The Strategist

Teach Me, Mentor

04/06/2015 - 18:11

Who is a mentor and why do you ever need them?
Mentor is an external to your project person with extensive experience of doing business in the same or very similar field, with large business connections. He is ready to help grow your business.

In most situations, mentor gives practical advice on business arising in a difficult situation.

How a mentor can help

1. Search out of the impasse.
Mentor gives advice on the challenges that he once solved himself. Often talk with them allows to get a sudden insight, and, just in a moment, the problem is solved.

2. Look for pros.
If you are looking for a valuable specialist, a good mentor can recommend a suitable person for you. He usually knows all the "stars" in the industry.

3. Search for the investment.
If business needs investments, you can offer your mentor a share. This will greatly increase the chances of raising capital.

4. Answers to specific questions.
No one mentor will not seriously respond to general questions from the category of "Where do we find new customers?". He helps to solve specific business problems.

How to choose a mentor

One important criterion - the mentor should not once reach major success in business. Thus, he confirms his class yet proves that he had achieved everything not accidentally.

Try to think about why you yourself and your business may be of interest to mentor.

Often they are interested in exploring the new to the business area, markets, technologies, as well as their object of interest are investments.

Searching algorithm is quite simple:

1. Do.
Create real value: product, service, organize meet-ups.

2. Speak.
Talk about your work, speak at events, keep a blog, actively communicate on Facebook, do not hesitate and do not be lazy to present yourself and your company in a favorable light.

3. Meet.
Inquire the speakers at conferences about every issue, show you are interested in people on afterparty, create playlists ofpeople that soon will be able to meet.

Experienced entrepreneurs do not give out advice on which they were not asked. If you really need an advice - tell me about it directly.
Wrong person

1. Not a businessman. The value of a mentor is his rich business experience. No need to rely on public speaking person, the number of media interviews or abstract regalia such as "Man of the Year."

In business, the only measure are money (and earned money, not borrowed some way or other investments).

2. People with a strange business. Often you can see "co-owners of a group of companies XYZ». They are many and happy to talk a lot, but it is impossible to find any specific information about the activities of their companies. At best, their business is large hangar, which produces paving tiles or a small offset printing company. It is unlikely that they are able to teach someone.

Common mistakes in mentoring

1. Mentor will not help those who prefer to solve their business problems by copying competitors' solutions.

Often, a stolen idea did not take root in someone else's business. In practice, companies may have cases when competitors lured a head of a whole direction, promising to double the salary. No such case has not ended with success: to repeat the previous result was not possible. Mentor cannot help at such a business model. We need to create their own value. Otherwise, you will drown.  
2. Another business mistake - mentor’s tips deviation because of what they see as their experience goes beyond the typical, like "we have all different." We must not forget that there are over a dozen major "growing pains" are common to each growing business. They are even described in the literature. For example: "Lifecycle Management Corporation" Isaac Adizes. And these mistakes are best viewed through the prism of your mentor.

3. Mentors themselves can make a "mistake of survivors." Often they generalize their private experience, believing that if the situation in their specific plan worked - it will work for everyone. This is not always can be applied to everyone.

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