A good number of entrepreneurs along the way have discovered why they need a mentor as an entrepreneur and things mentors can do for them but their difficulty has always been how to choose a mentor. One business we consulted for honestly admitted to having experienced some difficulties in choosing a mentor prior to opting in for business yield mentorship and coaching program. The same is for many businesses out there and this has really prompted this article. Mentorship and coaching for businesses can never be overemphasized. The following are steps to help you on how to choose a mentor.
1. Discover yourself First. Who are you? What nature of business inspires you the most? What strengths do you have and what loopholes do you see in your business. You have to know where you’re heading to before calling on someone to help you in the journey. Defining what you and your business stand for is the first thing that determines the rest. Jim Collins in his book built to last clearly stated that one of the qualities discovered inbuilt to last business was having a clear purpose, vision, and mission they are committed to.
You have to state clearly what you and your business stand for. If you fail on this, every successful person will look like a mentor to you just like the adage that says, if you don’t know where you’re heading to, every way looks like the way.
Not every successful person should mentor you there are qualities to look out for in a mentor (internal link here). But before that get clear on what exactly you business should be doing and never should do.
2. Be clear on what you want. Why exactly do you need a mentor? If you don’t figure this out, you likely won’t make the right choice let alone getting the benefits of the mentorship exercise (internal link here) Make your expectation clear and pen them down. Once you figure out what you want, it’s time to begin your chance.
3. Values. What are you values? You wouldn’t want to have someone who doesn’t live by the same value to mentor you. While people have different values and principles that govern their lives, it easier to tell yourself to learn the lesson and discard the contradicting values. It doesn’t work that way. No one wants to see another ride on his value or neglect his basic principles. You can’t cope for long and can’t fake it for long. If it doesn’t align, let ago. Some people break some right and moral business values and get away with it. You might not succeed in borrowing the same.
5. Start your selection. Now your know what you and your business stand for. You are clear on what your expectations are, it time to start looking out for successful people who have walked the journey you want to get started on not minding their location or age. Which successful people have shown a successful track record in your proposed field of business? If you don’t know, you can search them out on google. How do you get them to mentor you? I have written on How to get any desired successful business person to mentor you. check out the strategies and follow-through.
5. Consider their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a weakness and you’re not exempted. A mentor should sharpen your skill and complement your weaknesses. The mentor has weaknesses too and expects to see them. His weaknesses shouldn’t blind your eyes on his strength. However, he should have more strength to complement your weaknesses than his part of weaknesses that matches your weaknesses.
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6. Communication. Someone can be too good and so successful but lack the ability to effectively communicate the same strategies, principles, and practices that made them successful. How strong is his communication skills? How much time does he have to communicate with you? Some people can be too busy that they have no time to coach others. This kind of people can be a good catch if you are willing to get into their lives and take off some tasks of them, as you do this task, you are practically learning what they do. However, if they believe, their activities must revolve around them, then they are bad leaders, avoid such. This is because they will never trust and anyone enough to handle the task better than they’ll do so never will delegate the task to you. Proving otherwise to them by exceeding their expectations and doing better with a touch of excellence will make them feel insecure and you’ll become a threat. Such people are not ready to pass on their knowledge.
7. Can you afford to return the favour? Mentorship should be a win-win. No one wants to harbor a parasite. knowing this would help you benefit more from the mentor. If they put a price tag, then you should be able to pay. However, the pay isn’t always about money. What can you give in exchange? If you don’t, you can ask the mentor about what expectations he has. It pays to give back to your mentors, as they will be inclined to stay engaged in the relationship for longer. Successful mentorships are two-way streets in which the mentor learns new things as well – not by calling on the same experience that a mentor brings, but by bringing insights about new developments not present when the mentor was younger.