Is a mentor showing you the ropes of business? What Iím talking is having someone who teaches you what to be ready for. Someone who can pass on his or her experience and help you save precious time when youíre having trouble jumping over a hurdle. I donít mean your significant other, friend or your family. Having a helpful personal network comes in handy, sure. But Iím talking about building a resourceful business network.

Having someone whoís been there gives you better protection, a way to try out something that you didnít even think was possible and get instant repertoire from known professionals. Preferably, this person is highly experienced in their field, knows all the loops, and can help you with complex issues so you obtain the same success they have achieved. Most business owners usually end up working as an employee in their own business, instead of having others handle the workload. Having a mentor will help you see other routes you can direct your business towards Ė building upon it and taking it to a higher level. The perfect business relationship will show you the technical sides of running your operation with little supervision.

How can I find someone to mentor me?

Brainstorm potentials. Youíre going to have to separate your wants and needs, and cut it down to the essentials when it comes to a mentor. When you handle it this way, you can guarantee youíre going to come closer to hitting the sweet spot based on what you need to know. A couple of suggestions: Work with an industry wide leader, who loves teaching others, consistently, and does it for fun. If location ranks in the top three on your mentor list, you should talk to someone who knows the lay of the land. You also, obviously, need someone who has the time to take someone under his or her wing. And anything more than that, itís just a matter of time to see if you two hit it off Ė do you have similar personality traits, are you learning anything at all from this person?

Make the move

In most cases, itís up to you to make the first move and start working on a professional relationship. Now that you know what youíre looking for exactly, mingle with your own existing networks and see if they can talk to their people. When you work this strategy, your social network grows and eventually, youíll find the right person for your business needs. After you have a couple of potentials in place, send them a personalized email talking about their history and see if theyíre willing to have a sit down with you over lunch. Keep it casual Ė you donít want to seem out of place right from the start, and after all, you donít even know who they really are as a person yet Ė but always think of it as a simple introduction to each other, where youíre free to ask plenty of questions and feel each other out.

Know what you want

We all know that professional relationships have unwritten rules that make it last than others that donít. What I mean is that you have to set goals, outline your plans to see how much potential is there, and get used to working with established rules. You donít have to sign any paperwork, but at least make it known thatís how the relationship is going to work, so everyone is the same page. Be honest and straightforward about what you want from the relationship, and inspire your mentor to open up about their possibilities, in terms of time and energy. If your business requires it, you should have a confidentiality agreement written up by your lawyer.

Spread the love

Youíre not married to the other person Ė it doesnít mean you have to have one mentor either. Itís wise to have more than one mentor from different industries, particularly if you canít find one person who fits all your requirements. An ideal mentor will be straight to the point about their experience, and will even help you find someone else to help you in a subject they professionally lack.

Give to get

When youíve been around the block for a while, you should take a business rookie under your wing. This is great way to a full life. Youíll learn a lot from the new kids, who are going to be years younger than you and have an in-depth knowledge of what technology trends are in the works. Itís also a smart move to boost your reputation, especially if the student becomes the master.