A business mentor is someone who can provide an outside view and a fresh perspective. They might be someone who’s succeeded at entrepreneurship, or they might be someone who’s an expert in their industry. You might meet them through networking or you might join a mentoring program. No matter who your mentor is, it’s important to understand the benefits of having one and the many ways they can help you succeed.
A Listening Ear
It can be stressful being an entrepreneur. There are many challenges and sometimes it can be hard to keep on top of things and stay motivated. A mentor will provide you with a listening ear, is someone to bounce ideas off and can always offer a second opinion.
Learn from their Mistakes
Why learn from your own mistakes, when you can learn from others? A mentor’s role is to share the lessons they have learnt so you can learn from them and avoid the mistakes they’ve made. If you’re unsure about a tough choice or a business deal, get your mentor to help you weigh the pros and cons. They will have invaluable insight based on their experiences.
Expand your Network
As an experienced business person, your mentor is likely to have a large network. If they believe in you and your business, they will be likely to open up their network to you. You mentor can help you make connections and build contacts to develop your business..
Become Focused and Productive
By regularly discussing your business you will become more focussed and productive. A mentor will help you review what you want to achieve, where you are, what the next steps are and help you establish future priorities. Not only that, your mentor will hold you accountable so you actually achieve those goals.
Challenge your Beliefs
With so many other things going on, it’s sometimes hard to stop and think of what else is possible. It is a mentor’s role to ask you a lot of questions and challenge your ideas. This will help you look at your business from a different perspective and expand your beliefs of what’s possible.
Increase your Business Knowledge
Your mentor’s accumulated knowledge is yours for the taking. They will have experience in many different aspects of business which you can then learn from them and gain as your own knowledge or experience.
Improve your Relationships
Having a mentor will increase your self-awareness. Your confidence and your self-esteem will also grow the more you learn about business, which will help improve your relationships with others.
Finding your mentor can be tricky. As in any relationship, chemistry is important, but so is having the right experience, background and knowledge to truly help you.. So before you start seeking your mentor it is important to determine what you are looking for in that person and how you want them to help you. You can then be sure to find a person who fits the criteria.
Here’s a list of the mentorship programs we know:
- BC Foodprocessors Association
- BC Human Resources Management Association
- BCIC New Ventures
- Canadian Investor Relations Institute
- Canadian Public Relations Society
- Chartered General Accountants of BC
- Connecting Environmental Professionals, Vancouver
- Forum for Women Entrepreneurs
- International Association of Business Communicators
- Minverva BC
- Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Mentorship Program
- Project Management Vancouver Island
- SFU Technology & Business
- Society of Punjabi Engineers and Technologists of BC
- Vancouver Board of Trade: Leaders of Tomorrow
- Women in Leadership
- Women’s Enterprise Centre
- Women’s Executive Network
- YWCA Vancouver