You don't have to do it alone! Find a Mentor!

Heather MacDonald Blog's picture
Heather MacDonald

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”, John C Crosby

Whether you are just starting out or already established in your business there will come a time when you just don’t seem to be ‘kicking any goals’. Some will tread water, some will swim in circles and some will feel defeated.
It can be very difficult to determine what you should do next. You may be afraid to share your challenges because you do not want to appear to be unsure or less confident. To make matters worse, self-doubt creeps in so that you, the one that was so passionate and sure, now questions ‘what the heck was I thinking!’.
How do you pick yourself up?
One common factor in successful businesses is the finding that person that asks the difficult questions, the one that forces you to look at things from a different perspective, that person that will keep you on track to where you want to go. The one that keeps you accountable.
Friends and family may not be the best to ask advice as they may not understand your business and the business environment well enough to give you the support you need. You may have some great colleagues that will boost your confidence and cheer you on but again not force you to look at your business to provide you with the strategies that are going to make that difference.
When you are starting out in business identify a person outside your business bubble that can follow your progress. There are certain qualities you should look for when identifying that critical friend – a mentor.
1. Someone that has experience and is willing to share their knowledge with you
2. Someone who is approachable, available and is an active listener
3. Someone who supports you in your journey, not someone who tells you how they would do it
4. Someone who is honest and doesn’t beat around the bush
5. Someone who is going to challenge you not just tell you how wonderful you are
Mentoring relationships can happen across industries and within industries. You may decide to identify several different mentors for different purposes. A mentor is someone that can support you work through your business development by sharing their knowledge, expertise and experience.
If you have never had a mentor before… now is the time to consider getting someone on board. It may be just the fix for those tricky situations. 
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”, John C Crosby

Giovanna Lever and Heather MacDonald are experts in mentoring for business. They will present The Business of Creativity on Thursday 1 June, as part of Vivid Ideas.