The Differences Great Mentors Make

Since you’re reading about mentors it tells me that – at a minimum – you believe it is valuable. I hope that these encouragements will galvanize your passion for life long mentorship. These are the three reasons why I pursue and value mentorship.

Avoiding Pitfalls

Mentors Provide Direction

Your mentors live outside the noise and chaos of your business and can provide guidance through or around problems. The time and money I have saved because of these insights is immeasurable.The most costly mistakes I have made running my businesses come from misusing my time and focus. When I’m in the day-to-day forest of work it becomes easy to lose sight of the big picture, or to head directly into problems I cannot see (either because of experience, or distraction).

Personal Example: I worked for a software company before starting my own and how I originally envisioned my business growing was very similar. One of my mentors at the time was a CFO who taught me how critical focusing on your core competency was. This single idea changed how I understood my business, and how I spent my time.

Speeding up Success

One of the most difficult roles in a startup is choosing between several good ideas. Within the sea of good ideas the experience and wisdom of your mentors can filter out the gems worth pursuing most. They will be able to speak the hard realities to you about your precious and prefect business… so listen to them!

Mentors Speed Up SuccessTheir experience, wisdom, and insights are the reason you meet with them. Have a spirited discussion with their suggestions. Remember that you know your business better than they do – so bring up relevant experience when it helps flesh out the picture. The goal is to help your company grow, not to replicate their experience.

Personal Example: Currently we are in a major sales push. Our software has matured well, and we are continuing to refine it, but the major blocks are in place. By sharing our previous experience with cold calling (over 1500 prospects), and sharing our experience with who our decision makers are, we quickly shifted our discussion in a more helpful direction.

Vision and Focus

Having regular contact with your mentors helps to remind you of the goals you’ve set. That vision and focus they help you develop will hone you in to be more effective with your time, and to reach your goals faster.

Photo Credit: Max Braun and Luciano Meirelles