Image: Huffington Post
A mentor is a great partner in a tennis game. They are the person(s) you bounce your ideas around, and in turn, they bounce them back to you as strategies to improve your venture.
Mentors are the oil that drives entrepreneurs and their ventures to stay afloat through their constant support, and timely advice from time to time.
Renowned business moguls in Africa such as Tony Elumelu, and Ashish Thakkar know the value of getting advice from seasoned entrepreneurs. In fact, they have since created mentorship programs to guide young entrepreneurs in the continent. Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Branson have also received some guidance from mentors. Look at where they are today!
Mentors give start-ups the wisdom, knowledge and resources from their personal experiences, factors that make immeasurable impact on new ventures and individuals running them.
Now that we have established that a good mentor is an invaluable asset in a business, let us look at why you and your initiative need one now.
Commenting on the importance of mentoring Branson, one of the Virgin Atlantic’s founders said in an article: “I have always been a huge believer in the inestimable value good mentoring can contribute to any nascent business.”
Branson received support at various stages, from bookkeeping to more advanced areas like establishing and running Virgin Atlantic.
While the books and other articles give the outline on how to succeed in business, only mentors have the experience needed in business. The experiences of other entrepreneurs will guide you on how to approach your venture and what to avoid.
Sometimes, upcoming start-ups are not aware what they need to do at a particular stage. With a good mentor, however, this should not be a challenge. When a novice finds themselves in “what”, “where”, “how”, and “why” situations, they can seek the guidance of their mentors. Mentors journey with their mentees, helping them set goals and remain accountable to them, interpret situations as well as offer feedback on the progress achieved.
Wouldn’t it be better if you had someone to caution you in advance on some business strategies that you want to apply in your business?
Well, given that mentors have been in the business field longer, they sometimes know what strategies work better and how. Since they have tried them and failed or succeeded in some instances, you would gain great experiences from your mentor before taking on ideas.
To make sound judgment in business, one needs to be emotionally stable. And how best can you gain this quality other than having a backup who’s a mature and successful mentor to help you to control your emotions when making a judgment?
Two heads are definitely better than one and are more likely to arrive at a better solution than one head. The success of a venture depends on the emotional intelligence employed in the business.
Reports indicate that businesses with mentors are more likely to survive in the market longer than those that lack such support.
According to SBA, a US agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, 30 percent of new ventures may close down within the first 24 months, and 50 percent of those may not survive past five years. Interestingly, 70 percent of businesses that value and have a mentor survive longer than five years.
Mentors are crucial for any business because they have been there, done it and come out victorious. They hold important information which upcoming entrepreneurs can use to grow themselves as well as their initiatives. No matter how great you think you and your business are, it is good to have someone to turn to. Who do you have?
There are various platforms that can help you get a mentor if you can’t get one by your own. Some of the mentorship platforms in Africa include VC4Africa, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Lions@frica, and many others.
Image: Huffington Post
Are you impressed, have any concerns, or think we can improve this article? Comment below or email us.