Mentorship can be a key ingredient to success for small business – whether you’re an entrepreneur starting your first business, or part of a small team learning new dynamics and skills in an emerging industry.
The impact of COVID-19 has left many SMEs eager to review how they gain experience and insight, and for many, an experienced mentor could be a valuable resource as they begin navigating the ‘new normal’.
Finding good mentorship means focusing on building a group of advisors, with diverse specialties, passions, and connections.
If you’re starting out in business or need guidance on your next move, take the time to think of who you want to include in your network.
Consider what guidance they can offer, and how their experience could give them new insights and perspectives that you may be missing from your overall outlook.
If you’re looking to build new networks in a truly diverse community, a coworking space can add infinite value – in non-industry-focussed spaces such as Hub Australia, you’re constantly surrounded by a diverse community of people to reach out to for knowledge.
Top three tips on making the most out of your mentorship:
1. Every connection counts
Paid-for mentorships have popped up as a product as more people recognise the value of business mentorship, but for many they don’t necessarily yield more value or support.
Mentoring doesn’t have to be a formal sit down for an hour – reframe your expectations and seek mentorship in small, everyday connections. Brainstorming with a friend or past colleague over a coffee, jumping into forums online, or even listening to podcasts can provide fresh perspectives and prove to be beneficial.
2. Set your own goals
Mentors can act as a sounding board, providing you with invaluable advice, experience, and guidance, but it’s essential to remember that the final decision rests with you.
Mentors can provide wisdom and advice from their own perspective, but you always have to remember to stick to your goals and keep your objectives clear.
3. One mentor isn’t enough
Finding the right mentor/s for your communication style, business, and goals is a personal fit – there will never be a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
Throughout your career, you’ll come across a variety of milestones and hurdles that require you to look for different types of advice and experience.
Surround yourself with a strong, communicative network of peers that you know you can call upon in many situations, whether they’re business professionals, friends, colleagues, or online. Diversity is the spice of life, and having a range of mentor relationships can help you on the road to success.