfortable to share everything in their books. Yet, it is how they dealt with different experiences and how it influenced their thinking that can help you.
Mentorship helps you discuss your direction or issues with someone who can share deeply about what when right and what went wrong in their own words. You don’t miss the emotional aspect of starting a business when you talk with your mentor, something you might miss from a book.
2. You Have a Higher Chance to Succeed
Research has shown that having a mentor increases the chances of success significantly. In an executive coaching survey done in 2013, 80% of the CEOs in the study indicated that they were mentored when starting. In another study done by Sage, 93% of entrepreneurs indicated that mentorship was central to their success.
You get timely advice, valuable connections, and regular checks, alongside moral and emotional guidance from a mentor. These attributes will help propel you to success.
3. You Get Awesome Networking Opportunities
Today, most investors trust startups that are recommended by people who are close to them. However, you can be sure of getting more awe-inspiring business connections by working with mentors. They maintain large networks of professionals and, since they are involved with your business, you have a better opportunity to rope-in their useful connections. Why struggle to make the right connections when a mentor makes it easier?
4. You Exude Confidence in your Business
A respectful mentor, emphasis on ‘respectful, will guide you based and help you define success and follow the right path to achieve it. Their assurance will yield self-confidence in you, your product and your team, all crucial for your success. They will help you see all challenges as opportunities.
5. You Stay in Business Longer
Take a closer look at businesses that have failed and the numbers will shock you. In one of the studies done by SBA, it showed that 30% of businesses are likely to fail in their second year while 50% fail in their first five years. However, about 70% of businesses that are mentored have better chances of surviving more than five years. So, bring in a mentor to boost your chances by up to 70%.
6. You Redefine Your Goals More Easily
When starting a business, most entrepreneurs have big ambitions, an important of success. Achieving these goals might quickly become a mirage if they are not properly defined and broken into phases. If, for example, your goal is to grow your business into a multinational, a mentor can help you:
- Relook at your overall business objective.
- Break it down into short, mid and long-term goals that are realistic and achievable.
- Craft the best strategies for achieving each stage.
- Asses the results and change when necessary.
7. You Can Boost Your Emotional Intelligence
There is no doubt that combining emotions and business is likely to yield failure yet emotions are part and parcels of an entrepreneur’s life. One way a mentor can help you is to show you and your team how to make decisions based on emotional intelligence instead of emotions. The secret here is to be aware of how your emotions drive your decisions and impact your results. A mentor will tell you how to logically analyse a situation, take into consideration all important factors and draw the best decision.
8. Your Mentor Holds Your Hand along the Way
Listening to most successful entrepreneurs, you will realize they have passed through challenging phases in their growth. I call them “trying moments” and they can easily break your business dream. There are known phases when most businesses fail, especially a few years after launch. To help you stay your course, a mentor will walk with you, educate you on how to handle issues and let you finally emerge successfully out of most situations.
9. You Need a Trusted Source of Encouragement
During the early stages of your business, like a young child, you are vulnerable to both internal and external factors. It’s not a walk in the park and you need the right support. As you’re wading through a though competitive environment and try to convince your prospects that you have something better, working hard is vital but not enough, you need the smarts of a mentor as well as his experience. Your mentor will help you see what others, and maybe even you, cannot, allowing you to stay on course even when things get tough. Having seen other businesses succeed and others fail, a mentor will help you see what can and what cannot work and encourage you to keep moving all the way. A mentor is long term relationship, not a one-day consulting gig.
10.You Need Help to Craft the Right Strategy
How do you define your strategy? What options are available? What works? What doesn’t? Everything revolves around crafting the right strategy, implement it and analyse the results quickly. Yet you have a lot of work to do, market surveys, selling prospects, customer analysis, building a positive brand, it’s endless. A good mentor who has helped other enterprises succeed will make it easier for you to craft the right strategy and help your enterprise run smoothly. And if you see a strategy in a trendy book, run it by your mentor before you change everything.
The Bottom Line
Smart entrepreneurs know that to succeed, you need to be great at many things, not just you, but the team your surround yourself with. A mentor will help you understand the ever-evolving business environment, holding your hands during challenging times, and ensuring you and your team stay on the path to success. With most businesses being at risk all the time, you can reduce the risk and increase your chances to succeed with the right mentor.