One of the smartest things you can do as a new entrepreneur is to find another professional in your field to show you the ropes. A mentor is someone who has already been down your same path, and who has gained valuable insight to share with you. When you find someone you trust to mentor you, you can literally avoid falling down rabbit holes that entrap so many other entrepreneurs. Having a mentor will save you time, money, and tears. While it’s important to have a mentor, it’s also important to know how to find a mentor. Here are some of the top resources to help you find the perfect match.
The types of people that attend networking events are the type of people that are either looking for help, or looking to offer help. When you go to a networking event, feel free to shop around for a potential mentor. When you feel a “click” with someone, continue to develop that relationship, and see if it has potential for a mentor/mentee relationship.
The government actually offers multiple programs to help small business owners get their business off the ground. One of these programs is the SCORE mentorship program offered through SBA. SCORE provides free counseling and mentoring to small business owners all over the nation.
Women’s Business Centers
Most large cities have a local women’s business center, either sponsored through the local government, or that is run by a group of successful women. Typically, these groups offer free advice, classes on business, and help from mentors. This is a great way to get great business advice if you are a woman looking to get a jump-start on your new career.
Small Business Centers
Not only do most large cities have a women’s business center, but they also have small business centers that help anyone with business, not just women. The best way to find one of these small business centers is to check with your local government, or to simply Google your state with the words “small business coalition.” You will find resource upon resource that will lead you to excellent mentors.
Close Friend Or Family Member
There is a reason why many businesses are passed down from parent to child. One of the best ways to learn a craft is to hang around with your caretaker and see how they get their job done. If you are close with a friend or family member in your same field, plan on tagging along with them often to ask for their advice. Since they are family or a close friend, they will more than likely be pleased and excited to help you.
Another popular place to find a business mentor is through a trade association. Trade associations often offer many mentor-mentee programs that will help you find the right mentor. These are extra helpful, because not only do they know business, but they also know your industry.