Early in my Marine Corps career, one of our instructors told us “watch the leaders above and below and pick out the tools you believe would work for you. Discard those that are ineffective or not part of your style. In this way, we work to put leadership errors into the past.” Watching others perform their chosen craft provides lessons that cannot be learned from books or videos. What happens if you were the teacher and a young entrepreneur was observing you?
Mentoring can play a significant role in the success of any entrepreneur. Mentoring takes vision, dedication, and respect, all vital attributes for a mentor to attain in order to contribute positively to the growth of a mentee. Let’s look at a few things you can do to mentor up and coming entrepreneurs and how these traits can help both parties climb to the top.
Envision a Positive Future
Everyone must start somewhere. Today’s server could be tomorrow’s CEO. This familiar narrative is just as applicable to today’s CEO. To encourage the next generation of business leaders, it helps to know how to achieve your own career goals. Mentees benefit when people with experience encourage them to keep their eyes on the prize, and mentors benefit by reaffirming the principle that envisioning a positive future—and working toward that future—is the key to success.
Seek Experiential Learning
Envisioning a more successful future isn’t enough to bring that vision into reality, which is why job shadowing is so important. Experiencing that future in the present is the very best way to plan for it. And this is precisely what mentees need: to experience the future career they want now.
Some may have a change of heart after job shadowing a mentor, but it’s all part of working toward a future in real time that is right for them. Mentors can learn from this experience, too. By dedicating your time to giving mentees positive experiences, you’ll learn a great deal about the experience needed to achieve your own goals.
Successful business leaders seek out opportunities to learn and advance in their careers. Even if you are quite far down the path in your own career, consider using mentorship to consciously get in touch with your own ambitions and take positive steps toward attaining them. Find those who have experienced the success you desire. Take some classes to refresh or sharpen your skills. No matter where you are in your career, gaining experience should always be a top priority.
Lead with Respect
Helping mentees envision and experience successful futures can help them decide where they want their career to go and how to get there. As a mentor, consider taking it one step further and treat your mentees like the future business leaders they are. Having someone in your chosen career field encourage you and believe in your future is indispensable in achieving your goals.
Having respect for young businessmen and women—and ourselves—is instrumental in professional advancement. When you have respect for others, you tend to give yourself more respect, and for a good cause, too. A business leader who dedicates time to mentoring those early in their careers makes a positive impact on their industry. That, in turn, makes them a more valuable member of the business community, a necessary component to career advancement.
The key to achieving your career goals is always to keep growing and striving. But part of that process is knowing how to protect your interests to safeguard your future. If you are ready to take that step toward protecting the future you are working so hard for, begin by sitting down with us.
As your Creative Business Lawyer® we are here to help you face the many challenges of owning and growing a business. We are experienced in helping entrepreneurs put protective measures in place to ensure their time can be spent on growth and giving back to the business community instead of putting out fires and fixing problems. If you want to safeguard your future, we can help you implement a robust legal, insurance, financial and tax system that protect your interests while you help others—and yourself—envision and work toward a more positive future.
This article is a service of A. J. Yolofsky, Creative Business Lawyer®. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.