How does mentoring work?
An explanation of the way entrepreneurs can work with their mentors
The way you choose to approach mentoring will be dependent on how much involvement you agree to, or request your mentor to have with your business. Some mentors and mentees work extremely close to each other, speaking or meeting most weeks or even days.
However, in most cases a mentor will have less of a day-to-day involvement with the business. Instead they’ll provide help every few weeks or months which could take the form of phone calls, emails, face-to-face meetings or a combination of all of these.
Mentoring can be a very formal and structured process with regular meetings which follow a specific agenda and set of goals. It can also be quite a casual arrangement, where the mentee calls on the mentor as and when problems or questions arise.
The main thing to remember about mentoring is that it’s not just a one-off meeting, or opportunity to pick the brain of a more experienced entrepreneur. It’s an ongoing relationship where both parties must be committed to achieving certain goals and willing to live up to their end of the bargain.
There are plenty of mentoring organisations where you can request a mentor through formal channels. There is information about some of these organisations, and how to get in touch with them, here.
However, you don’t have to go through formal channels to bring a mentor on board to help your business. Friends, contacts and fellow entrepreneurs can end up as informal mentors, sometimes without you even realising.