Whatever the industry, whatever the business, there is no denying the impact of having a good mentor for your business.
They guide you through the business landscape in ways you wouldn’t have figured out by yourself. For any eCommerce business looking to make its way to the top, there is no denying the benefits a mentor can bring to the table.
But here’s the thing: while mentors are important, there are businesses who don’t consider reaching out to them a priority. That’s an error of judgement at the end of the business.
While having no mentors may work, having an experienced individual give their say on your business can prove even beneficial as well.
Now that you know about the importance of mentors, it is time we answer another important question:
How to go about selecting mentors?
There is no direct method to selecting a mentor. The steps vary from individual to individual and businesses alike.
But in general, there are certain questions you need to answer to select the right mentor. Let’s outline five of these, shall we?
1. Why do you need a mentor in the first place?
It’s a simple question.
What are the problems you face in your business, and how did those problems prompt you to select a mentor?
To get the right answer to this question, you need to look at your business processes. Think of the problems that you’re facing in the industry, and what improvements you can make for your business.
Only when you have an idea of the problems can you expect yourself to reach out to an expert who will guide you out of it.
Now, why are creating such business outlines so important?
Well, in some rare cases when you can’t find a free mentoring resource from, say, YouTube, or Google, you have to search out for the paid resource. Because you pay these mentors for their time, you need to ensure that you have a list of all these questions, at the ready.
2. What qualities do you want in a mentor?
You need to find a mentor who is competent from both a practical and personality perspective.
You need the right mix of both.
For example, an individual might like a no-nonsense, right to the point type attitude from a mentor. Another might focus on the more technical aspects of running an eCommerce business, for example.
Again, it’s best to have a list of things you would want from a mentor. Now, you don’t have to show off this list to the mentor. Instead, use it as a measuring stick to see how many qualities the mentor fulfils.
3. What are the essential channels for mentorship?
When you have your list of requirements at the ready, you can go out and explore the various mentorship channels available.
As a best practice, don’t just go for a mentor whom you find very quickly. Instead, you should have a list of mentors that you filter through to find the best one.
For example, if you’re looking for a digital marketing mentor, you shouldn’t just limit yourself to the likes of Neil Patel or Brian Dean. Yes, they are the pioneers within their respective industries, but the more you diversify your list, the better it will be.
That concludes the digital mentorship scene.
For traditional/physical mentorship support, you’re pretty much covered with organisations like America’s Small Business Development Center, Veteran Business Outreach Center, SCORE, and more.
If you have a very specific niche, you can contact your trade association or union to find out the available experts and mentors within your industry.
4. Have you looked within the community?
Absolutely not. There is no limit to how many mentors you can have. Think of it in artistic terms: there is inspiration all around you.
Look within your friends, family, and acquaintances. Talk to them, listen to their opinions, ideas, and thoughts related to your business.
Everyone has their own unique experience to share, so it’s best that you become a good listener.
If an individuals’ experience and insights really inspire you, connect with them later on. Building long-lasting relationships within your community can give out significant dividends for your business in the long run. Have a business card with you always to introduce yourself to potential mentors.
Your local community will also have its fair share of small-to-large businesses. Ideally, you should look for mentorship options over there as well.
The more you expand your horizons, the more creative ideas you can gain for your business.
5. Are you ready to be a mentee?
An essential trait of a good mentee is being an inquisitive listener. Now, what does that mean exactly?
Well, it means asking questions and listening carefully to what’s being said. Now, this doesn’t mean that you bombard the mentor with questions.
Instead, you need to maintain balance with what you’re asking and listening to.
Once you’ve gained the expertise and time of the mentor, it’s time to give back. That’s how a healthy business relationship works. Make sure to show gratitude and support to the mentor rather than just take in what they say.
We hope that once you have an answer to the questions we’ve posed in this post, you will have a better idea of how to select and build relationships with the mentor.
Of course, you can also pay this whole mentorship experience forward to other people as a mentor.
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