Many businesses/startups today, are brainchildren of younger people with so much passion and vigour, ready to take on the world. And although enthusiasm is a great thing, there is no doubt that experience counts for a lot and having the advice of someone who has been around the block is always useful to a new venture. Here are 5 other reasons you shouldnât start your business without a mentor:
- You need to get your foot in the door
One of the most vital elements of mentorship for early stage ventures is the ability of the mentor to open doors for the new company. Getting in the door with senior executives of larger companies or even the government can be difficult, particularly for younger entrepreneurs, and having a mentor who can successfully lobby you to get that first important meeting is very key. A good mentor should be able to help you as a budding entrepreneur to get past that early barrier.
- You need specific advice
You need a mentor whose competence or contacts cuts across key areas of entrepreneurship. With this in place, your mentor can either use his/her competence or put a call through to a close pal when matters come to particular issues such as legal, accounting or intellectual property. Having extensive, accurate and detailed information on such matters can be very helpful to stop you from making mistakes that may take months or years to discover.
- You need an external view
It isn't impossible that sometimes, you might miss out important details and you'd be totally oblivious to it. However, when you have a good mentor, they'll ask difficult questions about the business plan and elements such as the mission, objectives and ideas that you've probably overlooked. You can get blindsided, sometimes by the sheer enthusiasm of doing a new venture such that you're unaware of obvious flaws in the business plan. But the job of a mentor is to first, never get blindsided, and second, wake you up from your slumber.
- You need reassurance.
Take it or leave it, every business starter does. It has been proven by research that a quality mentorship has a powerful positive effect on young entrepreneurs. Having someone who practically guides you and shares your worries with you, placating your fears with their years of experience, keeps you reassured that you'll be successful. Self-confidence is very important to success as entrepreneurs. If you find a good mentor, he/she has the capacity to help you tap into your self-confidence and see every challenge as an opportunity.
- You need to develop a stronger EQ (Emotion Quotient).
Of course, we all need to get our emotions in check, entrepreneur or not. But as you start your business, you'll find that age or maturity doesn't bring about a higher EQ. And that my friend, is what you need a high dose of because emotional intelligence is crucial to entrepreneurial success. When a young entrepreneur has a more mature and successful mentor who advises them, they are likely to have greater control over their emotions.
As a budding entrepreneur, you need a mentor that can always put you in check. Trust me, anyone that agrees to mentor a starter is taking on a huge responsibility because mentoring is hard, especially when the mentee is not curious, patient, motivated or lacks intellectual curiosity; ensure you're not that one.
Finally, keep in mind that your mentoring needs will change as you build your business, take the time to determine exactly what kind of mentor you want now. Are you having trouble with the numbers, understanding your market or operations? You can build a wish list for your mentor â lay out what skills and support you need to get to the next step.
Entrepreneurship can be tedious, if you have questions or challenges on your entrepreneurial journey, please leave a comment about it below.