Startups usually lift off with a great start and soon realize they lack experience to keep business going. That’s when a mentor comes to rescue, he is the one who can reignite that lost spark in your business, and actually he is that person who can guide you and correct even the minutest mistake. Having a mentor has its perks only if chosen correctly. Here is a list of qualities startups should look for while they get a mentor.
Topping the list of qualities to look for in a mentor is Enthusiasm, you have started your company with plethora of enthusiasm and being mentored takes it to a new peak. Having a mentor to match your level of excitement can work wonders. You may have cosied up to a heavy-hitting mentor who has the experience and skills needed to help your business to the next level. But do they actually care enough? In a good mentor relationship they will get as much value out of it as you. It will provide them with the buzz they had when they started up. Mentors should have a willingness to help. There is always a balance between altruism and pragmatism. But there are always people around who want to help and make a difference.
While a generalist mentor is much needed, a specialist has his importance. A mix of the two is ideal. You wouldn’t want to stumble upon a mentor who has no idea of the industry you’re operating in. A mentor needs a good breadth of experience, but enough sector knowledge to help you. They need credentials in your area. One can always look up at LinkedIn to know their experience.
If a potential mentor is looking for a regular fee one should steer clear. In the startup phase free advice is needed as much as possible. If necessary one can offer future rewards but needn’t be ripped off. It seems hypocritic if a mentor who is already so successful asking for an hourly rate which shows a mis-match of motivations.
Entrepreneurs’ optimism is great, can blind them to the possible negatives of what they are doing. A mentor should be able to offer their pragmatic experience to balance this out.
They should have an idea of the future potholes that one may face. They will know what other businesses have fallen down on before. Invariably the startup will charge ahead with the launch of business, convinced that the world has been waiting for that product or service. A good mentor will tug on the reins a little.
Reassurance And A Long Term Relationship
A good mentor will eliminate any worries or concerns that prove to be baseless, so that building business can be concentrated upon. A good mentor will say ‘worry about that in three or four months’ time. Concentrate on getting customers and cash flow until then. Along with providing reassurance a mentor who can provide enough benefits to help out for a longer time and can catch up regularly is helpful in maintaining a long term relationship.
Have more qualities in mind? Do share in comments!