Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Mentor
Mentors can be one of the most powerful weapons for an entrepreneur, providing guidance, wisdom and connections. Unlike critics, who tend to look behind you to tell you what you did wrong, mentors look forward to help you succeed. They offer a helping hand, providing entrepreneurs from all walks of life the honest feedback needed. Their encouragement, funding and long-lasting relationships make them the ultimate coach. The right mentor can have a substantial influence on entrepreneurs of all ages.
Amy Errett, venture capitalist and StartOut board member, said entrepreneurs with mentors tend to build more successful businesses.
“Entrepreneurs not only deserve this type of care and feeding, but can more effectively use this type of knowledge transfer to build their businesses—resulting in portfolio companies that make better business decisions and achieve greater success,” Errnett said.
Mentors provide five main benefits to entrepreneurs.
- Knowledgeable advice: Mentors have often been in the same or similar situations as their mentees, making them an excellent source for advice. The role of mentors, dating back to Homer's Odyssey, is to share their knowledge and experiences with younger professionals. This knowledge transfer helps entrepreneurs learn quickly, avoid mistakes and make stronger business decisions.
- Develop long-term relationships: The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is based on a mutual respect and a mentors desire to share their knowledge and experiences. Mentor relationships traditionally span over an extended period of time, developing personal relationships based on knowledge transfer and guidance.
- Tell it like it is: A good mentor is honest with their mentee and hold them accountable for their mistakes. This is perhaps one of the most valuable traits of a mentor. Many young entrepreneurs bounce ideas off of family and friends, who often offer little honest or valuable advice.
- Open doors: Mentors have a web of personal and professional connections to share with their mentees. These connections can open doors and drive businesses for their mentees.
- Keep on track: Many entrepreneurs, especially new ones, tend to loose site of the big picture in their search for perfection. Mentors help keep entrepreneurs on track and moving forward by providing outside perspectives and guidance.
Mentorship doesn’t just benefit the mentee; it’s a two-way relationship that benefits both parties. Mentorship offers business professionals a way to give back, a chance to share their expertise and a way to become more involved as a leader, service provider and consultant. If you are a business professional looking to share your knowledge and experiences with young entrepreneurs, apply to become a LaunchHouse mentor!