How to get the most from a business mentor

As with all relationships, your relationship with your mentor will need to be worked at. Getting the most out of your relationship will require more than just the odd email asking questions. This guide will explain how to forge and maintain a good working relationship with your mentor.

  • Building a relationship
  • Communicating
  • Taking advice

Building a relationship

Building a relationship with your mentor is essential if you want to get the best out of mentoring. Try to take an interest in them outside of business - ask about their business, and if you think you can help them out with anything, ask them. Try not to consume too much of their time, either - remember, they have a business of their own to run.

  • Ask your mentor about their business
  • Ask if you can help out
  • Try not to take up too much time

Communicating

Email has made the mentoring process much easier, not to mention less formal. Make use of it, and email your mentor whenever you have a question - but always read them back to make sure your language is clear. Try to pick up the phone or meet up at least once a month as well - nothing beats face to face contact when you have a problem to solve.

  • Email is an easy way to get in touch
  • Always re-read your emails
  • Meet face to face at least once a month

Taking advice

Taking advice from your mentor is about achieving a balance: your mentor will be put off if you ask them to solve all your problems for you, but if they offer advice and you don't take it, they may be offended. If they offer you advice you don't like, ask yourself why - is it because it could be bad for your business, or because it will require you to make sacrifices you'd rather not?

  • Don't ask to be spoon fed
  • Take your mentor's advice
  • If you don't like advice, ask yourself why

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