Nobody is born a great leader or a natural entrepreneur. The people who rise to the top of the business world do so by learning from those who went before them. Having a mentor is the best way to develop the skills and habits that set the best entrepreneurs apart from the rest. By listening carefully to someone who has seen it all before, you’ll gain key insights and build on your limited experience. This learning process is especially important for entrepreneurs who are hoping to build a successful business on a foundation of powerful relationships.
Unfortunately, finding a mentor isn’t always as easy as it seems. Many people never benefit from the lessons and encouragement that mentorship provides. If you haven’t managed to secure a mentor organically from your existing relationships, then it might be time to seek out a successful leader who can guide you down the difficult path toward success.
The Key Attributes of a Good Mentor
Simply being successful isn’t enough to make someone a good mentor. When seeking a wise leader to learn from, you should consider individuals who have shown their mettle in the path they’ve taken to their current position. Look for people whose strategies and techniques seem to have brought them success. These are the people with the knowledge and experience to make you a better entrepreneur.
You should also look for mentors who are clearly team players. A successful entrepreneur will only be a good mentor if they revel in being part of the group. An arrogant snob who considers themselves above everyone else will never have the compassion or humility to bring a younger colleague forward in their career. A true team player, on the other hand, will see you as an equal and do everything possible to impart their nuggets of wisdom.
The best mentors are also steadfast believers in the human ability to grow and prosper. They recognize that no process of individual evolution is ever complete. It’s this belief in human improvement that will make them tireless, inspirational, and forward-thinking mentors.
Finding a Mentor at Your Workplace
Networking is much easier within a business than outside of it. That’s why many eager entrepreneurs look for mentors within their current workplace. Some companies encourage this process by operating mentorship programs that link younger workers with more experienced colleagues.
Studies have shown that having a mentor increases a worker’s chances of earning raises and promotions, while mentees are more productive than their colleagues. With such obvious benefits across the board, you should snap at the opportunity to join a mentorship program within your company.
If you can’t find a mentor at your current workplace, consider attending conferences or joining professional clubs relating to your industry. These types of environments will put you in contact with successful leaders who could be willing to show you the ropes.
Finding a mentor isn’t always easy, but it can go a long way toward making you a sharper, wiser entrepreneur. Whether you end up searching inside or outside your current workplace, keep your eyes peeled for a compassionate, team-oriented leader who has used their grit and guile to build a successful career.
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