For most entrepreneurs, the hardest part about running a business isn’t starting it, but keeping it going.
Entrepreneurship is a social career path, but it can also be lonely when working by yourself or with just a few others. As a result, the initial rush of starting a business can fade, and is replaced with declining energy and stagnation. To keep your business alive and on the move, you need a sounding board, someone with whom you can bounce off ideas. This is a critical component for success.
The answer? Find a Mentor.
Mentors occupy the position of both a sounding board and motivator, along with providing needed expertise to help speed you on your way to success.
What makes for a good mentor?
While many people can act as sounding boards, allowing you to pummel them with ideas and questions, the more experience your mentor has, the better informed and developed your ideas will become. Seek out mentors with whom you share some experience, but more importantly, search for guidance from people whose skill sets complement your own. Their perspective should be different enough that each of you is able to provide some value to the other through your differing opinions.
A diverse set of mentors is helpful, as well, because they can and will provide different points of view to help you understand different perspectives and apply to a broader base of people.
What are the benefits to working with a mentor?
Mentors will provide helpful and meaningful advice, but it is not their job to run your company. You as the entrepreneur have to do the work, and make the final decisions. Mentors will offer suggestions, but they have the most profound effect on the development of their mentee when, instead of offering advice, they ask questions that lead the mentee to the discovery of a solution on their own.
One of the most impactful ways in which mentors help their mentees is by pointing out common pitfalls that can be avoided. Creating an atmosphere of trust where you can share both best practices and big mistakes is crucial to a successful relationship. Hopefully this advise steers the mentee away from making an easily avoidable mistake and demonstrates that we can learn a lot from each other. Sharing provides great value.
A recent Tech Crunch article “What Makes a Startup Successful” points out that “Founders that learn are more successful: Startups that have helpful mentors, track metrics effectively, and learn from startup thought leaders, raise 7x more money and have 3.5x better user growth.” Are you ready to walk away from that kind of growth potential?
Clearly, mentorship is important- if not essential- to your entrepreneurial journey.
Join us over the next few weeks as CCE dives into the dynamic roles mentors and mentees play in the success of creative entrepreneurs in our 3 part blog series.
If you’re searching for an opportunity to connect with potential mentors, especially within the creative community, join CCE for our next Swerve event! Social Media Expert, Joshua Moyer will be presenting his key strategies for building your online presence into a robust platform that will connect you with your customers without draining your time and energy. You never know who’s in the room, so come by, plug yourself into the creative economy, and set yourself up for success.