Last week I wrote about a specific type of mentor/mentee relationship. But, having mentors is one of the best ways I know for any business owner to grow his or her business that I thought the topic was worth addressing again. And, mentors are especially useful for women entrepreneurs. So, do you have a mentor, or are you one?
Why is the mentoring relationship such a good fit for women? I’d argue it’s because we love to learn from each other. Think about it – as women, we naturally turn to other women for advice and support whenever we have a problem or concern. So why not formalize that relationship with a mentor?
New Mexico Business Weekly recently took a look at three women entrepreneurs and how each benefited from a mentoring relationship. One of them has moved from being mentored to being a mentor herself.
One factor all the women had in common was that they got so busy with the day-to-day of growing their businesses, they didn’t have time to think big-picture. That’s where their mentors came in handy—pushing and even nagging them to do the tasks they were putting aside that would help their businesses truly grow.
Mentors can also help you make hard decisions, like one entrepreneur in the story whose mentor forced her to face the fact that her employees were taking advantage of her—and fire them all.
You can find mentors in lots of ways. There are formal programs such as SCORE (which even offers online mentoring if you’re too busy to meet in person). You can also find mentors informally, by talking to colleagues and professional advisors to find someone who’s a good fit.
Don’t need a mentor? That’s great, and I’m glad to hear it—then how about being one? As women entrepreneurs, it’s so important to share what we’ve learned with other women—whether it’s startup entrepreneurs, existing entrepreneurs or even young girls who need to know about entrepreneurship as an option for their lives. Learn more about becoming a busniess mentor with SCORE. Whichever side of the table you’re coming from, I encourage you to get involved in mentoring—you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.