Research and surveys prove that having a business mentor is important to success. 80 percent of CEOs said they received some form of mentorship and 93 percent of successful start-ups said that mentorship was instrumental to success.
The business failure rate is surprisingly high, with 30 percent of new businesses do not survive 2 years, and less than half make it past five years.
With a mentor involved around 70 percent of businesses break through the 5 year anniversary. (UPS Survey on Mentored Businesses Jan 2014)
At the start-up phase of most companies, the Founder has the idea and usually the skill in a specific area, but they have no idea what’s involved in running a business. Just getting a business off the ground can be made a lot easier with a mentor in place from the start.
Tapping into the knowledge and experience of someone who has been there and done it before gets you up to speed, learning faster and reducing potential mistakes.
You get exposed to issues that you may not see because you are so close to the business. Mentors can be brutally honest with you – they become your “critical friend”, helping you learn, grow and develop without falling flat on your face!
When a business is still in its early stages, the business owner can end up doing everything and losing sight of the big picture. Even as team members come aboard they are often more junior roles and not privy to the pressures of the CEO / MD.
It can feel like a lonely and empty existence. On one-hand no one tells you what to do, where to be and whether you are doing it right. On the other-hand you don’t know what you don’t know, it can be hard not having someone to bounce ideas off and when it’s all getting really challenging, it can help to have a sympathetic and un-judging ear to listen.
When a mentor gets involved, the feeling of isolation is usually the first thing that disappears.
The definition of a mentor is “an experienced and trusted adviser” – and this is why they are so valuable to not just the business owner but to the business as a whole. Mentors can become a bit like a priest in the confessional, equally they can give some tough love when needed! In the role of trusted advisor, a mentor helps you by giving valuable knowledge and insight. They help keep you focused and on track with your plans.
It’s probably worth mentioning what you can expect from your mentor and, more importantly, what mentors do NOT do.
Mentors provide support, advise and listening – they are facilitators and engage in knowledge transfer.
Effective business mentors do not take over or DO things in your business but help you become a better business owner quicker than you could ever do it by yourself!
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
More information about business mentoring research:
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