MENTORSHIP: A PRO-MANCE FOR THE AGES
BY THE MARKETING MULTI-TOOL
Blog post byThe Marketing Multi-tool
If you could write 25-year-old you a letter and fire it off in a time machine, what would it say? Consider those times at the start of your business when you sat at your desk in the dead of night worrying how you were going to make your dream job work while still paying your bills.
That younger you, the one freaking out alone in the dark, still exists. They might also be 25 and shiny, or they might be 45, laid off for the third time and ready to create their own job. They have the same hopes, dreams, worries, and stresses that you did about their new business venture, and they’d really appreciate the advice you would give 25-year-old you.
As a business mentor you, personally, volunteer your time to provide guidance to a new entrepreneur during some or all of the early years of their business. This commitment can be as little as 2 hours per month or every few months. If you sign up through a business help centre, such as the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre, you can identify the amount of time you have for the project and be matched up with a mentee that is both eager to learn from you and who can help you grow. If you yearn to give back to the community and support the local economy, your time to shine is now. How benevolent do you feel today?
Acting as a mentor isn’t purely altruistic. To help someone improve their business can’t be the only reason you take time out your work day. That would be a poor business decision and you’re a successful entrepreneur who makes awesome business decisions. So, what’s in it for you as a mentor? The opportunity to grow your business.
Mind blown? Yes, we’re for real. If you take a peek around the web for advice on how to choose the best mentor, you’ll find lists that describe people who are open-minded, good listeners, honest, and who show interest in the mentee’s business goals. That’s a verbal illustration of someone who is as interested in learning from the mentorship as the mentee is. Here is your opportunity to talk to someone regularly who gets social media marketing either because they grew up with it or they spent their early business days monkeying around with it. Now is the time to find out how to integrate healthy staff practices into your existing work ecosystem from a generation that doesn’t accept burnout as the status quo. Bestow your knowledge of legalese, customer care, and vendor negotiations while in turn soaking up fresh ideas from someone who isn’t jaded.
Approach this relationship as a partnership and ditch the superiority. There is a lot for you to gain by finding out what your mentee has tried, failed, and succeeded at while you give them solicited advice. Find out what fuels their passion and let them inspire you to be a stronger entrepreneur yourself.
25-year-old you is waiting for that letter. What are you going to say?