January is National Mentoring Month and a great opportunity to learn more about the benefits of mentoring other business owners. When entrepreneurs are first starting out in business, they often need someone to guide them through the initial processes. Moreover, they may also need to bounce ideas off of seasoned business owners to gauge whether they are likely to be successful.
While the benefits of being a mentee are abundantly clear, the advantages of being a mentor may not be as immediately easy to see. However, you can rest assured that there are plenty of reasons to mentor other business owners get their ideas off the ground!
Give Back to Your Community
When you mentor someone, you are not only helping them, but you are potentially benefitting the entire community. Small businesses are critical for the local economy. Helping a local business owner become successful provides important services to others and can attract people to the community, benefitting everyone.
Create New Networking Opportunities
New business owners will not be new forever. Eventually, they start to network and gain tenure. As they do, they meet new people and expand their reach. Mentoring someone means that you may also have access to their network over time.
Additionally, if your mentee’s business is adjacent to yours in any way, you can work with them on future projects.
Improve Your Own Skills
There is always room for improvement, whether you have been a business owner for two weeks or two decades. Mentoring other business owners gives you a chance to build and hone your own skills in addition to theirs.
Some of the most common skills that you can improve through a working mentorship include:
- Feedback delivery
- Active listening
A good mentorship is a two-way street, allowing both parties to learn from each other and gain proficiency in areas that they may have previously lacked.
Gain a New Perspective
Anytime that you work closely with another person and truly take the time to listen and understand, you have the opportunity to gain a new perspective. Mentoring other business owners allows you to see things from their point of view. This can be especially powerful if you are working with someone whose experience has been largely different from yours – for example, someone of a different culture, gender, or race.
The more that you know and understand about their unique and individual struggles, the better you can help support them and others like them going forward in your own business.
Choosing a Mentee When Mentoring Other Business Owners
Once you have made the decision to become a mentor, it is important to choose the right mentee. Make sure that your teaching style and their learning style are compatible to ensure both of you get the most out of the relationship. It also helps to work with someone who is in a similar industry or has a comparable background to you.
At Applied Development, our team knows the importance of mentoring other business owners within our community. If you need help getting started mentoring or are looking for a mentor, CEO, Kimberly Citizen is an excellent resource. Reach out today at 410.571.4016 or fill out our online form.