As we close on January’s Mentoring Month, we want to highlight an important fact: adults need mentors, too. Too often we equate mentors with youth. There is not a time in our lives when we are not in need of support, guidance, and shared knowledge. This is especially true if you are an aspiring entrepreneur!
According to Black Enterprise:
A mentor is still someone who has specific skills, knowledge and abilities to help groom you for success, provides strategic business advice and assists you with the tools to negotiate and conquer the corporate terrain. A mentor can be especially helpful for women who have the two-fold challenge of navigating the sexism of the business world while still maintaining a home and children. Choosing the right mentor will help maintain sanity as you climb the ladder.
Deciding to start your own business (or mentoring program like Kelly Fair) can be an intimidating decision. But, being able to turn to your mentors makes the path less lonely. If you aren’t sure how to turn a friendship or acquaintanceship into mentorship, check out these tips from Groove HQ on how to connect with mentors. Alex Turnbull’s biggest take away is to not forget that mentorship should be reciprocated. If you are asking someone for help or advice, be sure to offer your own! This paves a path for a positive, supportive mentoring relationship. Just as you can learn from someone else, someone else can learn from you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
They quote Kimberly Reed of The Reed Development Group:
“For African Americans mentoring is like oxygen; mentorship helps one uncover the opportunities and possibilities that are beyond the stratosphere.”
You mentor should be:
- Supportive of your dreams
- Able to provide constructive criticism
- Someone you trust
- Knowledgeable of the business world
- Able to provide a new or different perspective
What we can all agree upon is that mentors can be a spark in your career path, business related or not.