Many entrepreneurs have boosted their success with mentors. Take billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson who dropped out of school at the age of 16 and started his first business with a loan from his mother. He is now sending aircraft into space with his most recent project Virgin Galaxy. So how did this entrepreneur reach space-billionaire status? He enlisted the help of a mentor. He tells British newspaper The Sun: “It’s always good to have a helping hand at the start. I wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry without the mentorship of (British airline entrepreneur) Freddie Laker.”
Have you considered getting a mentor? Read on to learn the five signs that you may need one.
1. You’re Feeling Confused
Like life, a small business can throw a lot of unexpected curveballs. Sometimes you may be stumped to find a solution to some of your business woes. Two types of uncertainties that can occur. One is the improbability that you can plan for nuisances such as an employee quitting. The other is what Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute, calls a “black swan” uncertainty. This is an unpredictable change that seems to happen out of nowhere, such as your office being struck by lightening. A mentor can help you navigate through these storms, showing you a new perspective on problems and help you reach practical solutions.
2. You Feeling Like You’re on an Island
If you have quit a job to start your business, you may find it difficult to talk about your journey with others who are not in the same boat as you. Either you feel others cannot relate to you, or you don’t feel comfortable talking about your plans as you would like to keep them secret. With a mentor, you can comfortably open up to a person you can trust who has been through the highs and lows of starting a business.
3. You Want to Take an Easier Road
According to Bloomberg, eight out of ten entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins recommends modeling yourself after people you admire. “You can learn by experience, trial and error – or you can speed up the process immeasurably by learning how to model,” says Robbins. So, if you want to advance in business and take the path of least resistance, mold yourself after the 20 percent of people you know have succeeded.
4. You Find It Difficult to Set Goals and Achieve Them
Do you procrastinate? Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, says people adopt habits in different ways. If you are more likely to be motivated by ‘outer’ rules set by other people, rather than ‘inner’ rules set by yourself, having a mentor will help you keep your projects on course as you will likely complete your goals to show your mentor you are true to your word.
5. Your Network Isn’t Benefiting You
Entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, coined the quote “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If your current network of peers consists of people who aren’t entrepreneurs, you may find it difficult to exchange ideas and solutions. A mentor may introduce you to their contacts to help you build a solid network for creating new opportunities, increasing your profile and helping others.