Small Business Mentoring: 9 Factors to Consider When Looking for the Right Mentor

To get ahead in life, everyone needs advice and help. Ask even the most successful individuals in the world how they got to where they are. Most likely, you will establish that they have at least one mentor who guided them along the way. In this post we'll look at small business mentoring and the factors to take into account when looking for the perfect mentor.

Whether you are on the receiving or giving end of investment advice, energy, or time, it is extremely important to view mentoring for exactly what it is – a totally priceless gift. This is according to the CEO of Avention, a business information and sales enablement solutions provider based in Massachusetts.

Do you want a good mentor who will help you get to a higher level in both your personal and career life? Today, so many life coaches exist. So how do you separate the chuff from wheat? Here are nine factors you should consider when looking for an inspiring and incredible mentor:

Always know that praise is not necessarily part of the entire deal

Sadly, most people who claim to want a mentor only want strokes and attention. This is not the kind of constructive feedback that results in professional and personal growth. According to the CEO of Avention, if you study the lives of the best entrepreneurs, greatest athletes, as well as investors, they all enthusiastically accepted coaching and advice or had great mentors. He continues to add that, to him, those types of individuals, their curiosity, self-awareness and desire to grow and become better inspired them to seek mentors.

Do not entertain silence – remember silence breeds failure

Excellent mentors help you grow through open and frank conversations regardless of how hard they might be. For example, mentoring mentors provide constructive feedback repeatedly so that no employee ought to be surprised when time for a performance appraisal comes. Avention CEO says that typically, many people that are surprised by their own appraisals are most likely to be poor or weak managers.

Active empathy and listening builds relationships

One thing you should always know is that a relationship is exactly what maintains a mentor-mentee relationship. Once this relationship becomes obligatory, the utmost benefit to both individuals rapidly dissipates. According to Avention CEO, over time, relationships usually diminish because of lack of being true to each other.

Always opt for a mentor you admire and desire to emulate

One of the worst ideas when it comes to choosing a mentor is aligning yourself with an adviser all because of her or his title or for political gain. So you don’t have a wise individual who you admire? Well, the best place to start is hanging out in an incubator or industry events. Widen your pool of associations. Go to any form of venture capital gathering that you can manage. Use LinkedIn and try to gather and garner as many introductions and connections as possible.


Some call it forthrightness, which is agreeable. Your mentor should not act or talk like a politician. When you are in trouble, you need someone to give you strong and cutting blunt advice on exactly what you might not be doing correctly.

Additionally, your mentor should have the audacity to tell you everything like it is. If you notice that he or she cannot do this, then avoid him or her like a plague.

Choose a mentor who allows you to have a vision for your future

In addition to providing advice in the present, your mentor should also offer the required support and scaffolding to allow you to envision your future. Most often, it is very hard to envision the next phase of your life when working so hard in the present. Moreover, at times, after you have completed your PhD, it can be quite difficult to envision what your life will be like. The same applies to any level of education.

Choose a mentor of any sex, but the same sex is much better

Although it is highly preferred that you choose a mentor of the same sex, it is still okay to opt for a mentor of the opposite sex. Man-to-man mentorship, for instance, is brilliant because men can talk about personal issues that affect them without feeling weird. Unless your prospective mentor of the opposite sex boasts of the specific skills necessary for your mentorship, it is advisable to stick to one who is of the same sex. This will benefit you big time in the long run.

He or she should be totally honest

Honesty is one of the most important aspects your mentor should possess. Besides being honest as the mentee, ensure that your mentor is honest as well. It is highly advisable that he or she be more than frank on any issue. Your mentor should be bold to tell you when you are doing things the wrong way. Positive criticism is of utmost importance. It helps you grow and build your confidence. In the end, you become stronger.

He or she should be time efficient

Most, if not all, mentors hold very senior positions. Consequently, they are super busy. They are great at utilizing every single second of their days. Do you want to be efficient at managing time? Well, you need a mentor who is great at time management. Time efficient mentors will share with you the strategies needed to help you become better at managing time. In addition to efficiency at time management, you should look for some small underlying behaviors. Some behaviors, small as they are, might make such a huge difference between your failure and success.

That being said, your success is always your prerogative. You are the driver of your success. Do not sit and wait for a mentor to suggest action plans for you. Get out of your comfort zone and make excellent use of all resources at your disposal – your mentor included. This way, achieving success will be more than possible. There is no doubt about that.

Bio Charlie Brown is one of the contributors of a leading financial website. Talk to him today if you need help regarding national debt reviews.



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