What are the benefices of having a mentor?
Having the support and guidance of a startup business mentor can be of great value to your business.
First let’s have a look at a quick introduction of mentor, and how to find a mentor for your startup (9min) :
- You don’t need to actually meet anyone to be mentored by them (books, videos, conference, interviews…)
- Don’t look for one, look for many
- Don’t always look up, look to the side (you can learn a lot from your peers)
- Be specific, not vague. First, ask open questions: where do I start ? What are the priorities? Only after these kind of questions you can ask more precise questions
- Earn respect & trust through action
- Do great work
“If you want someone to invest in you, give them a reason to believe in you”
To go more deeply into this subject we recommend you to watch this great video of Harvard i-lab: Mastering the Gift of Mutual Mentorship (1H38)
- The first skill of a mentee is to know how to ask for help
- The mentor needs to give a direction and a way of thinking, not a specific answers (the mentee needs to learn how to think and to understand how to make a decision)
- Take as many mentors as you can afford in time & energy & still be able to synthesize (a mentor usually is very good in one particular subject but rarely great in every startup subjects)
- The mentor should teach to the mentee how to think about specific problems or specific questions (process, methodology, key questions…)
- The mentor should bring his network to the mentee and explain him how he has built his network
- The second skill of a mentee is to establishing fidelity (active listening, recording, checking and using the mentor advice).
It is a great responsibility for a mentee, that the mentor sees the utility of his work
- The third and last skill of a mentee is the power of decision.
The mentee is the only one who can make the right decision for his particular startup. He needs to decide which advice he will follow and which advice does not apply in his case.