When you are just starting a business, it might feel exciting to figure everything out independently. However, an entrepreneurial journey can be full of new learnings, from learning how to manage different functions like accounting and marketing to building a team together.
Although every entrepreneur has expertise in running a business, something sets a successful tycoon apart from an average one. For instance, think about the best business people out there. What do Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Steve Jobs have in common apart from being extremely successful?
Mentors have guided each of these individuals. Yes, that’s right. But, even the best companies today evolved with some help and support from external advisors.
Irrespective of your educational background and business experience, a good mentor can be the factor that sets you apart. Here’s why it’s an invaluable secret benefit to have a mentor.
Who Is A Mentor?
A mentor is someone who acts as a support or advisor. A mentor could be the right person to reach out to whenever you are stuck and do not know how to move ahead. After all, mentors have the experience and skills to act as a catalyst to help you improve.
Moreover, a mentor is an expert who can help you find a new perspective. More often than not, we tend to go to business partners or family when we face a problem. While this is a good perspective to have, it is not the same as the power of getting advice from a mentor.
Also, you do not have to pay someone to be your mentor. Mentors often choose to help someone because they know more about that subject and wish to pass it on. On the other hand, others are willing to learn more about challenges and help budding entrepreneurs and employees overcome them and achieve their goals.
How a Mentor Can Help You
Learn from their unique experience
You can’t learn everything from books. Sometimes you need to go through difficult situations to learn something from them. And most of the time, mentors have this kind of experience, which can be helpful for others.
Many businesses collaborate with vendors specializing in a business function. For example, a restaurant that partners with DoorDash for deliveries. This relationship is valuable for restaurant owners because they are experts in hosting, serving, and making delicious food, but not food delivery. So, it’s best to leave this department to a company with extensive knowledge.
Set achievable targets
We all set goals, but we’re not always successful when measuring them. And, without setting measurable goals, you are very likely to stay where you are or even go backward. A mentor can help you develop effective goals.
With the help of a mentor, you can set goals that can push you out of your comfort zone and help you achieve greater things. You will also learn to develop a strategy to convert your plans into achievable targets. For example, suppose you’ve decided to adopt email marketing as a strategy to attract new customers. In that case, a mentor can help you understand how to get more conversions instead of landing up in someone’s spam folder.
Also, it is one thing writing down a goal and working toward it, and another to setting a goal and sharing it with someone. Doing the latter makes you accountable and more likely to reach it.
Learn how to push through
Do you often feel satisfied with how far you’ve reached? Are you unbothered by what’s happening around you and how it can affect your business? If you answered yes, you are probably close to being complacent.
At first, being okay with where you are might not seem that bad. But, it is something that can affect or even stop your growth. By consulting a mentor, you can find out why you are where you are and how you can push through and move towards new heights.
During this process, you might even have a chance to discover something completely new about yourself. For instance, Kubera’s founder had little to zero experience in the fintech industry. But, after he faced a personal loss, he realized there were no tools in the market that did what he needed. This moment is when he was inspired to build a fintech product that can solve everyday problems in a completely different way.
Measure your productivity
Optimizing productivity is essential to business success. What does this mean? How do you measure and increase it? It is about the number of hours worked, the multiple tasks, and the issues addressed. Having a mentor with an impartial perspective can help you make better use of your time to get more done.
A mentor can help you understand how to measure productivity by defining the right metrics, recommending an external tool, or even tracking revenue. By measuring productivity, you will have the insights to make informed decisions about operational changes, hiring new talent, and implementing new processes and tools.
Enhance your standard practices
Since you are running a business, you might already have some processes. These processes are in place for different teams such as finance, marketing, operations, human resources, etc.
Now, to ensure you can make the most of your resources, it is essential to revisit these processes from time to time. This review cycle will help you uncover new ways to streamline your work, improve productivity, and increase profits.
A third-party perspective can help you improve how you are currently handling everyday activities. For instance, an advisor can help you learn if your accounts payable department uses software that can save time, cut costs, and build good relations with the team and suppliers.
Solve problems quickly
Saving the best for the last: the best part of having a mentor is that they can help you solve problems by offering a new perspective. When we are stuck, we think of the problem from only one or two angles. Unfortunately, this limited thought automatically restricts our ability to develop out-of-the-box solutions.
But, with a third-person perspective, you are more likely to get solutions. Studies suggest people are wiser when they have to solve someone else’s problem than their own.
From sharing their wisdom and helping you set targets to offering a third-person perspective, a mentor can be helpful in myriad ways. All you need to do is ask for guidance and be open to listening. After all, taking advice from someone more experienced will always help you achieve incredible business results.
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