I have always been a bit of a wild one. The rebel. The one who questioned everything instead of just doing as I was told.
I was the student the teachers had a love/hate relationship with. The daughter who always went against the grain. I guess it’s the entrepreneur in me.
Doing as I was told was never exciting to me, and after 8 and a half years as an employee in the banking industry the time came where enough was enough! I was done being told what to do and I quit!
I was finally on my quest for success as an entrepreneur and set up a business. I had total freedom, this is what it was about, right?
I had a few quick wins then it quickly materialised that business was A LOT harder than I thought. The reality was, I didn’t really know what I was doing. Regardless of my business degree, I didn’t know it all and it was different actually running a business in the real world.
But wait, how can I ask for help if I hate being told what to do? It was time to suck it up, swallow my pride and reach out to someone.
I’ve invested over £60k in mentors over the years who I have learned valuable lessons from, such as where to invest my money, who to collaborate with, where to keep focus, as well as what not to do and what mistakes not to make!
Here are 5 reasons why you need a mentor, even if like me you don’t like being told what to do:
1. You can’t see the picture while you’re in the frame.
Mentors have the ability to see things that you cannot. They can call out your BS and show you where you fall down, and will usually be brutally honest and tell you how it is.
This constructive criticism may be a tough pill to swallow, but it is necessary for your growth. My mentors have always helped me see things that I never would have recognised, or was avoiding having no one there to call it out. When you know where you are lacking, then you can improve and your business will grow because of it.
2. You get a proven strategy that works
This is worth its weight in gold. If someone as walked the path to success and can tell you the exact blueprint for you to do the same, that would be valuable right? That’s what a mentor can give you.
All my mentors have been people who have seen the exact success I want to see but are a few steps ahead of me, so I know that following their lead will bring me very similar, if not the same results!
3. They are a great sound board for all of our (many) ideas
If you are an entrepreneur you will have tonnes of ideas, sometimes all in one day! Some of these ideas however won’t be feasible or even a good idea, but having a mentor means you will have someone as a sound board to run ideas by. They will tell you which ones have potential, and which ones will be a totally waste of time.
4. Mentors can be great connectors
When choosing my mentors I also factored in their network and creating a strategic alliance. I know to make it in my industry it’s not just what I know, but who I know. Working with a mentor who has close relationships with those in my industry who I want to connect with bridges the gaps a lot quicker as they can do an introduction. It makes it a lot easier as your mentor will already have the trust factor with those you are connecting with! This will bring opportunities your way you would never have had otherwise.
5. Mentors are great encouragers and motivators
I think it’s important to understand that you should never rely on anyone to motivate you. You should already be motivated to create success, however sometimes having someone to encourage you and spur you on fans the fire of motivation so you keep momentum. They will be your biggest cheerleader at times and that person you can rely on to pick you up when life hits you down. When times have ever felt hard for me, my mentor has always kept me going strong.
One of the best business decisions I had made is to always have a mentor and I attribute a big proportion of my success to having them in my corner. I have also learned what it takes to be an incredible mentor and passing this gift on and mentoring other women in business completely lights me up.
I hope these 5 reasons to have a mentor has helped you and given you the courage to reach out to one, even if you don’t like being told what to do!
Remember, having a mentor isn’t a weakness, it shows you’re smart enough and dedicated enough to succeed!