The role of a business mentor in today’s times is to guide you through a new venture. Considering that a business mentor is likely more experienced than you, the benefits of forging this kind of relationship are highly sought-after.
To explain how to find a business mentor, we must define the role of today’s mentors. So if you’re wondering why you need a business mentor, you’re at the right place. So let’s get into the subject and answer both questions.
Why Do You Need a Business Mentor?
Do you know why you need a business mentor? We mentioned that the role of a mentor is to guide you through your new venture. Modern business mentors make themselves available to their mentees.
That means you get access to their network of professionals and industry experts. It’s like making more connections on LinkedIn, but the connections are super high-quality.
These contacts might or might not be vital to the success of your business. But one thing is sure: access to their network is one of the most valuable tools a mentor offers its mentee.
Besides guidance and networking, a mentor is a seasoned veteran in your industry with the necessary experience and knowledge to cover your deficiencies. Moreover, a mentor has been there and done it before.
As such, a mentor offers far more to their mentee than the other way around. But that doesn’t make the relationship nonreciprocal.
Mentors aim to create success stories and use those stories for future ventures. In short, they make you part of their network.
This might be a lesser explanation of why you need a business mentor in modern times. But remember that it’s easier to succeed with a mentor than without one.
With that said, let’s look at how to find great mentors.
Look to your Network
Do you have a network, you might think this tip is obsolete. However, every professional must have a network. So even if you don’t have one, look to build one.
Your network of professionals might prove fruitful when finding business mentors, as the contacts on your digital Rolodex might know someone looking for a mentee.
That’s the whole purpose of a network – to help you when in need. So for the very first tip, pick up the phone and ask around if anyone knows someone looking for a business mentee.
But, as one imagines, the chances of finding a business mentor are slim without a fleshed-out network. But, fear not, as there are plenty of other ways to achieve the goal.
Look for Business Mentors Online
The availability and popularity of the World Wide Web make it possible to find anything. Nowadays, online services help connect you with business mentors online. You might think this approach is more distant, but you might find a mentor in your area looking for a business mentee.
The online approach is also quite diverse and flexible. We say this because of the sheer volume of options when looking for a business mentor.
If you’re having difficulty finding a business mentor through a service, why not try LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals. So naturally, mentors tend to utilize LinkedIn the most for business-related purposes.
But any of the top social media platforms will work just fine. What’s important is to work on your online visibility and start actively looking for business mentors.
Look to Attend Networking Events
Attending networking events achieves two things – it helps you find a mentor and expands your network. This is possibly the most beneficial approach to finding a business mentor.
Not only will you get in touch with professionals, but some of them might know someone to solve your problem. Luckily, networking events are viral. They can be less formal in-person meetups or blockbuster events attended by hundreds of people.
But if they’re so common, how do you identify events to attend? Well, social media is the tool to use yet again. Event organizers want as many people to attend these events.
Naturally, they will promote the events through social media. So while you will need to do a bit of digging to find the most appealing events, don’t limit yourself to only a few. Instead, be active in your mission to find a suitable event attended by professionals willing to take you as their mentee.
In addition, networking events are quickly transitioning to the online world. Nowadays, online events exist for networking.
Look for Business Mentors in Entrepreneur “Hot Spots”
Some brilliant business owners are actively looking for the next best thing. They turn their attention to entrepreneur “hot spots” where the top startups in the country are working.
In the United States, these hot spots include cities like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, and so forth.
These cities are full of startups, and they’re not stopping soon. By exploring these entrepreneurs’ “hot spots,” you make it easier to connect with mentors and like-minded individuals. The benefits of doing that include visibility, opportunities, and the chance to find a business mentor.
Considering you’re looking for a professional that can kick-start your entrepreneurial dream, searching for business mentors in hot spots gives you a higher chance of finding the right person for the task.
But as with all these tips, getting a mentor to teach you is impossible if you’re not making yourself attractive. So before you go scouting for business mentors, do the following:
- Understand why you want a mentor;
- Make your objectives clear;
- Define expectations;
- Polish your CV and business plan;
- Create an emotional story and present it.
Once you find a mentor, the most important thing is to maintain the relationship. You want to stay focused on your mentor a month into the mentorship. Instead, keep communications open, be honest, and actively get to know them to strengthen the relationship.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation. Besides running a successful online affiliate business, Erik hosts the Becoming Great podcast and shares entrepreneurship tips with his over 1 million social media followers. He contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.