took the vision and hard work of talented people to bring success to some of
the world’s most famous startups. For many, a key ingredient in their success
also included the support and advice of a mentor. The invaluable experience and
guidance of an industry veteran can have a profound influence on the growth of
a fledgling startup.
an accomplished entrepreneur, being a mentor to the leader of a young startup
can be a gratifying way to pass on your knowledge to a like-minded person and advance
your industry. Additionally, it can give your career a jumpstart, expanding
your professional network and giving you a look at your field through new eyes.
thinking about becoming a mentor to a startup founder can do the job more
effectively with the following eight tips.
1. Be dedicated to the process.
you agree to become a mentor, it’s important to be 100 percent committed to the
partnership. A professional should only choose to become a mentor if confident
that he or she will be available for counsel when needed. Mentees should
respect a mentor’s schedule, but in turn, mentors should make time for the
people they are mentoring.
best mentors also give mentees their full attention during meetings. They do
not see the relationship as inconvenient, and they make themselves as
accessible as possible for questions when needed.
2. Work with someone likeminded.
most beneficial partnerships are going to occur between two people who share
similar ideological approaches to business. If you become a mentor to someone
who doesn’t agree with your business principles, many lessons that you consider
valuable may be lost on the entrepreneur you’re mentoring. Agree to mentor
someone only if you find that you have good business chemistry and that you
agree on the major aspects of running a company.
3. Enjoy teaching.
good mentor doesn’t agree to form a partnership with a new entrepreneur with
the sole aim of career advancement or personal gain. The best mentors embrace
the process and enjoy teaching others. They are enthusiastic about sharing
knowledge and know how to ask questions that encourage mentees to think
critically. Additionally, a good mentor communicates ideas in such a way that
mentees easily understand the concepts being explained. They are clear and
frank in speech, and don’t use confusing or unfamiliar industry jargon without
explanation to look impressive.
4. Give straightforward advice.
can be difficult to be direct when you see major flaws in your mentee’s
business or operational plans, especially if you genuinely like the person you
are mentoring. However, the purpose of being a mentor is to teach another
leader how to be as effective as possible, and help him or her achieve success.
Constructive criticism can be difficult to give, but it’s also a useful tool in
building a better company and creating more effective leaders.
5. Consider mentoring within your
knowledge you have gained in your industry from firsthand experience is a
valuable resource to a mentee, and it will be the most useful to someone who
works in the same field or sector. There are plenty of universally applicable
business lessons, and not all mentoring happens between people in the same
industry, but you can have the greatest impact on someone who will benefit from
niche-specific information. Additionally, this can provide an avenue for future
business opportunities and partnerships for your own company.
6. Keep updated on progress.
best mentors are likely to be very busy in their own professional lives, but
they still manage to check in with mentees about their progress toward goals.
Great mentors have a genuine interest in seeing a protégé succeed, and they
find time to make contact and ask questions about progress, even if time only
permits a quick phone call.
7. Choose to teach rather than talk.
you’re trying to teach another person how to successfully navigate the path
that leads to a stronger business, and doing so requires a certain set of
skills. Mentors are most effective when they teach others how to evaluate a product or business model, for example, rather
than simply telling them that a business model or product is a bad idea.
Excellent mentors help others develop the ability to think and judge
independently, rather than simply offering their opinions on a case-by-case
8. Show enthusiasm.
that you were once in your mentee’s position, and that a little positivity can
go far when you’ve yet to achieve major success. If the entrepreneur you are
mentoring suggests an excellent business idea, be enthusiastic and approving.
As an individual not directly involved in his or her business operations, your
encouragement could be just the inspiration they need to turn that idea into