Thousands of businesses are born everyday. Unfortunately, only half of these businesses will survive after five years. And only a fraction will make it to their 10 year anniversary.
According to Endeavor, a recent study showed that companies whose owners have been mentored by a top-performing entrepreneur are three times more likely to go on to become top performers themselves. SCORE found that entrepreneurs with mentors significantly increase their chances of business success regardless of gender.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a mentor as a trusted counselor or guide. One of the challenges that women in business face is finding the right mentor to help them be successful.
Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor
-Laila Gifty Akita
A mentor can:
- Hold you accountable
- Give you access to a larger network
- Increase your confidence
- Provide a new perspective or introduce you to a new mindset
- Push you past your comfort zone
A great mentor/mentee relationship starts with the mentee.
Four Tips for being a great mentee
Set clear goals and expectations- Be clear and concise about your goals and what you hope to achieve in the mentor/mentee relationship. Before starting any relationship you need to make sure it is a good fit. Communicating your goals will help your mentor know if they are the right person to help you achieve your goals.
When the relationship begins make sure to be mindful of and respect the boundaries of your mentor. While your mentor serves as a role model, your mentor is not your best friend. Establishing clear boundaries is important to maintain a healthy working relationship.
Be proactive-Your mentor is not your employee. It is important for you to take action. If you asked your mentor to make a connection for you, follow-up and make the connection and let your mentor know. Your mentor should not have to track you down to get an update about your progress. Prepare an agenda when you meet with your mentor. This let’s your mentor know that you take your relationship and the process seriously.
Be Respectful-Mentors are not paid consultants. A mentor is invested in seeing you grow. It is important to be respectful of their time. Be prompt to your appointments, follow-up and be gracious.
Be open to feedback-Feedback is a gift. It is a crucial part of your personal and professional development. Effective communication is an essential part of any relationship. Mentors offer an objective perspective that holds you accountable and allows you to grow.
Being a great mentee starts with you. Set clear goals, be accountable, ask great questions and be open to feedback. A mentor can be your cheat code. They can help advance you, introduce you to new methods and help you navigate through the various levels of your development. Get one!