How To Find A Mentor
Read on to find out to find your very own helping hand to help you grow your start up business.
Firstly you should ask at your network events or within other organisations to see if there’s a mentoring programme you can join. Surf the net as well, as there are various websites on mentoring.
To find someone, identify a person you admire and respect. Go back and look at your goals and see the notes you made on your management team and decide what characteristics you’re seeking in a mentor.
Do some research on people you’d like to work with; you can even use LinkedIn to find people you have seen speak at seminars or functions. First, approach them for a link or connection before you cram them with requests to give up their time for you.
Find A Mentor
Don’t be afraid to ask someone to be your mentor, they can only say ‘No.’ Nothing lost, experience gained.
Dust yourself down and try again. And keep trying until you find someone who will help you, support you and guide you through the ups and downs.
Approaching A Mentor
When you approach your wise owl, go slowly and don’t bombard a possible mentor; it could make them say NO!
Test the waters by a simple request for their advice on a particular challenge that you know will be their forté. Or make a direct request. Be open, honest, realistic and enthusiastic.
Another way is to buy them a coffee or splash out and do lunch. If you both feel good afterwards, there is probably a basis for a mentorship.
Don’t forget to thank them for their time, even if the idea of mentoring is going nowhere.
When you have their trust, tell them your intentions and request a trial mentoring period.
That way it gives them an opt-out if they feel that they won’t be able to help you and vice versa.
You As A Mentee
You should show your potential mentor trustworthiness and confidentiality. Agree from the start how things will work and how you will communicate. Decide on boundaries together and clarify time commitments and expectations.
Jo Haigh Advises Mentees...
Don’t ask too much
Do what you have agreed
Stick to time tables
Open your mind - you will learn loads!
There are thousands of networking groups where you could scout for your mentor. Some of them even pair mentees and mentors, such as FreshIdeas Events where I saw the competition, applied and was awarded Karen as my mentor.
Jackie Brennan, from FreshIdeas Events, is an excellent mentor matcher and has advised on both mentor and mentee topics. Check out Jackie’s mentoring program.
What a ride! You may not be flipping pancakes or fishing for pond life, but the inspiration and motivation, as well as good common business sense, will set you on fire and make you aspire to be as successful as they are. Don’t just get a Mentor, get one today!
If this was helpful, why not have a read through some of the many articles on starting up your home business.
Our How To section includes articles on how to name and host your home business website, how to set and acheive goals, how to find a home business mentor and many more.