For many new businesses, finding the right advisor can make all the difference. Here are five qualities to seek in an ideal mentor.
Entrepreneurs — especially young ones — tend to tap their friends for business advice. But that can be a mistake. The reason is, friends tell you what you want to hear. For what you need to hear, rather, a mentor is often a better bet.
A mentor could be a professional who advises entrepreneurs for a living or someone working in a related industry who is willing to help you. And unlike your friends, mentors are typically more removed from you and your business. So they tend to be more comfortable delivering bad or critical news and advice. And since many of them have either started up businesses in the past or have worked in industries that you’re trying to shake up, mentors can also fill experience gaps, as well as impart their wisdom on how to handle specific business challenges.
So how do you find this fabled do-gooder? You could luck into landing a suitable mentor. But most often, you’ll need to spend time networking among friends and colleagues. Be sure to set your sights on someone who could be a good role model, someone who has the skills and personality that match your chemistry.
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