As a business owner, you remember what it was like to be a struggling entrepreneur just trying to get your business off the ground. Even though those days are long behind you, the experiences you gained during that time got you to where you are now. So why not help someone trying to get to your position?
If someone helped you during your climb up, you probably remember them. Now it’s your turn to mentor a young entrepreneur. They will never forget it, and neither will you.
Taking an aspiring business owner under your wing provides obvious benefits to him/her. As you know, people in this position need all the advice they can get. They are about to enter the world of entrepreneurship; instability, nerves, sleepless nights, endless work and quite possibly the most rewarding feeling one could have.
Hearing about the experiences of someone who is currently in a position these young entrepreneurs are striving for not only motivates them, but also provides them will valuable advice they will carry throughout their career. They will always look at you as someone who helped kickstart or speed up the building of their business. But they aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this.
Aside from the rewarding feeling you will get from knowing you helped someone, being a mentor has many benefits to you. Speaking with young people in the same field can give you a fresh perspective on your industry.
They may have just finished school, so they are well educated in the most recent curriculum of this business. They just learned things you may have forgotten. Hearing from them can help you keep your business fresh. So listen to what they have to say.
Finally, the common ground between you and your “student” is industry. You both need connections. No matter what stage you are in your career, quality contacts are very important. You never know when you’ll need them.
Getting to know a young up-and-comer in your field adds one more contact to your network. As their network grows, and it will, so does yours. Keep them close and help them out. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll need a favour in return.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone approach you for help, don’t turn away. Help them get to where they want to be. If they don’t come to you, go to them. Talk to local schools or contact the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. The foundation will set you up with a young entrepreneur looking for advice. Neither of you will ever forget this valuable experience.
Have you mentored someone? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.