Growth mentors are usually associated with startups—startup owners need someone to lead the way and grow the business without making capital mistakes.
Developing a productive growth mentorship with a person who knows the position you are coming from can be one of the best steps you have taken to grow your business.
So, how to choose a growth mentor?
A growth mentor is someone who has experience and expertise in your industry, both in terms of success and failure.
Ideally, the growth mentor for your startup or SME is someone who went through the struggle you are dealing with and came across the other side successfully.
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Benefits of Having a Growth Mentor
The rule of thumb is that a growth mentor is someone who can act as a sounding board for you to open up and share ideas. They can help you:
- Reinforce your knowledge. As a beginner in your industry, you may miss important trends and insights. The mentor is there to let you know where you got it right or wrong.
- Expand your network. As someone who has some experience in your area, the growth mentor knows people who can help you grow, introduce you to experts, or point out where to look for making new connections.
- Grow your leadership skills. The mentor can help you transform from entrepreneur to leader. Ditch obsolete management tactics in favor of the new leader’s skills.
- Gain acknowledgement. Having someone spread a good word or two for your company, praise your ideas, or simply empower you to recognize your strong suits is invaluable when problems hit hard.
- Discover loopholes. Everyone has blind spots, preventing them to see a 360-degree view of the situation. Your growth mentor can act as a convex traffic mirror for your business model and help you spot those loopholes faster.
- Improve problem-solving abilities. Instead of making mountains out of molehills, you get tried and tested solutions to typical problems you can implement instantly.
- Challenge, motivate and inspire. The relational element of the business growth mentorship should not be underestimated — having someone to turn to when the going gets tough will help you build resilience, grit, and stamina.
The right business mentor can provide assurance and confidence, but also help you maximize business performance and solve actual problems by offering inventive solutions.
Do You Need a Business Growth Mentorship?
Even if you are not in a startup phase, you will benefit from a business growth mentor if you are:
- Overworked and overstressed
- People keep quitting
- Facing a problem you have no clue how to address
- Costs keep growing along with profits
- Lack creative new ideas
- Struggle with identifying long-term goals
- A problematic scenario keeps repeating
Once you have decided you can benefit from a growth mentor, it is time to think about developing a business growth mentorship.
How to Choose a Growth Mentor
Choosing a mentor can come down to something as simple as following a hunch or a referral. But you can broaden your choice if you keep in mind these ideas:
1. Narrow down the selection to your industry.
You can get the most value in terms of experience and expertise from someone who knows your industry historically and can make predictions about future trends. The growth mentor in this case has the specific know-how to address industry-related problems.
2. Pick a mentor that is just a few steps ahead of you.
Someone too advanced will get tired or be less inspired to provide guidance. Instead of working up with crumbs of patience thrown at you from busy corporate giants, pair up with a growth mentor who still keeps overcoming struggles fresh in the memory and can develop more compassion for your current stage of growth.
3. See how you can reciprocate.
The general rule is that the mentor-mentee relationship is not based on a monetary value. Still, you need to provide value in return to your business mentor. The best reciprocity is your business success and increased performance. However, enthusiasm, energy, and motivation for goal accomplishment will inspire the mentor to invest in the relationship even more. In a nutshell, you cannot expect growth from a business mentorship if you are a slacker.
4. Examine their mentorship framework.
A great rapport is an important element of mentorship. However, practical implementation is essential. Inquire about your mentor’s work style and how will the mentorship look like – how often you will meet, how to communicate, how to define and measure success. Clarify expectations on both sides.
5. Avoid strict definitions of the growth mentor role.
Setting up some rules is key. But you don’t need to look for people with the title “growth mentor” exclusively. Being a growth mentor to too many people can be draining. So make sure you check how busy your mentor is. Often the best growth mentors are first-time mentors because they have the most passion in guiding you to overcome obstacles.
Are you ready to take the next step to grow your business and learn from someone who has walked the path?
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