Why all startup founders need a mentor


Did you know that 70% of business owners who use mentors will survive in business twice as long as those who don’t?

Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship forged between a more experienced business person and someone who is less experienced to help them to achieve their goals and boost their morale.

When undertaken effectively, it offers benefits to both parties, but it is first and foremost a supportive and encouraging relationship that focuses on the needs of the mentoree.

With mentoring, the budding entrepreneur is guided and supported so they can reach their highest potential.

For example, during his early days immersed in growing Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg consulted with mentor Sean Parker and was noted as saying: “Few people are as smart as he is.”

The top benefits of having a mentor for your business include:

  • Exposure to new ways of thinking
  • A new perspective on challenges you’re facing
  • Someone to ‘lend an ear’ when you need to vent or talk through your thought processes
  • Advice on how to develop your strengths and overcome your weaknesses
  • Strategies for growing your business
  • An opportunity to gain knowledge and develop new skills
  • The possibility of increased recognition and visibility within your industry through networking
  • Increased confidence

Mentoring is also beneficial in a wider sense because it can act as a strategic way to develop and nurture active partnerships within your business community. Not only will individuals benefit from mentoring, but so could the entire company, through improved staff morale and engagement, enhanced management leadership skills, and strengthened company culture.

Even the most well-known entrepreneurs, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, had mentors.

Mentoring is usually a one-to-one relationship and is frequently undertaken on a voluntary basis.

There are also benefits offered to the mentor in this process. Mentors who are willing to invest their own time and energy into the development of another entrepreneur will enjoy a personal sense of achievement and service, as well as recognition as an authority in their field, exposure to fresh ideas, personal development in terms of their own leadership style, and an opportunity to reflect on and realign their goals.

Have you considered having a mentor to help you with your business? Rare Birds Con 2016 on 8-9 June will delve deeper into the benefits of mentoring. It may be the one thing you really need to scale your business.

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Jo Burston is the founder and CEO of Job Capital and Inspiring Rare Birds, which works to promote opportunity for women in entrepreneurship. She writes for StartupSmart about diversity, entrepreneurship and being a founder.