A mentor is really more of a trustworthy, caring role model than a person with specific qualifications.
Still, to be a good business mentor, they fill the needs that you are lacking in your ability to run your business, and must be able to advise you . Here are some tips on what makes a good business mentor:
- If she listens when you talk (you will know if she looks at you and makes eye contact).
- A mentor will make themselves available when needed.
- Has personal experience that can be referred to when you have a problem.
- Will show you how to be practical, and achieve your goals with the least risk and cost.
- When she sees a gap in your knowledge, she will teach you or provide you with the method of learning what is needed.
- Will know how to dole out constructive criticism while at the same time giving you the support and direction you need to correct an error.
- A good mentor will give you very specific information on how to correct a problem without pushing you harder or faster than you can go. She is not there to force you; she is there to lead and guide you.
- A true mentor cares about every aspect of your business or career. She should be able to show you how what you’ve done will accomplish your goals or how it might hurt them. She should be ready with alternatives if they are necessary.
- Of utmost importance, you must be able to completely trust this individual implicitly.
Keep in mind that your mentor’s experience in starting and maintaining their own business and making a success of it, is what you will be learning from. Problems, mistakes, and wrong decisions that she made can be beneficial to you. Making those mistakes did not make her a failure instead it gave her valuable experience that can be passed on.
By teaching you to avoid those same problems, you will move forward faster.
Lastly, a mentor is there to help; he is not there to do the job for you. He is not a magician, but an advisor who wishes you to succeed.