Mentorship: A Small Business Owner's Point of View

When we think of mentors, we might think of being in a corporate environment where senior leaders help less tenured employees navigate their career. However, I challenge you to shift that thinking and focus on mentorship from a small business perspective. How often do owners of a small business help to “mentor” another small business owner that is “new to the game?”

As I continue to learn and grow into becoming the entrepreneur I’ve dreamed of being, I am simply amazed at the number of “olive branches” being extended to me. Many of us seem to be scared to take the leap to entrepreneurship because we think we’ll be the only ones with “skin in the game.” However, I submit to you, that is simply not the case.

As a small business owner, you’ll find that everyone has advice for you or knows the “best” way to achieve your goals. When you are feeling extremely overwhelmed, ask yourself: Are you in a place to receive the help being extended to you?

One of the best ways to receive this influx of information is to establish a mentorship with a small business owner that is in your field and knows what obstacles/challenges/opportunities you are facing. You can glean valuable lessons and information from a mentor that has walked a mile in your shoes and can help you to avoid areas where quicksand is prevalent. A good mentor that has a proven track record of success in business, and knows successful business practices (no matter the discipline). A mentor should also be in your circle of trust - someone you can vent to and be “real” with on the days when the going gets rough.

Typically this type of relationship is free, invaluable, and priceless. Use the same kind of initiative to seek and secure a mentor as you used to take the leap to become an entrepreneur; you won’t regret it. When you find one, and, you will, make sure you approach your mentors with ideas and suggestions on how you’d like to move forward, what obstacles you’re facing that you have not been able to navigate through, and what recommendations they have to address the obstacles and opportunities you’ve presented to them. Then…DO IT! Too many of us will seek counsel and advice but not implement/execute the advice we’re given. Once you’ve implemented some or all of the recommendations, hold yourself accountable to execute them and ask your mentor to do the same.

Once you’ve gotten the chance to benefit from a great mentor….BECOME one!!! You won’t regret that either.