If you’re climbing your way through the business world, you may have considered trying to find a mentor – but could a single key player really unlock the door to your success?
Entrepreneurs and business people all over the world attribute their success to having a mentor. Sir Richard Branson, for example, has said that “If you ask any successful business person, they will always have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” The idea of building your own success by capitalising on that of another is also thoroughly unpacked in chapter ten of Napoloeon Hill’s world-renowned self-help and business book, Think and Grow Rich.
In this chapter, titled “Power of the Master Mind: the Driving Force”, Hill explains that “The ‘Master Mind’ may be defined as: ‘Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.’” Hill believed that a “Master Mind team” is an essential contributing factor to success, and his book includes several case studies on successful business people who made it to the top by creating connections with those who they admired. In fact, Hill writes,
- “Analyze the record of any man who has accumulated a great fortune, and many of those who have accumulated modest fortunes, and you will find that they have either consciously, or unconsciously employed the ‘Master Mind’ principle. GREAT POWER CAN BE ACCUMULATED THROUGH NO OTHER PRINCIPLE!”
While there are many factors that determine the success of an individual or company, here are a few reasons why you may want to add a mentor to your bag of tricks:
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS SKILLS
Creating a mentorship relationship requires that you step out of your comfort zone, engage meaningfully with a person you admire professionally and, most importantly, ask for what you want. If you are too afraid to put yourself out there and ask for help from those who can offer it, you will never be able to get where you want to go. Furthermore, as you continuously work with your mentor, you will pick up on the ways in which they carry themselves and go about their business, thus allowing you to polish up on your professionalism.
This is the most obvious reason to have a mentor – this person has already walked the road on which you are travelling. They will be able to guide your choices when you have tough decisions to make, step in if they think that something needs to change, and build your confidence in your own ideas and competencies. It can be tough to accept criticism or change your ways of working, but having a guide by your side will make your path to success much shorter and simpler.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, and business will always be somewhat influenced by networks and connections. By forming a relationship with a successful, influential and powerful person, you simultaneously strengthen your competitive advantage AND open yourself up to a whole new network of potential mentors, investors, partners and advisors.
While the goal of mentorship is not to raise funds for your business, your mentor may just end up as an investor if they truly believe in your ideas. Additionally, they will be able to advise you on the best funding methods and processes, as well as connect you with other potential investors and financiers. They will also, of course, be able to advise you in the financial management of your business (and even your personal funds) to ensure that you are on the right track and setting yourself up for prosperity.
While there are countless perks of having a mentor, the list of drawbacks is almost non-existent… so, what have you got to lose? Of course, both the mentor and the mentee will have to commit to the partnership, meaning that you will need to meet and engage regularly. The mentee will also, most likely, need to relinquish some control in their personal and professional lives in order to open themselves to improvement. However, mentorship is free, fun and highly likely to increase your chances of success. And even if you find that the partnership is mismatched or maybe mentorship isn’t quite for you, you still would have gained a new perspective, learned valuable lessons about the world of business, and received insight into your own ways of working and being – and that is truly priceless.
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