Do you have the experience you need?
As a small business owner, are you considering working with a mentor to help you grow and develop your business? I hope you are, as it is an essential step on the journey of mastery. While mentorship can be invaluable, having some business experience before you begin working with a mentor is vital. Many professions experts and masters spent years as apprentices before they sought to be mentored too; the stone masons, carpenters, organ builders and glass workers that made what you see in the image here would surely have been mentored, but only once their initial learning was over. This post explores why that is so you get the most out of your mentorship and to help you decide if now is the right time for you to seek it.
Understanding what a mentor can provide.
In nearly all cases, your mentor won’t have the expertise in your market that you have. To truly understand what a mentor can provide, you must recognise where you need their support. In most cases, these will be areas of your business where your experience is more limited. The mentor’s experience gives you a better sense of the challenges you’re likely to face and the areas where you need the most help. Your experience matters in determining whether to work with a particular mentor. That’s one reason I only work with people with enough experience for my mentoring to perform at its best. You can read more about why I am selective here…
Building Confidence and Credibility
When you have some business experience, you’re more likely to feel confident and credible when working with a mentor. The combination of knowledge and skills you and the mentor bring can uncover insights. This confidence will help you to ask better questions and engage in more meaningful conversations with your mentor. It will also help you to implement the advice and feedback you receive and make measurable progress toward your goals.
Asking Better Questions
Experience also helps you to ask better questions, which is essential for getting the most out of mentorship. When you have some practical experience, you’re better equipped to identify the areas where you need the most help and ask targeted questions to help you address those areas.
Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The self-awareness from business experience is essential for making the most of your mentorship. Knowing how your strengths and weaknesses affect your business outcomes allows you to work with your mentor to develop a plan that plays to your strengths and addresses your weaknesses. With that experience, you would both be doing little more than guessing.
Making Mentorship More Relevant and Impactful
When you have developed some expertise, most business owners find that the mentorship you receive is more relevant and impactful. Your mentor provides you with targeted advice and feedback that is tailored to your specific needs and challenges. That focuses your expertise and pushes you further on the journey of mastery.
Evaluating Advice and Feedback Objectively
Experience also helps you to evaluate advice and feedback more objectively. When you have some practical experience, you’re better equipped to assess the value of the advice and feedback you receive. It helps you determine which suggestions will resonate most with your situation and working style so your choice is more likely to help you achieve your goals.
Understanding Your Learning Style
Experience also helps you to understand your learning style. This is important because it will help you to work more effectively with your mentor. Then you can communicate your needs and preferences to your mentor and work together to develop a plan tailored to your unique learning style.
Building a Stronger Professional Network
When you have some business experience, you’re more likely to have a solid professional network. This network can be a valuable resource when working with a mentor. Your mentor may also provide introductions and referrals to help you grow your business and achieve your goals.
Working with a mentor can be a precious experience, but it’s essential to have some business experience before you begin. When you have experience in your field, you’re better equipped to understand what a mentor can provide, ask better questions, evaluate advice and feedback objectively, and make meaningful progress towards your goals. By building your experience, you’ll get the most out of mentorship and achieve the success you’re looking for.