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Mentorship for entrepreners

  • 05-01-2023 6:06pm
    Registered Users Posts: 25

    I have been researching on entrepreneurship and some websites recommend is to find a mentor.I am thinking of starting an online business and wondering on finding a mentor. Should I have expectations for finding a business mentor? Should I find a mentor through social media? How can I convince a person to mentor me?

    Here's a website where I first begun my research.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,724 ✭✭✭growleaves

    Some of the local enterprise offices have mentorship programs.

    If you wanted to find a mentor by yourself I suppose emailing local businessmen and asking them to take you on would the way to go but whether anyone would say yes I don't know.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25 Yoshitsune

    Thanks for the information. Would it also be worth to one of the members on the forum if they could be a mentor? Is it better to get in contact with someone in real life rather than relying on a stranger from the internet?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    First error is you are describing what you plan as an "online business".

    The delivery of your business may be online, but you need to describe it more accurately.

    EG A clothing retail business that will operate online (find a RETAIL expert) or a Computer training business that will operate online (find an IT training expert).

    So forget the delivery aspect and find a mentor in the actual field of expertise you are looking to offer.

    As above some local enterprise offices are a great place to start.

  • Company Representative Posts: 1,740 ✭✭✭ Ronan

    As someone who has done mentoring a lot in the past, you need to put a lot of thought and work into it.

    If seen a lot of people who have a vague idea (similar to your post) and expect the mentor to walk them through the process. What you are doing there is saying I value your time less than my money so tell me how to set up a company etc. These kind of questions are suitable for a quick google and then hire an accountant. A successful entrepreneur will shut that down straight away.

    I'd suggest starting backwards. What does the entrepreneur want. Sure we like to give back, but answer the whats in it for me (WIIFM). The more successful the person, the more they value their time. So its important you demonstrate that you value and understand their time is precious to them. Is there anything you can offer them in return? Some video production of reviews if that was your skill set, A free Seo or google ads review etc.

    Do you have any family or friends that can give you a warm intro?

    Approach with very specific and relevant questions. Prep for meetings extensively. Don't be surprised if the next meeting is conditional on you meeting the targets or workload set out. This might be a lot of fun for you, but theres nothing worse than someone saying: I didnt have time to read the book you recommended so sumarise it for me.

    And at the very least offer to pay for the coffee, the amount of times someone has asked me can I meet you for coffee and pick your brain then sat there when the bill came. Etiquette matters, its not about the price of the coffee.

    Manage your expectations dont assume Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos will give you their time.

    In the past I've offered and paid extensively for a single dinner with someone to pick their brain. I paid €1,000 for the persons time. The person was so chuffed to have their time valued this highly the made sure I got all the challenges I wanted to pick their brain about sorted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 656 ✭✭✭Mick Tator

    I agree with almost all of the above but on some (very few) points I've a slightly more nuanced view.

    Mentoring is very personal. It’s not always about money, (the WIIFM above). When I was (mainly ‘was’ now) mentoring, the reason was interest, not money, as most were unpaid, either favours or because it was someone decent who plain needed help and/or my specific industry knowledge. My reward was the bang of seeing someone move up to the next stage and keep going. The ’keep going’ is important, too many relax and go off tangentially, mid-plan, on side-issues, distracted by new possibilities. A good mentor will value his/her time more than any payment – disrespect that (general laziness, not meeting deadlines, off-hand answers, shoddy research) and the mentor will lose interest. If paid it becomes just a job, if voluntary s/he will walk.

    What I’m trying to get across is that the success or failure of mentoring depends on the relationship between the mentor and the entrepreneur. That is why you need to meet several, why your final choice is so important. Depending on what you need sometimes a mentor with general rather than specific knowledge of your industry can be best. They -uninformed - often ask better questions, and that brings the entrepreneur back to basics, become more attuned to the issues at hand, the fundamentals, instead of going off on flights of fancy.

    The foundation of the relationship has to be mutual respect, and if that goes missing the bond breaks and the connection becomes a waste of time. Keep that in mind until eventually the point does come when the relationship must change, or even break, ideally that is the time when the fledging jumps off the edge to fly solo. A good mentor recognizes when to walk and if treated properly always is willing to come back to listen and advise. .

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