What can I offer a mentor?
It's not a one-sided relationship. You have plenty to offer a mentor in return
Most people get involved in mentoring because they feel they want to give something back to the entrepreneurial community. Helping the next generation of entrepreneurs can be extremely rewarding, even if there's no financial gain involved.
It may be that a mentor has built and sold a successful business and wants to stay active within the entrepreneurial community without the daily pressures of running their own business. Or perhaps they take pleasure in helping others avoid the pitfalls that hampered their own business growth.
Mentoring offers the opportunity for more experienced or former entrepreneurs to share their knowledge and the wealth of experience they've built up throughout their career.
Sophie Beesley is head of the national business programme at the Prince's Trust. She says the vast majority of mentors that work with the Trust can't wait to sign up with a new mentee once their existing relationships come to an end.
“All the mentors get slightly different things out of the process but what it does is give them is a chance to work with energetic and enthusiastic people that are really trying to make something of their lives through business. It's their chance to give something back, by using their own experience in a very practical way.”
Jonathan Pfahl runs mentoring organisation the Rockstar Group and is a business mentor himself. He said: “It was having an experienced mentor when I first started out in business that really gave me the confidence and contacts to make it happen. I owe a lot to all my mentors who helped me get started, and I thoroughly enjoy now being able to do it for others.”