The marvel of a mentor

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The marvel of a mentor

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The concept of having a mentor to help you and your business develop is nothing new. For many years, people have enjoyed benefiting from this support every step of the way.

But what does a mentor really do? Can they shape and grow a business, just through talking? And if you want one, where do you find them – www.findmeamentor.maybe?

Being a mentor myself is incredibly rewarding. Working with people from a variety of backgrounds, helping them on their journey personally and professionally, is a massive highlight I take away from every mentee.

So I was keen to write this blog to offer my thoughts on why mentoring is so beneficial in entrepreneurship.

It goes through the key points of being a mentor, and being mentored, so you’ll have a better understanding of what’s involved and the rewards.

There are various types of mentoring, like group or distance for example. This blog post focuses on one-to-one as I’ve had the closest experience in it.

Role of a mentor:

A mentor can be a massive independent support system if you’re starting, launching or growing a business.

You may need help on a specific area, or longer-term support throughout a business venture.

Whatever length you need a mentor for, they’ll be there to offer advice, suggestions and clarity on many issues. And that’s a key point of a mentor. They’re not there to make the decisions for you.

Their skill is collaboration, working as a team, discussing options, visiting past experience, and encouraging you (the mentee) to make the right decision.

That way you are more empowered to remove stumbling blocks when they appear in the future, and you’ll feel more confident about your skills.

A mentor is someone you can bounce ideas off, discuss a strategy – or just having a chat when something goes wrong, or right!

And it’s not just business issues that need support.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about launching a business. It involves all aspects of your life, including personal. So a good mentor is able to communicate effectively on how your whole life can affect business goals.

See it as an holistic look, where personal and business lives connect, and when running smoothly, makes your life easier.

A mentor can help in many areas – not just with business plans. Personal development, confidence, new skills, motivation – and having belief in yourself are just a number of benefits.

After a mentoring session, you should feel more confident and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

What makes a good mentor?

I believe a mentor needs many skills to bring about a successful mentorship. It’s not just about having bags of experience and spilling it out to the mentee.

Here are the key points to look for:

  • Listening: This has to be the number one element. Having the skill of actually listening in a conversation and offering timely and relevant comments is surprisingly rare. Remember a party when that person wouldn’t stop talking about themselves?  That’s not what you need. Make sure your future mentor has this skill – and you’ll be sharing a positive relationship.
  • Knowledgeable: I believe a mentor who has wide ranging commercial and personal experience can tailor their advice better to the mentee. Choose someone with wide ranging life and business skills, who are more likely to help achieve your goals.
  • Honesty: You need someone that doesn’t mind mentioning their mistakes, so you can learn from them. Finding a mentor that’s honest brings about a genuine relationship. Also, they shouldn’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ if they don’t understand an area your explaining. I mentored an entrepreneur in an industry alien to me. We worked together learning from each other and got a tangible mentorship from it.
  • Planning: A great mentor can see your business from research, to launch and growth. This means they can see obstacles before you do, therefore can advise accordingly, rather than 12 months in, and too late to change things.
  • Encouraging: When embarking on a new venture, you’ll need bags of enthusiasm, even when things turn ugly. You don’t want a mentor that always has a dark cloud over them. Get a mentor who’s encouraging and inspiring to give you that much needed lift.
  • Proactive: A mentor listens, and offers relevant advice and suggestions to steer you on the correct path. However, it also really helps when they offer innovative and new ways of growing you and your business. And these suggestions can sometimes take your business from zero to hero. So take on board all advice they give.
  • Feedback: Giving constructive, valuable feedback is essential. Your mentor may not agree with what you’re doing, so they need to explain why in a professional manner – and one that you can take away advice on.
  • Got your back: If I’m mentoring someone, it doesn’t just stop at the sessions. If I see something relevant in the media, I’ll send the mentee a link. Or I’ll offer resources for further reading before a next session. Having someone outside your business supporting you all the way, gives you an extra confidence boost and can develop your business further.

Choosing a mentor:

A mentor doesn’t have to be someone you work with.

They could be a friend, past colleague, someone in another company, or in a completely different business field to you.

Take on board the suggestions above about qualities they should have, and have a trial session if you can. You’ll probably learn much from just a short time, and make your mind up accordingly.

Finding a mentor should be easy. Talk with your peers, contact enterprise and development agencies, re-establish contact with an old boss, or your local networking or commerce organisation will help.

Structure the mentoring:

The best way forward for mentoring I’ve found is to have a clear strategy for what you need.

Have an outline plan in place, perhaps sets some goals, so that the mentor knows what you’re doing and where you’re headed. That way, they can pre-empt any possible challenges early, so you don’t make the mistakes perhaps the mentor did.

I also feel flexibility is good. Having someone able to jump from one aspect to another, whilst not being too rigid, helps the mentorship to flow in a natural way.


If you’re being mentored the right way, you’ll be able to make easier, quicker decisions, on your own. It’ll build you and your business to become more successful, saving time and money.

You could even see a mentor as your superhero/superheroine. So extend your arm, point to the sky – and power to the mentor!

Thanks to for the superheroine image.

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