Mentors are essential since they have been in your shoes once and have lived the experience. Despite this, a dismal number of entrepreneurs begin their careers without one. In an age when instant gratification is celebrated, it's not surprising that many entrepreneurs and young founders do not seek out a mentor as diligently as they do a co-founder.
While there are arguments that entrepreneurs do not need mentors and should instead trust their instincts and gut feelings, most successful tech titans have founders who have mentors. Steve Jobs mentored Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and Mike Markkula, an early investor and executive at Apple, mentored Jobs.
What is a mentor?
Mentorship is a relationship mainly meant for mutual benefits. An experienced individual (the mentor) imparts knowledge, expertise, and wisdom to a less experienced person (the mentee) while simultaneously honing their mentoring skills. Professional guidance can be provided to the mentee while maintaining a cordial and encouraging relationship with the mentor. The mentee's requirements should always come first, and a mentor should adjust their mentoring approach accordingly.
Things to remember while choosing a mentor
- Have a clear goal: Define your career and set achievable business goals. Recognize what you need to learn to achieve your objectives.
- Take a businesslike approach: Treat your mentorship like a professional friendship. Be relaxed and cordial, and avoid embarrassing inquiries like, "Would you serve as my mentor?
- Look for a mentor in your professional network: You may already have one who provides advice in various ways. A little effort is required to develop that connection into a lasting partnership.
Here are five reasons why having a mentor is important
1. You're more likely to succeed with a mentor
According to research and surveys, having a mentor is critical to success. According to a 2013 executive coaching survey, 80% of CEOs received some form of mentorship. According to another Sage study, 93% of startups believe mentorship is vital to success.
Having the right mentor can increase your chances of success in life and business. The valuable connections, timely advice, and occasional checks you will receive from a mentor, combined with the spiritual and moral guidance you will receive, will catapult you to success.
2. A mentor provides you with assurance.
Quality mentorship has been shown in studies to have a powerful positive effect on young entrepreneurs. Having someone who practically guides you and shares your concerns, often assuaging your fears with their years of experience, gives you confidence that you'll succeed.
Self-assurance is critical to entrepreneurship success. According to a 2014 Telegraph report, having high self-confidence is more important to career success than talent and competence. Mentors can assist young founders in developing self-confidence and viewing every challenge as an opportunity.
3. A mentor will help you stay in business for a longer period.
When you consider how many businesses fail, you'd wish that many more business owners had mentors. According to the SBA, 30% of new businesses fail within the first 24 months, and 50% fail within the first five years. Nonetheless, 70% of mentored companies continue to operate after five years.
4. Gain knowledge that is not available in books.
Experience is a costly asset — yet it's crucial to business success. Books can only impart so much information about someone else's life. Most authors do not feel comfortable revealing everything about themselves in books, which is an unspoken truth. Some personal experiences may be too personal to discuss, but how they dealt with them can benefit an inexperienced entrepreneur's career.
Mentorship is one surefire way to learn from others' experiences.
5. Opportunities for networking
Aside from the fact that investors believe startups are recommended by their friends, a successful mentor has an endless network of people who can help your career. Because they are already invested in your success, it only makes sense for them to allow you to use their network of people when the occasion arises.
If you don't have a mentor, you won't be able to take advantage of this opportunity.
As you can see, the benefits of having a business mentor can be substantial, while the risks are minimal, if not non-existent. Finding and keeping a relationship with a good mentor who provides as much as they receive will benefit you. We hope we have covered all the important reasons you require a mentor.
Best wishes for your future endeavours.