Steps to Finding a Business Mentor to Help You Succeed

steps to finding a business mentor

steps to finding a business mentorMentoring has experienced a dynamic shift in popularity in the last few years. This is especially true when it comes to launching a small business. The challenges that are presented in today’s economy require the wisdom to overcome obstacles and foresee new ones before they even materialize. A business owner experienced in your industry is an ideal advisor when you are finding your wings. Here are a some steps to finding a business mentor.

Recognizing the Need

As an active participant in your industry, you already have a skill set that can take you down the path of success. However, you likely do not have every tool you need for ultimate success. Recognize the elements that you may be missing from your expertise, and look for an expert that can complement those skills. These are individuals that have demonstrated strengths and experience that you will need to complete your business journey. Your goal is to succeed, and finding the right mentor for business will help you to achieve your vision more quickly.

Professionals in Your Vertical

The first level approach is to seek out a mentor within your industry. The internet is a rich source of information for potential candidates. Many have established websites and blogs that can help you to discern if their approach and information is the type of guidance that you are seeking. Your ideal candidate will be an experienced professional in your field who has a proven track record of success. They may know of, or may be part of a mentoring program and can introduce you to their circle.

Trade Publications and Trade Show Networks

Make use of the many newsfeeds and trade publications to do some of your research. Trade shows are a perfect opportunity to network with industry leaders. These gatherings are typically in top-notch venues that offer a relaxed environment that allows in-person introductions to people that you might not have had the opportunity to meet. When you begin to extend your request for mentorship, you may be surprised at the number of individuals who are available.

Selection of a Local Mentor

If your requirements include a local mentoring program, make use of a day office to set up interview appointments with the various candidates. Check with your local professional business organizations, including the Small Business Association. Part of the SBA program mission is to offer support and training for small businesses. They often include the participation of some of the top entrepreneurs and executives to provide guidance and mentor programs. A word of advice: Have a compelling “elevator speech” that you can pitch quickly and efficiently.

For in-person interviews, prepare a written summary of your strengths as well as your weaknesses, and ask the candidates to review and offer their input on what may be missing. This will not only allow you to make the right choice for a mentor, but will demonstrate your serious attitude about succeeding and achieving.

While you may be talking with individuals that you have never met before, you can rest assured knowing they share your passion for success and have proven themselves in your industry. A dedication to progress from both mentor and mentee will ensure a much greater likelihood for success in your business.

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