Entrepreneurial Mentors: How They Help & Where To Find Them
Mentors can be a wealth of knowledge. They offer invaluable advice based on their experiences and want to see you grow and succeed. But finding a mentor can be tricky, especially if you don't know where to look or what you're looking for. Below, we go over the benefits of having a mentor and offer advice on how to find one.
Benefits of having a mentor
Give yourself the advantage of learning from someone else's mistakes and hurdles. Mentors can be there to help bounce ideas off of, offer direction, provide advice, make connections, and more. Consider asking them about marketing concerns, staffing logistics, pricing structures, etc. You don’t have to spend your time tackling each step of business alone.
Finding a mentor
They don't have to be in the same line of business, though it doesn't hurt to have a few people who are. Many successful people enjoy offering direction and advice – they don't want to "pull the ladder up behind them." While it can feel difficult to reach out for guidance, especially to someone you don't yet have a relationship with, people are typically open to sharing their knowledge.
If there's a local store that always seems busy or shop nearby with great branding, ask for the owner's email. See if they'll let you pick their brain and make some introductions for you.
If you're looking for a group, check platforms like Meetup.com and Eventbrite. There's likely a meetup-style group for entrepreneurs in your area that you can start attending. If nothing exists, create one! You may be able to fill a need in your community and unite local entrepreneurs.
You don't always need to seek out someone and ask them to mentor you. You can derive just as much value from someone you've never met. This "digital mentor" is sharing their knowledge for anybody who will listen, posting advice on social media, podcasts, blogs, and more. Gary Vaynerchuck is a great example of someone providing digital mentorship. He spends a good deal of his time offering advice and motivation in his areas of expertise.
A more personal approach to online mentorships are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Etsy groups. Each of these platforms offers discussion pages where people can address topics, offer feedback, and grow their network. Groups can be structured around any type of topic, and if you don't find one that suits your needs, start one. You may be surprised how many people are interested in the same subject.
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