Getting your business off the ground is quite an endeavor. It is said that 90% of startups fail during their first 12 months of existence and those that survive, are most of the time unable to grow to a bigger scale of business, therefore staying always as a small operation and eventually dying off. Growing a business and scaling its operation to bigger horizons is probably as daunting as getting started, and it seems that there is one thing that successful business have in common when it comes to surviving the transition and that is, the use of mentoring.
Working with a mentor is a very underutilized but extremely effective resource that entrepreneurs need to start seriously considering. For one, the numbers do not lie as about three-fourths of mentored small businesses survive more than five years, that is a rate that is more than twice higher than their mentor-less counterparts. Mentors are also able to give you a unique perspective on your approach and help you identify common weaknesses on your business model, as they have the experience to back up their knowledge and them objectivity that comes from not being personally involved with the project.
Today in Suzzanne Uhland’s Blog we want to take a look at some of the ways mentors can help your startup and show you why these techniques are not just a gimmick, but actually an important tool you should always remember that you have at your disposal when it comes to navigating the world of businesses.
Experience is something you simply cannot buy and definitely cannot learn from reading books. A mentor is a unique source of such experience and someone who will be there on the ground with you helping you look at all aspects of the business, not simply giving you general advice that may or may not apply to you. The purpose of the mentor will always be on the road they have already traveled and how you can utilize the experiences that shaped them. This in order to avoid the same mistakes they made, and at the same time take advantage from the things they have learned.
Another great advantage that mentors bring to the table and people often forgets to mention, is the amazing opportunity to be found in their vast network. Networking is of extreme importance nowadays and having a mentor on board means not only having their knowledge, experience, and input, but also their connections in the market and the advantage that comes from having access to a pool of people that can greatly benefit your career and be there when the need arises.
It has been proven that mentors are able to give reassurance and provide feedback that can be of great value to entrepreneurs. Having someone next to you who has already gone through the same process you are living is a great way to ease fears and instill confidence at such crucial moment in a business owner’s journey. Being confident can have a great impact in career success, sometimes more so than talent and even competence, so it is important to stack all odds on your favor and have that extra boost in morale than only a mentor can provide.
The boost in emotional intelligence a mentor can bring about is something else worth mentioning and a factor that cannot be overlooked. It is common amongst young business owners to be a bit rash when it comes to decisions or be too passionate about what they do. There is nothing wrong with passion, but when that passion is not properly focused and directed, you may make mistakes that could have been easily avoided. A mentor is there for you to add that maturity that comes from experience and help you develop solid basis and a more seasoned emotional intelligence.
If things go wrong for any reason, there is nothing like having a mentor there to help you cope with setbacks and to help you gain perspective on what the bigger picture is. Challenges are common and to be expected and that is why you must be prepared to understand this simple and unavoidable fact of life. Nobody knows this better than a person who is successful enough for you to look up them and that at the same time has been part of the industry for many years more than you, so that is why their value becomes so high at moments like this.
Do not become part of the negative statistics and know that startups are just one of the many aspects of business where a mentor can make all the difference, so trust the resources you have, make sure you go through all the steps and then nourish, experience and take advantage of everything having a mentor can do for your new business.