Why Finding A Mentor Is Critical | SMH Branding
Your friends and family, the online gurus, publications, and even casual acquaintances can provide you with a steady flow of information regarding business news, industry developments, and opportunities. However, only a business mentor can truly share wisdom with you on an ongoing basis, and in a manner that can have a direct, positive impact on the growth of your business over time.
With an abundance of information available on the internet today, you may think it’s unnecessary to have a mentor. You can learn from great minds and experienced entrepreneurs on YouTube, from podcasts, and through online courses. Many entrepreneurs do just that. It provides a diversification in the content they consume and perspectives they consider.
But building a relationship with a mentor is so much more powerful. Once you launch into your own business, there's no boss to turn to for advice or direction when you're in a pinch—maybe not even any employees yet. You see when your mentor knows you they can give you customize advice to cater to your specific needs. A one-on-one relationship with someone who can advise you, your company, and your professional career specifically can make a significant difference in your success.
The benefit of finding a business mentor is that you can learn from their previous mistakes and successes. According to SBA, 30 percent of new businesses may not survive past the first 24 months, and 50 percent of those may not make it past five years. However, 70 percent of mentored businesses survive longer than 5 years.
While the reasons for a company’s failure differ, top reasons include no market need, running out of cash, not having the right team, or being outcompeted. These are all scenarios that a seasoned business mentor can anticipate and help you to navigate. And good mentor can help you look at problems and situations from perspectives that you would not have thought of on your own.
Your mentor doesn't need to have experience in your particular industry, though it helps if they do, so that you're maximizing your opportunities to leverage key relationships. Your mentor's role is to share with you lessons from their experience in the hopes that you can learn them quickly and easily.
Especially during your the early stages of your business journey you can benefit local communities and networks, which provide formal or informal access to mentoring from those with more experience. If you are starting a beauty brand, vendor events and tradeshows is a great way to network and meet like-minded individuals. Through this process, you will see that feelings of uncertainty and worry are commonplace.
Your mentor, being an experienced businessperson, is likely to have an extensive network, and can offer you access to far more senior decision-makers than you currently have. And they will be far more willing to open that network up to you than some casual acquaintance from a networking meeting.
As you can see, the rewards of having a business mentor can be great and the risk is non-existent. Mentoring is a consistent process- while you may not need one all the time, but just the fact that having an experienced one who you can reach out to any time provides great comfort.