Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger, but have a certain area of expertise. It’s a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.
“Mentoring” is a process that always involves communication and is relationship based, but its precise definition is elusive because its function is so multi- layered and personal to both Mentor and Protégé.
Wikipedia describes its definition as:
“Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time….”
In July 2014, I created the concept for mywhirld.com. Bringing it to fruition, in the recruitment market place, posed various challenges for me:
• Business Planning
• Route to Market
Before tackling these issues, I needed guidance – Someone to bounce the idea off. Deciding who I could reveal my, “next big thing” to, wasn’t straight forward. I don’t trust easily. The philosophy of lending someone £5, is to accept you may never get it back. Trust is not the issue there but rather a test. Trusting someone to help guide your business idea, is another matter. Many of my previous clients are successful business owners or board members.
Jon Hart is one of those clients and for nearly 10 years, I’ve come to trust him.
I wasn’t clear about what he did exactly. At that early stage, I didn’t need to. I was confident knowing that he had successfully developed several of his own businesses, in a variety of markets.
“Jon, I’ve a got a great idea for a business.”
“That’s what everyone’s says, Bryan.”
Now, he’s as excited as I am about Mywhirld’s future.
His experience in the corporate workplace, brings with it all the attributes I need from a mentor.
His skills in IT, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Coaching, have been a God-send.
My question to anyone seeking a Mentor is, can you trust Him/Her?
From there on, the rest is very much down to a tailored requirement. What you seek from your Mentor, must be established at the beginning. That process begins by asking yourself, “what do I want my mentor to help me with?”
Identifying what your strengths and weaknesses are, is important.
The road of entrepreneurship and start-ups can be lonely and scary, filled with uncertainty.
You will face many difficult questions on the way and confronting them early on, will lessen your burden.
Take guidance from a seasoned traveller who knows the route – the potholes, obstacles, twists & turns AND, when you need a mentor most…..that dreaded fork in the road.
I know of people who’s Mentors knew nothing about business but, they possessed motivational skills while others only required emotional support.
I’m very fortunate that Jon and I compliment each other. Our characters are very different. My brainstorming and zeal sends me off in various directions. He knows when to pull on the reins. Another point which is so important to bear in mind, and I come back to my first consideration, when finding your mentor:
Jon and I don’t always agree but I trust and respect, above all else, his time, patience and wisdom. In fact, our opinions can sometimes be polar. I value his commitment and long experience so, at the risk of being stubborn in my decision, we rely on a balanced approach.
Later, all his skills have proved valuable as we approach to launch Mywhirld.com
I’m grateful to have found my Mentor and Coach.
I’d love to hear from you about your thoughts and experiences of being a mentor or protogé. I wish all of you starting your own business, the very best and don’t give up.