People often imagine entrepreneurs as individuals toiling away at their desks to create new products by themselves, but the people who are most successful in business don’t go at it alone. Even if you’re just starting out in the industry, business professionals spend a lot of time bouncing ideas off of colleagues, teammates, friends and family members.
More times than not, sustainable businesses are created by motivated and educated people that gain these traits through experience, which recent graduates usually lack. This is where mentors come in. The lessons you can learn from a mentor will help improve your business practices, ethics and, hopefully, overall success. Read about some of the ways a business mentor can impact your career.
The Value Add of Mentors
They Know More Than You
Find a mentor that has been in the industry for a while or runs their business the way you hope to. They can help by teaching you to write business plans, budgeting tactics and even the day-to-day operations of a successful business. Business mentors may share tips and tricks that they’ve gathered throughout the years and support you through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. They’ve lived through this before, learning from their mistakes and successes, and can impart some of the valuable lessons they’ve accumulated over the years.
They Are Objective
It can be difficult to observe yourself and your experiences with an objective perspective. Mentors can give you an honest review of areas in your business that need improvement, as well as point out the areas that are doing well. You’ll want to find a mentor that is very honest with you and who knows how to offer constructive criticism in order to make you a better businessperson. Honest feedback is key, especially at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, and tough love is a tried and true way to promote growth.
They Offer Discipline
Having a business mentor means there’s someone to keep you accountable in achieving your career goals and consistently check-in to see how you’re doing through the process. This can motivate you to make progress and discipline you to continue to improve and grow. A strong work ethic and a drive to succeed can make or break an entrepreneur. This is something your mentor should know well, so they can not only monitor you in this area but provide some advice from their own experiences in this area.
They Have Connections
The saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Although education does play a significant factor in the success of a business, networking is also a significant factor. Mentors that have worked in business for years or even decades are valuable connectors. They may introduce to you to future investors and contributors to your business as well as help specify your target audience. Expanding your social network gives you an in with senior-level decision makers that you may not have had access to without the connections of your mentor. They can help you form relationships that lead to opportunities for growth and development for your career and your business.
As evidence has mounted that distance running is not just a natural human activity enjoyed by millions, but one that played a key role in evolution, a puzzle has emerged. Why, if humans are so well adapted to running long distances, do runners get hurt so often?
A study out of Smart School and the National Running Center at Smart-affiliated Templeton Rehabilitation Hospital provides a puzzle piece, linking injury to the pounding runners’ bones take with each step. The work, led by Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Jane Eckhart, found that a group of runners who had never been hurt landed each footfall more softly than a group who had been injured badly enough to seek medical attention.