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Success By Example

Aug 17, 2007
Most new and emerging businesses face problems at one time or another, and can benefit from the help of a more experienced person. Traditionally the mentor has offered support for the business operator. However, 'Business and Lifestyle' coaches have taken over the role of mentoring and differ in one important aspect. They get paid for their services.

Generally it has been considered that mentors give their time freely, but that doesn't have to be the case. If a mentor gives their time to assist and support you then there is no reason why you should not pay them.

A problem with a business coach or a single mentor is that the business operator will be restricted by the experience and expertise of the mentor or coach. It is more logical to have a mentor who has expertise in certain areas e.g. marketing; finance; production; technology etc.

A 'Mentor' can give tips, advice and support, although you make the decisions as they do not own or run your business! You must not become too dependent on them or expect them to solve all your problems. Instead, regard them as teachers, who have knowledge based on their own experiences in business.

Mentors should be a combination of a parent, teacher, counsellor and friend. As well as giving advice and listening to you, your 'Mentor' should also inspire you, be trustworthy, open doors of opportunity, build your self-esteem and provide constructive criticism. But perhaps their most important role is to 'push' you past the point of ordinary development.

Remember, mentors are busy people running their own businesses. They are kind enough to give some of their valuable time to assist you. Do not ask too many questions too often. Your relationship with your mentor is a business relationship. It may develop into a friendship, but you shouldn't expect too much or become a nuisance.

As with all business relationships, you need to consider what you are prepared to give, as well as what you want to receive.

Apart from having personal attributes that the 'Mentor' relates to, you should also be prepared to show your appreciation. Such things as hand written notes/cards thanking them for some particular assistance they were able to give, certainly makes them feel valuable.

You can promote them and their business to your contacts as 'word of mouth' promotion is a very valuable tool. Keep your eyes/ears open for any information that comes your way (newspaper clippings, flyers, seminars, etc) that might be of interest to your 'Mentor' that you can pass on. Just taking them out for lunch or coffee (when it is not a planned 'Mentor' meeting) to say 'thanks', makes your 'Mentor' feel appreciated.

Mentoring is greatly underestimated as a method to successfully train 'by example'. When a mentoring programme becomes a formal structure, with written agreements in place and it is monitored, to enable results to be measured and quantified, the outcome can be quite unbelievable.
About the Author
Barbara Gabogrecan is a renowned award winning guru who can make your business sizzle. Her creative and out of the box approach is truly inspirational. specialised web sites to make their lot easier. http://www.mbnsolutions.com.au
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