It sounds obvious, you only know what you know, and you don’t know what you don’t know. But how many of us have taken that step of looking for that mentor in business to take us to that next stage?
At Rock Paper Digital we have a business mentor so we learn from someone who’s been around the traps, made the mistakes, without us having to.We learn a great deal from our mentor each time week hook up on Skype or email.
Our business mentor has been able to direct us down the right path clearing the mist so we can see exactly where we want to go, and keeping us away from rabbit holes where we’d spend time and effort for no real return.
Do things differently
There is a old saying that if you keep doing things exactly the same way, you’ll get exactly the same results. If you want different, better results you’ll need to do the things you’re doing in a different way. You could (and should) be reading books to grow your horizons, and books will enlighten you to different perspectives you’d not realised before. However, books are one directional, from the author to the reader. A mentor on the other hand offers two way communication, is able to listen to your issues and advise on direction based on your specific circumstances. They can apply their experience to your situation. You can bounce ideas back and forth until you crystalise on something that has opportunity. You can’t get this value from a book alone.
A business mentor can help you:
- identify business issues that may impact overall performance
- assist with applications for financing
- determine the strength and viability of a business proposal
- review pricing and costing
- build sales and help you to find new customers.
In Australia, there exists a service “Small Business Mentoring Service“, which can
- improve management skills,
- gain clarity and focus,
- understand their finances,
- improve marketing
- employ staff
- understand responsibilities
- grow new markets
- explore franchising opportunities
- start a new business
I’m sure there will be something very similar in your area.
Looking behind can help you move forwards
And if you’re really driven, why don’t you become the mentor for someone else? Just take a moment to reflect on where you were 12 months ago, what you were doing, what you turnover was like and contrast it to where you are now.
There will always be people behind you that you can help, mentor and coach. You will grow tremendously from doing just that.
“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.”
– Peter F. Drucker
One of my favourite presenters is Chris Lema and he talks about just this in his presentation “The Commoditization of Intellect“, a very engaging and entertaining 35 minutes.
Let me know below in the comments about your experiences with finding and engaging with your mentors.