Starting a new business is a daunting experience if you have never done it before, period. There is so much to think about. Every single business owner goes through the process of determining what type of company to set-up, to where to spending their limited and small marketing dollars. On top of it, determining whether you want to be a weekend warrior or go full-time right away is always a difficult consideration for some. Let’s be honest, it’s easier to spend that money than earn it. And mistakes are bound to happen. Don’t try and wing it, thousands of people have wisdom to share with you.
Why not start with finding a compatible mentor first to limit your risk and costs associated with cleaning up bad decisions down the road? By doing this simple step you could save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars by learning from someone who has already done their cleaning up of their own bad decisions. You know seeking wisdom before pulling the trigger?
Here are some things to consider in order to find the right mentor for you:
- Is this person a leader or tenured in your field? For example, many successful event company owners have been in the business for well-over 20 years. He or she has seen technology change their business. If they are still around after 20 years more often than not many will be willing to share trade secrets as long as you do not reside in their same market. While this may take some effort on your part, setting-up in-person meetings and calls and providing your mentor with some type of benefit will help you. Keep in mind not all mentors will be the same or come with no costs. Be prepared to somehow give in order to receive.
- Is the person you admire or want to mentor you humble? Knowing the difference between someone who is confident and someone who is arrogant is important. There are people who can be modest and humble about themselves yet still be successful and great mentors. To evaluate the difference test their willingness to help you. This may demonstrate the fact that they know they had help in their success and that it was a result of hard work along with trial and error to find their success. Giving back is another phase of a successful person’s career.
- Is my mentor compatible with me? Try to find a professional who you share some experiences with or come from the same understanding of values. Try to share some of the same interests. For example, if you want to start a videography company and you enjoy editing then it might be to your advantage to look for people who like editing more than shooting video. They will know how to manage their strengths and weaknesses better and it will help you become stronger by learning from their failures.
- Has your mentor failed or are they perfect? No one in this world is perfect. Some of us have made more mistakes than others. This ties in well with the humbleness bullet item above. If you find that your mentor says that he/she is perfect. Maybe look for someone else. Why work with someone who is untruthful. Your benefit in the relationship probably will not be as fruitful as if it was with someone who has experienced failure and learned from it. Clearly this has translated into success for your mentor and there is a story to be shared and used for the future.
- Is your mentor ethical and respectable? There is a fine line between doing what is right and what is wrong. Whether it is following the US tax laws or treating old and future clients with respect. This should be an easy one to decipher. Run away if you believe you are in a position of learning from someone who has broken the law or steals from others. Surround yourself with respectable leaders. Why risk your time and investment with someone who is not legit?
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