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Why Mentors Are More Important Now Than Ever

When Richard Branson founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984, he was already an experienced entrepreneur for many decades. He launched his first business, a magazine called student, When he was just 16 years old, a wildly successful record with a mail-order business that soon became the first Virgin record.

Branson was not specifically set to become an airline magnate. Rather, it was born out of the desperation he felt while he was stuck on the Tarmac in Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands. Instead of suffering in silence, Branson worked out how expensive it would be to rent an aircraft instead, and figured that each passenger could only pay $ 39 if they accumulated the expenses. “(When) we arrived at the BVI, someone said ‘Get your service up a bit and you can be in the airline business,'” Branson said, and from there Virgin Atlantic was born.


Branson may have been close to the born entrepreneur, but this did not mean that he had become blind in his new business. For guidance, he helped Sir Freddy Laker, one of Britain’s most respected entrepreneurs and founder of the low-cost airline model.

“His advice on setting up the company was invaluable, drawing on his experiences with his own airline, Laker Airways,” Branson has said. “We would not have reached anywhere in the airline industry without Freddy’s down-to-earth knowledge. They helped shape our vision for high-quality service at competitive prices, and first noted how strongly we would have to fight with other airlines to make our airline a success. ”

No matter how smart you are, being a mentor is not only necessary to help you direct your business. This can give you someone to lean on when times are tough – like now, for example.

Why should you find a mentor

You are probably aware of the frightening statistic that half of new businesses survive their first five years. But research has found that when business owners are cited, the number rises to 70 percent – almost double the success rate for non-mentioned businesses.

The epidemic has left even the most seasoned among us in the midst of trying to grapple with the uncertain future. While no one can say for sure what will happen, a patron can help put obstacles in perspective. Return CEO Guy Levine told Forbes that the advice he received from Value Maker founder Ian Basworthick helped him overcome challenges that he would not be as successful in solo.

Levine said, “There was no fancy form or method. It was about landing on the most important issues and making plans to resolve them.” It is not, and push harder! Instead of the cat around, we just faced it head on. This is how it is going to happen, how are we going to get it. ”

Even at more specific times, patrons are invaluable to the CEO. In Harvard Business Review Among 45 CEOs surveyed with formal advising arrangements, 84 percent said these arrangements allowed them to avoid costly mistakes and become skilled in their roles. In the same study, 71 percent said they were certain that the company’s performance had improved, and 69 percent said that patrons helped them make better decisions.

Potential patrons are everywhere – all you have to see

“A great mentor is someone who gives purposeful advice, provides advice from a new perspective, is willing to help focus on your goals, your purpose and your goals, along with collaborating, listening and learning Stays., “Amy Zimmerman, Head of People’s Operations at Kabbage, Inc. told Forbes.

Finding such a person can create some legacy. A great place to start networking events, entrepreneurial “hot spots”, and even personal connections.

Do not assume that successful people will be too busy to help you – most successful people prefer to impart their knowledge on others whose ambition matches their own. When doing outreach, be specific about what you are looking for, and how you can be helpful in return.

“When you make an introduction, tell your potential mentor what you admire about him or her and why you want to join,” suggests Jared Hecht. “Remember: The best mention is interpersonal relationships.”

Having said that, this approach varies slightly in times of crisis. Keeping founder Megan Burke Rowdy Busch says that both mentors and mentors should give each other enough breathing space, and offer plenty of takeaways with follow-up.

“Our days, weeks, and months pass in a bof an eye. One of the best things about working remotely in epistemic mode is that people are less likely to demand immediate responses to correspondence, ”she writes.

Pay it Forward

You have sought help from others (hopefully), and know how invaluable those relationships are to your business.

But how to be a good mentor, especially at a time when everyone is thin? First, take stock of your potential. If you are simply busy making room for yet another commitment, then it is important to acknowledge that for yourself and your mentors.

If you feel that you have the bandwidth to be a protector, then you need to make sure that you are strengthening yourself. Take a walk, eat well, journal and exercise. I’ve written before that burnout is preventable, and it’s important to remember that taking time to recharge is not a luxury, but a necessity.

Within your organization, providing mentorship to employees can also pay off in a big way. In my startup, JotForm, it is sometimes difficult to find the exact right person to fill a certain role. Fortunately, we have a large team of staff who are ready to mentor newly hired and less experienced staff members. By nurturing younger employees or helping them develop new skill sets, you are creating people who can help you create an amazing product.

A good mentoring relationship means that you are also learning from your mentally. Digital natives are often fluent in technology and social media in a way that older workers are not. Writing for Harvard Business Review, Vineet Chopra says that he learned how to use a virtual whiteboard from a patron, which enhanced his ability to teach and engage the audience. Such exchange of information helps in strengthening your relationship by making it mutually beneficial.

Also remember that the epidemic has been harsh on your bosses as well. Rowdy Busch suggests how they are feeling, how their stress levels are and whether they are taking care of themselves. Regular check-ins provide a reminder to both of you that you are not in this alone.


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