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The Importance of Mentorship for the Business Owner
Running a company can be a lonely business at times. It’s often a good idea to cultivate a relationship with other people in business upon whom you can rely for a bit of professional support. A mentor can offer you perspective, real-world insights, connections, and advice from someone who knows what you’re going through. Don’t underestimate the value in meeting one-on-one or virtually with someone who can provide a fresh perspective on the issues you’re facing day-to-day.
According to a 2011 report from LinkedIn, the top five benefits of mentorship are:
In the same report, LinkedIn pointed out that nearly one out of every five women in the U.S. does not have a mentor and so are missing out on advantages that come through interacting with others who have direct or related business experiences.
In what ways could a mentor help you in your business? Consider what kinds of problems you need help solving. What’s the tough business nut you haven’t yet cracked? Think in terms of your biggest hurdles, and imagine a person who has cleared them. That’s where a mentor can provide the benefit of experience.
You don’t necessarily need a mentor in the exact same business as yours or even in the same industry. If your needs are extremely specific to the type of company you have, look within your industry. Most issues pertaining to running and growing a business are similar across all industries so a seasoned entrepreneur could offer you valuable insights regardless of the type of business she’s run.
It’s not an imposition to ask another professional to become a mentor. A mentoring relationship is just that - a relationship - and the best ones are mutually beneficial. Your mentor will benefit from your fresh perspectives, and by helping you address the challenges you are facing, she’ll keep her problem-solving skills honed. As a mentee, you bring her an opportunity to get inspired and to remember why she started a business in the first place. A strong mentorship is a win-win situation.