What is a Business Mentor?

what is a business mentor

What is a business mentor? You’ve probably heard the term tossed around in entrepreneurial circles, but what does it actually mean? 

As someone who’s had so much value from mentors, I now swear by it – and I’d love for you to come away from this today feeling just as excited as I am by the prospect of seeking out advice from someone who’s been there, done that and been incredibly successful with it.

what is a business mentor

Understanding the Role of a Business Mentor

First thing’s first – what is a business mentor? In simple terms, a business mentor is someone with extensive experience and knowledge who can offer you guidance, support and advice to help you navigate your own entrepreneurial journey. They are more than just a consultant or advisor – they’re a trusted ally who truly invests in your success.

And that’s a pretty transformative thing, knowing you have someone experienced on your side to help you through any challenges they’ve likely already faced themselves.

After all, not everything can be learned from piles of textbooks or hours in the classroom. Some of the most innovative ideas and biggest success stories have come from learning from someone who can share their unique expertise and experience.

There’s a great quote by John Crosby that says, “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

I feel like that’s spot on.

Two female business owners discussing selling a business

What Does a Business Mentor Do?

Now let’s look at what it is that a business mentor actually does. 

Perhaps the biggest draw to having a mentor is that they’re able to offer expert advice. A mentor has faced the challenges, overcome the obstacles, and achieved success in their respective fields. By really harnessing the wisdom and insights of an experienced mentor, you can fast-track your journey to success so much more effectively than you can by struggling alone.

As the international speaker J Loren Norris once said: “If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.”

It’s easy, when struggling through the entrepreneurial path alone, to talk ourselves down or feel demotivated by new challenges. But with the help of a mentor’s wealth of experiences and advice, you’ll start to see how success is possible for you too.

But mentoring goes beyond just advice. Here’s what else is involved in the role of a business mentor.

Providing Emotional Support

The entrepreneurial journey can be lonely and fraught with challenges. The biggest lesson I’ve learned during my journey is that entrepreneurship should never be a lonely road for one. We all need a supporting hand to guide us along that unpredictable path from time to time (and it’s why I do what I do today).

A good business mentor provides emotional support, offering a listening ear and encouragement right when you need it most. They help you stay reliant and focused – even when the going gets tough.

Networking Opportunities

A good business mentor has a wealth of connections and can introduce you to people who can help your business grow.

And there are huge opportunities for business and careers when it comes to networking. In fact, 88% of professionals consider networking to be crucial in furthering their careers (GrowMap, 2020).

I want you to know that it’s absolutely okay to ask others for help when you’re building meaningful relationships in business. In fact, I’ve found that the most successful people I know are never afraid to ask for help when they need it.

People actually really love to help. The act of asking for help is never a sign of weakness – instead, it opens doors to collaboration and shared success. Successful people understand the power of reciprocal relationships. They know that by giving and receiving help, everyone involved succeeds together.

And it’s amazing what we can achieve when we work with others like that (and for more on building meaningful relationships through networking, check out this previous blog post).

An Accountability Partner

Being your own boss is brilliant, but staying on tracks with your goals can get a bit challenging if you haven’t got anyone else to be accountable to other than yourself. This is where a business mentor can act as an accountability partner to make sure you stay committed to your plans and make continuous progress.

Mentors serve as these incredible catalysts for personal and professional growth, offering invaluable advice, constructive feedback, and acting as the accountability partners you need along the way.

After all, it’s far harder to push something aside or tell yourself you’ll “do it tomorrow” if someone else is part of your success journey. A mentor really can be the difference between setting yourself goals and actually taking action towards them.

business owner and life coach casually talking

The Benefits of Having a Business Mentor

There’s no end to the learning journey as an entrepreneur, and there’s so much to be learned by standing alongside someone who has walked a similar path to the one you wish to follow. Below are some of the benefits you can gain from the help of a business mentor.

  • Increased confidence – Knockbacks and challenges can seriously dent your confidence over time. Even for experienced entrepreneurs, sometimes too many knockbacks come at once and it can feel difficult to stand back up again. We’re only human, after all. Failure can sting. With a mentor’s support and guidance, you’ll soon feel more confident in your own decisions and your ability to overcome challenges. You’ll be able to get back on your feet faster after setbacks with a newfound, unshakeable confidence that you can push through. And this will be such a huge driver in your success.
  • Faster growth – Overnight success might be a common story on Linkedin and Instagram, but the reality is that most successes simply don’t happen like that. Usually, success and growth are achieved slowly and steadily, learning from mistakes and making improvements along the way. While a business mentor won’t simply make success happen for you, they can however help you get there faster. When you can learn from someone else’s lessons and experience as well as your own, you can move through challenges just that little bit more quickly.
  • Improved problem-solving skills – A good mentor will encourage you to think critically and approach problems from different angles. The great thing about this is that it really gets you to think about things you might have otherwise overlooked, making you more prepared for whatever lies ahead. This is good news for both your problem-solving skills and for your ability as an effective leader.
  • Long-term success – The skills and insights you gain from a mentor aren’t just for the short-term – they can truly set you up for long-term success with your goals. Every skill you learn and every challenge you overcome can leave you more prepared when facing similar challenges in future. Most people have a teacher or someone they looked up to who might have taught them something that served them well throughout their lives.  A mentor is like that, too. These are lessons for life.
business owner looking for life coaches online

How to Get Started with a Business Mentor

From providing strategic guidance to offering emotional support, mentors can play such an amazing and multifaceted role in your entrepreneurial journey. In fact, in a survey by Harvard Business Review, a staggering 92% of respondents have had a significant impact on their business.

If you’re seeking out a business mentor, I highly recommend that you ask yourself: “What would I like help with and where’s the best place to go for that?

Pay attention to the specifics of that business mentor’s experience. How similar is it to your own experience? Have they worked in similar types of businesses? It all depends on your perspective, your needs and your personal goals.

Whatever is blocking you today, there’s somebody out there who can provide you with the expertise and support to help you overcome those challenges.

I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with this, so please drop me a message over on my Instagram to let me know what’s working for you. The more we share our success stories, then the more we can inspire others.

And if you’ve enjoyed my content so far and think I could be the right person to support you, then I’d be absolutely delighted to do so. Get in touch and I’d love to hear more about your ambitions, and what we can do together to get you there.