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Making The Most Of Your Business Mentor

If you're a business owner, chances are you've considered seeking out a business mentor. Some business owners swear by the help and encouragement they've received by doing so. But what do you need to look for and how do you guarantee you're getting the best advice?

Shop around.

Can any of your peers recommend someone who comes with a reputable track record? Ask at your local chamber of commerce or business hub. It may be that business mentors are provided free of charge to new business owners. Ask family and friends who know your business well and may be aware of someone who is well suited to help. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing and there's a reason for this. Don't be afraid to ask.

Be open to constructive criticism.

Don't look for someone who is simply going to stroke your ego and tell you how amazing your business is and how wonderful you're doing. You need more than that to get ahead. Allow for someone to highlight the areas of your business that need improving and be aware of how this will help you. Don't see it as a nasty put down.

Communicate.

Remember that no question is a silly one. A business mentor may come at a cost, so make sure you get every bit of bang for your buck. If there's something you're unsure of or want to know more about, chances are your business mentor will be able to give you a lead. Once you've asked the question – listen to the answer. Think about the different ways you can relate this to your business. You might be surprised at the new directions which could open up for your business.

Be patient, be present, participate.

A business mentor is not a wizard. They will not swoop in and make miraculous changes overnight. You need to chip away at different areas of your business over time and there is no way to phone it in. You need to be wide awake. A mentor is not there to do all the work for you. You'll need to participate – perhaps more so than you ever have before.

Be inspired.

Most importantly, find someone whom you admire. This will help to inspire you to get on board with what is being said. Make sure you feel motivated to make the most of the opportunity to work with your mentor.