What is a mentor
A mentor is an experienced professional who serves as a trusted confidante who can guide you and offer alternative solutions to the issues you face in your business.
They are the ‘been-there, done-that’ professional who can help you make the best decisions for your business. A mentor can help keep you focused on the important issues you face.
Your mentor is also likely to have an extensive network and can provide you access to important decision-makers.
A mentor’s job is not to make you feel good about yourself but to help you see others ways of doing things and understand the long term effects of your decisions.
Why do they do this?
First and foremost as a way of giving back to their community and to society at large. They may do it to develop their skills as a teacher, manager, strategist, or consultant. And a true mentoring relationship also works in both directions—they learn about new ideas from you just as you learn timeless wisdom from them.
The other part of finding a mentor involves you. It is as much about giving as it is about getting. When searching for a mentor, be sure to think about what you can bring to the relationship, too.
Teacher, Coach or Mentor
Teachers, coaches and mentors are each something different.
- If you want to learn a specific subject find a teacher.
- If you want to hone specific skills or reach an exact goal hire a coach.
- If you want to get smarter and better over your career find a mentor.
I am incredibly fortunate. I have an amazing mentor who keeps me on track and is always available for advice or as a sounding board. She’s an experienced professional, a fresh perspective, a confidant and has the uncanny ability to help me see what issues I should address and which ones I should just let go of. She was the one who first introduced me to River City Express Network (and I’m so grateful!). But I didn’t find her by accident; I went looking for a mentor, someone to help me take my business to the next level. And she has done all that and more.
When the student is ready, the master appears.— Buddhist Proverb
Finding a mentor
Finding a mentor can be as easy as making a phone call or attending a meeting. Check into these fantastic local (Richmond, Virginia) and national resources. Some mentors are right under your nose.
River City Express Network
RCEN is not only full of amazing professionals but some would be happy to help you progress in your career or business.
SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit associations dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide.
Entrepreneur.com (search term: mentors)
Entrepreneur magazine seeks to inspire, inform and celebrate entrepreneurs. They offer real solutions to the challenges you face as an entrepreneur, including tips, tools and insider news to help build – and grow – your business.