Answering this question is tricky because realistically, you don’t need a business mentor. You’re probably perfectly capable of surviving – and thriving! – without one.
That said, the rewards you can reap through working with a business mentor make it an extremely worthy investment – and with many services offering free business mentoring, all it might require is a simple investment of your time and brainpower.
Friends, family, and colleagues are all great sources of encouragement, support and inspiration, but expert guidance is what will really take you to the next level.
The benefits of working with a business mentor include:
- Broadening your knowledge and skillset
- Supporting the next generation of talent
- A chance to learn from the experiences (and mistakes) of others
- A neutral, non-biased perspective
- Boosting your confidence as a business owner
All the above come together to foster a much more well-rounded entrepreneur, with the ability to make better decisions when it comes to developing an offering or service. It will do wonders for your self-confidence, which will have a knock-on impact on your performance.
So, to help answer the question about whether you should enlist the expertise of a business mentor or not, let’s look at each of the benefits in a little more detail.
The benefits of having a business mentor
A business mentor’s sole role is to be there for you, to impart pearls of wisdom, and to help you fulfil your professional potential. That means they should be more than willing to extend their own network of contacts and connections to help you open doors and find opportunities for development.
As a self-employed freelancer or business owner, having a mentor onside also means you suddenly have someone to look up to, and a more senior sounding board to bounce ideas off. Starting out without one can be a challenging gap to plug when you’re flying solo.
You’ll expand your knowledge and skills
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a business mentor is the wealth of knowledge and skills they already have. You’ll be able to cherry pick the new skills you want to acquire from this toolkit, and learn from the master (or at least the slightly more experienced apprentice).
Doing so will naturally unlock new ideas, and maybe even insider advice around things like new funding avenues – all backed up by invaluable one-to-one support.
You can transfer what you learn to the next generation
After you’ve expanded your own knowledge and abilities, you can pass them on to any employees or colleagues you work with thereafter. If your freelance operation evolves into a recruitment opportunity, your work with a business mentor will help you nurture your own staff.
You can learn from their mistakes and past experiences
As well as absorbing what your business mentor has done well to your own advantage, you can gain insight into what has gone wrong for them, helping you avoid the same potential pitfalls and errors.
Being privy to this kind of insight will alter your way of thinking, inspire more innovative problem-solving, and open your mind to new processes and ideas.
A business mentor doesn’t even need to have years of experience in your specific sector or industry. If they’ve got plenty of transferable insights to support your own journey, they’ll make the perfect sounding board and support system.
You can tap into a non-biased perspective
As a freelancer, you’re likely to spend a great deal of time working alone, and getting feedback from clients, or friends and family.
Working with a business mentor means you get feedback and constructive criticism from a neutral perspective, from somebody who won’t be afraid to point out areas for improvement. In fact, they’ll be quick to put them under the spotlight to encourage your progression.
If you have decided to cash in on the benefits of a business mentor, good luck and enjoy the ride. If you’re leaving it on the back burner for a little while longer yet, don’t forget there’s a whole cyber library of resources, information and support out there on the internet for you to delve into.
Either way, we’re chuffed that you chose our article as the place to start!