Want to be successful in business? Get help!

Whether you pay for help or not, it is extremely invaluable to have someone (or multiple people) in your corner who you trust to support you in all your endeavours.

They may not always share the same views as you, but the best advisors/mentors are ones who support your passion and goals and help provide you with choices.

As the best golfer in the world, it’s been said that Tiger Woods has 3 to 4 coaches/mentors at any given time: 1 for his golf game, 1 for his fitness, 1 for his mental game, and his caddy during tournaments. One may argue that he can easily afford hired help, but he, like most successful people in the world, still had to start from ground zero. It’s quite certain that he didn’t pay his father to be his coach while he was a child, but Earl Woods was Tiger’s greatest mentor.

Below is a list of some of the top reasons why anyone should have mentors in their lives, as contributed by a number of business contacts in my network:

1) They help make me accountable for my actions.

I have three mentors, and while none of them hold my proverbial feet to the fire, just knowing that they are in my life triggers a sense of accountability to get certain things accomplished and to update them on my progress. Each time that I meet with them over drinks or lunch, new action items usually arise, and I often end up creating deadlines whether they asked me to or not.

2) They help me see things from different perspectives.

In an entrepreneur’s life, ideas are abundant. What makes an entrepreneur successful is his/her ability to turn an idea into a reality. While you’re busy allocating all the pieces for your current venture, it can be difficult to see your business in the long-term. How certain are you that you are doing everything that’s in your businesse’ interest? A mentor can offer a fresh point of view or even tell you from experience that you are going about it the wrong way.

3) They listen.

A mentor (or a Business or Executive Coach) acts as a confidential sounding board enabling us to think aloud. In doing so, many people are better able to brainstorm, problem solve, overcome obstacles, identify opportunities and find solutions.

4) They can help with Planning and Preparation.

A mentor or coach can assist in these essential steps. Mentors has helped to rehearse for tricky situations, presentations and provides valuable feedback so we can  sail through with flying colours!

As mentioned, a mentor or coach also helps keep you accountable to your goals and desired successes. Who wants to meet a second time and not have progress to report?

5) They offer experience and, in some instances their network, to enable the mentee to achieve success.

Some of your best connections will come from mentors who graciously fosters introductions which in turn will enable you to explore new business opportunties.

No matter who your mentor or coach is, remember their time and knowledge is so valuable. To maximize the benefit for both of you, prepare and agenda for your time together, stay focused, be respectful of time and “do the work” it takes to move forward. Through thought provoking conversations and suggestions and the celebration of your successes a mentor or Coach is a key to business success!

6) They can help you build credibility in your industry (assuming they are in the same field)

Just being introduced by or being seen with a respected person in your industry can pay huge dividends in terms of network/relationship building.

7) They can shorten the learning curve dramatically

Your mentor has likely ‘been there and done that’ before. Why not avoid the sometimes costly price (in terms of both time and money) of experience? They are also more likely to call you on your mistakes than friends or collegues.

Some mentors have an absolute gift of cutting through the BS. Including some limiting beliefs that some may bring into their careers. Friends and family are there to support you and may not want to hurt your feelings. Collegues likely are in competition with you so may not be as quick to help out with sound advice. So who has your back and can point out your shortcomings or highlight areas that need improvement immediately?

It would be great to hear your thoughts on how a mentor has impacted your life. Feel free to chime in!