For many years, I did not want, nor think I needed, a mentor.
I was the owner of my company and I was the only one that understood my business- no need for other input.
I was WRONG.
I didn’t realize that in my own echo chamber that I just kept recirculating the same ideas and some of them were just plain bad.
When I finally realize that I did need a mentor, I could not believe the change that followed.
Just having a person to listen already increased my clarity. And then adding someone who could offer alternatives and perspective was really a game changer.
My mindset improved which improved my interactions with my team. That improved the business. Morale and enthusiasm were renewed.
Choosing a mentor can be hard. What do you look for? Let’s be clear when I say “mentor” this could be labeled a number of different things: coach, consulting, strategic partner are just a few.
The name is less important than your connection with the person.
Here are a few tips for choosing a mentor:
Look for someone who offers a free introductory call (usually 30 minutes). You need to be able to see if you connect right away.
Have they worked with a similarly sized business? This is far more important than if they work on your type of business. Principles are generally the same across most business entities but change with the number of people in the business.
Are they willing to offer another perspective? You need someone that listens to you but is willing to disagree if it helps open up your perspective.
Do they ask about your “Why”? Your Big Picture? Where you are headed? If they don’t want to know that about you, they cannot help you get there.
What will you spend?
That depends on what you need. When I first started with a mentor, I preferred to pay on an “as needed” basis. As I became used to having a mentor, I liked paying a flat monthly fee for consistent meeting times.
Hourly rates range from everything from $100.00/hour to $500.00/hour and up. If that feels like a lot, believe me, it will be worth it. I know that just having a sounding board to think out loud with made my business better which made me more money. The investment more than paid for itself. Your business is worth it. And so are you!