Top 5 Benefits of Finding a Business Mentor

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Whether you’re a brand new entrepreneur or a veteran business owner, business mentors are valuable assets. Having trouble finding a mentor? SCORE and America’s SBDC are great places to start. Mentors help in every facet of business, offering guidance from “someone who’s been there before,” to encouragement on the hard days, to help with networking, and more. Here are the top five benefits of finding a business mentor.

Valuable insight from an experienced professional

Finding a mentor who has “been there, done that,” especially in the same sector or business vertical you work in, awards you invaluable advice that could change or even save your business. A mentor can help you cut through the learning curve in your field; often sharing their knowledge and allowing you to grow faster in your career without the sometimes painful or slow lessons holding you back. Mentors with a few more years of experience in the industry can also help you maximize the advantageous opportunities that come your way, identify situations to walk away from, and teach shrewd business acumen.

Ongoing support and encouragement

Especially for self-starters and one-person business owners, where else can you turn for advice, encouragement, or support? There’s no longer a “boss” to go to with problems — you are that boss now. Having a mentor can make your journey feel less like you’re “flying solo” and more like you have a co-pilot. Though they might not make any decisions for you or your business, they can act as a sounding board, offer insight to situations with their own experience, and support you as a shoulder to lean on when you need it.

Access to an expansive social network

With a mentor by your side, growing connections in the business world comes naturally. Between in-person meetings and mixers (post-COVID, when it’s safe to do so), virtual webinars and roundtable discussions, and online networking on LinkedIn, a business mentor with more experience than you can offer access to movers, shakers, and decision-makers you aren’t currently connected with.

Furthermore, mentors often readily offer this connection sharing, making it much easier to grow your network than attempting to cold-email or impersonally reach out to others on your own. When mentors, especially those highly-respected in their field, recommend or connect you to their colleagues, it gives others a silent, meaningful vote of confidence in your skills and abilities that you’re well-regarded by a person they already trust.

Affordable (if not free) guidance

In the business world, it’s almost impossible to find unique, valuable, and completely free resources. That’s just what a business mentor offers, though. Unlike business coaches or consultants, mentors usually volunteer their time for free to help others like them as a way to give back — often because they either had a great mentor or wish they did and hope to be that for someone else.

Finding a mentor is a smart financial decision for startup and small business owners looking for an affordable way to to learn quickly and establish a meaningful relationship with an experienced professional. Readily available through a multitude of different organizations, mentors don’t even have to be in the same business vertical as you. A great mentor is an experienced professional with helpful lessons to teach and connections to share.

Help you avoid common mistakes

While mistakes are great teachers, some are completely avoidable or hinder instead of helping your business and journey to success. The great thing about mentors is that they have no ulterior motives like selling you something — they truly want to help you learn. Just listening to a mentor’s stories about how they started out, what challenges they faced, and how they overcame and found success in the face of adversity can offer the same lessons to learn as if you made the mistake yourself without the consequences. Find a business coach/mentor here.

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