Being a business owner means being the heart and soul of your company and the one continually driving it forward.
Our research into the lives of UK business owners reinforces the notion that they are heavily invested in their company – and not just financially. Their drive, passion and determination shapes the long-term success of their business.
But, it’s also true that business owners don’t have all the answers. When market volatility, political uncertainty or disruption abounds, it can be daunting to solve the challenges on your own. The threat of burnout is lurking and there are few support systems to help relieve that stress.
Over many years of supporting ambitious business owners and through my own personal journey from trainee to managing partner of a growing firm, I’ve experienced the tangible benefits of having a business mentor by my side.
Business mentors can make a huge difference through insights they share from their own personal experience. They stimulate thinking and challenge conventions – often helping you to find inspiration and new ways of looking at sticking points, be these in your business or mind-set.
Why owners choose to work with a mentor and how they benefit differs from person to person.
My top five reasons for encouraging owners to work with a business mentor:
A sounding board
Many business owners feel a sense of isolation. Often surrounded by supporters but missing a real confidant – someone they can share their doubts and concerns with.
Business mentors will listen but crucially can also offer an informed opinion. They will share their mistakes and victories and can offer empathy and informed advice.
A mentor can and will ask the tough questions. They will challenge why you are doing certain things, where you are spending your time and ‘hold a mirror up to you’ to bring clarity.
Being challenged by someone objective but whom you respect, can focus you on the big questions you so often avoid.
Motivation is key to taking action. Our research shows that owners lose motivation at times. When this happens, it can be a real struggle to recover.
Mentors can help you rekindle your spark. They love to share their experience. Hearing stories about what your mentor has done in their career and life can provide much needed inspiration. Who better to motivate you than someone who has been there and done that?
Widen your network
Business mentors tend to have vast and varied circles of influence. While tapping into their contacts is not the primary reason for working with a mentor, there is no doubt that over time relevant and mutually beneficial introductions can be made.
Shrewd business owners always look to develop their capability and skills. What better way to learn than to observe and take instruction from an owner who has embedded those skills in their own behaviour?
Working with a mentor can help hone your leadership abilities and enable you to bring others on who can manage the day to day while you tackle the vision and wider plan for your business.
Ask successful business owners who their influencers are, almost all will describe a mentor. If you’re feeling demotivated, are at a cross-roads or just need an objective third party to bounce ideas off, why not appoint a mentor?
For help and business advice or to discuss mentorship, get in touch.
Want to know more? Call us on 020 8549 5137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org