2pure , Business __ Monday, May 6, 2013 2:23 AM - Rudolf Jabre

Rudolf Jabre: The importance of mentorship to your startup


When I look back to my beginnings in this industry many years ago, when social networking was still crawling into our society, I recall with humility that my path would have been much harder and my company’s success less reachable without some great mentors who gave me advice and guidance when I needed them most.

So why do you need a mentor for your startup?
I’m a strong believer in learning from people’s success and, more importantly, their mistakes. Individuals who have gone through the exciting but trying process of starting a company have a great deal to offer entrepreneurs.

A mentor is someone with more business practice and understanding than you who assists you as a reliable confidante over a stretched period of time and he usually takes this mission free of charge, but why do they do this? The prime reason consists in mentoring as a way of giving back to their community and to society at large. They may do it to develop their skills as a teacher, manager, strategist, or consultant. And a true mentoring relationship also works in both directions—they learn about new ideas from you just as you learn timeless wisdom from them.

Even though you may have a continuous torrent of information through several sources based on which you make your startup decisions, but you may need perception of a business mentor to give the right direction and vision for your startup to steer towards the growth path. Mentoring can help improve productivity, build better business relationships and help to retain staff. Remember, a business mentor has more entrepreneurial business experience than you as they have ‘had been there done it’ before.

Though your idea might be bright, and however you might not lack of leadership skills, there is no substitute for experience. A mentor will be your trustworthy discussion panel, providing advice and guidance to help you overcome obstacles and challenges that’s occur for the first time as your business develops, and even a mentor might give you emotional support in those difficult moments. Mentors can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and can also provide you with some useful contacts when it comes to raising finance or finding suppliers, resources, or even developing your market base.

As you are on your own, with no superior to turn to when facing a problem, your mentor might sound like your refuge, he has been there, and he knows how to dodge the obstacle.

Finding the right mentor is not obvious at it may sound, therefor you should start by identifying  your needs and the prime issues you want help with and look for people who have faced similar challenges and overcome them. Also look for domain expertise and the current networks they have. Social network might be a good place for searching for the right mentor, LinkedIn for example might provide you with the proper connections to achieve that. Also, don’t hesitate in asking your friends, family, former bosses and business contacts if they know anyone with relevant experience; find the best mentors who believe in you and in your business idea, and be like a sponge absorb information and knowledge, your mentor might not be around for a long time.

Although you might take key business advises from your mentor, don’t expect that a mentor will solve your every startup problem. Remember that it’s your own company, and a mentor is there to guide you, one last advice; I firmly believe that you should give back your mentor what he’s done for you; For example, look for occasions to present your mentor to people he might be interested in.

Giving back also means mentoring others using the experience and knowledge you gain during your journey as an entrepreneur.




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