A Small Business Administration study shows that business owners who had three or more hours of mentoring experienced higher revenues and stronger growth than those who didn’t. So why wouldn’t you consider mentorship for growing your business and yourself? Here’s some important information to consider when it comes to finding a mentor and building a relationship as a small business owner.
Just Look Around
Villanova University’s director of the Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp, Dr. Scott Testa, says there’s no best place or worst place for finding a mentor than the places you already go. “It’s how you’d meet a spouse or girlfriend — at a bar, convenience store, friend of a friend,” he says. Mentors can be college professors, former bosses and partners. “Find those people you have a common bond with and like to spend time with.”
Mitchell and Testa agree that the best mentors have strengths that are your weaknesses. “The best mentors push us out of our comfort zones and force us to look at things in a different way,” Mitchell says. “You want a mentor who’s the opposite of you so that you learn and fill in some of the gaps.”
When Testa was starting a business, he looked for mentors to provide an entrepreneurial example. “I really needed someone I felt could understand the experience I was going through,” he says. “My mentors helped not just with technical stuff, but also with the psychological.”