Why Mentoring Is Entrepreneurial Too

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Let me make you understand this point.

Mentoring in the commercial setting is not a blatant act of charity or self-promotion. It has a structure in which the mentor can even start by signing a nondisclosure agreement established by the mentee to preserve the confidentiality of what is shared during the mentoring process.

In most cases, it is in the mentor's interest to participate in the launch of this new product or service created by the start-up. In the absence of an official transfer of funds, the term mentor will suffice. However, the relationship can intensify as the mentor becomes a providential investor and invests a private sum without waiting for the creation of a formal business structure. The next step will see the emergence of venture capitalists who have the propensity to see the promising young company turn into a first public offering (IPO).

Here are some reasons why mentoring is entrepreneurial:

Mentoring is risky

Giving practical advice to a growing start-up is risky because the business environment is dynamic and constantly changing. You risk developing a bad reputation if your tips are considered too simplistic and unrealistic. Your brand can take a hit and you have to spend more time trying to rebuild it.

Mentoring requires foresight

When offering mentoring advice, you need to provide a clear and fairly accurate overview of the sector. This can be quite stressful because your protégé can easily do free market research by expert consulting firms. Thus, you may need to highlight different scenarios and then evaluate each of them with the probability of success, respectively. In reality, having only one vision of the future may not be enough to have a mentoring relationship.

Mentoring needs active listening

Successful entrepreneurs do not just stick in dusty garages to create the next best machine or killer app. They must also be active listeners of how their potential customers see their product or services. The reason is obvious because these potential customers will pay with their hard earned money.

In the same way, the mentor must listen, without prejudices, what the start-up wants to share and ask. The mentor's answers must be provided objectively, even if it may seem negative.

Mentoring can be tedious

Even with the diversity of communication tools and social media, mentoring can be tedious and time-consuming. The mentor must gain the respect and trust of the mentee from the start to create a Gantt chart. This will ensure accountability and clear direction in the mentoring process. This is a positive development in which the mentoring relationship does not turn into a simple rush on what makes the commercial venture too difficult. Productive mentoring is not just about motivating and consoling, but gently pushing the start-up to succeed.

Mentorship changes lives

As a mentor myself, I can guarantee that mentoring changes the perspectives of the mentor and the mentee. There are always ups and downs in a professional mentoring career. The mentor will learn how much knowledge he has stored in his mind and will feel blessed to be able to use it. On the other hand, the mentee will have the feeling of having hit the jackpot because the mentor provides him with constructive and relevant advice allowing him to achieve what he's set at the beginning of his career.

I hope this article shows you that there is little that separates the mentor and the entrepreneur.


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