Venturing out into a new business is always exciting, but it can be a bit frightening as well. After all, you are banking everything that you have on the success of your newest venture. One of the best pieces of advice you will be given when starting a new business is to find a mentor that can fill in the gaps where you are at your weakest. There are different kinds of mentors, each of which has special talents and qualifications, so choose a mentor that is able to help you work your way through those areas where you are the least secure.
A Mentor with Knowledge and Experience
Sometimes entrepreneurs have absolutely wonderful ideas. They come up with a product or service that meets a need in their market, or a way in which to do something better than anything else out there. Unfortunately, many startups don’t know the first thing about running a business and so they can have the greatest services or products but they never make it off the ground.
If this is you, the kind of mentor you need will have a well-rounded knowledge of business administration, and will probably have started one or more companies themselves while perhaps also having experience mentoring other startups in the past. Look for someone with an online business degree at the very least, and always from a reputable school such as ASU online, Arizona State University undergraduate degree programs.
A Mentor Willing to Critique Your Startup
One thing you should always be willing to accept is honest criticism. No, you don’t need someone hanging over your shoulder telling you every step of the way what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You also don’t need someone who is going to be ultra-negative about every one of your endeavors. However, you do need someone who is going to give you an honest assessment of what they see, along with suggestions on what you perhaps could do differently.
Did you notice that this type of mentor won’t tell you what you can do ‘better’ but rather what you can do differently? This gives you inspiration rather than discouragement. Someone with an online bachelors in business and experience in your field should know how to encourage you to try new ways without making you feel like a failure.
The One Thing Every Entrepreneur Needs
What most entrepreneurs need is encouragement to keep swimming against the tide. Startups are breaking new ground, oftentimes in markets where there are similar products so there may be some degree of opposition to every move they make. A mentor with experience will help you work through negative feedback with positive critiques. This is the type of mentor every startup needs and one you can usually find if you network long enough to find knowledgeable peers willing to spend time imparting wisdom they’ve gained along the way.
In the beginning, you may not know exactly what type of mentor you need, but you will recognize that moment when you realize you need a mentor. Which type do you need? You’ll know when you’ve found them so keep looking! They’re out there waiting to be found.