Thought Leadership

Here’s How A Great Mentor Can Help You Grow As An Entrepreneur

The amazing success stories of brilliant entrepreneurs and their incredible start-ups are often splashed across pages of business magazines, but one rarely sees the amazing support system that aids with this achievement. Truth be told, behind every great entrepreneur is an even greater mentor.


The biggest names in the industry have all had a helping hand. Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates would seek out Warren Buffet for advice, and Sir Richard Branson sought guidance from Sir Freddie Laker during the early founding days of Virgin Atlantic.


Studies have shown that 70% of small businesses that received mentoring had a higher success rate than those without and that 88% of business owners with a mentor believe it is an invaluable relationship.


Being an entrepreneur can be daunting, and running a successful business is not without its hiccups, but putting your ego aside and asking for help is what makes you a great leader. “It’s always good to have a helping hand at the start. I wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry without the mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker,” says Sir Richard Branson.


Here are 4 reasons why you need a business mentor:


  1. Unparalleled Knowledge And Perspective

Unlike other people, your mentor possesses decades of knowledge about the dos and don’ts of running a successful business. The insight and expertise that they bring to the table comes through their own personal experiences and isn’t something that can be learnt from books or through a course at a university.  Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo once said, “If I hadn’t had mentors, I wouldn’t be here today. I’m a product of great mentoring, great coaching… Coaches or mentors are very important.”


2. Authentic Perspective

The hallmark of a good mentor is the ability to provide their mentee with unbiased guidance. An objective perspective can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and see reason when you are making decisions based on emotions. It is important to choose a mentor who you trust and someone who tells you like it is. An honest relationship between you and your mentor is what can take your business from the sky to the stars.  Michael Oved, Founder of Swap Protocol states that the best advice his mentor gave him is, “Three things bring great people down: fear, greed and ego.” This motto has guided him and helped him make successful business decisions ever since.


3. Learn From Their Mistakes

Every company goes through rocky moments, and your mentor will have seen a fair share of these ups and downs while running their own business. This is what helps them guide you through a unique lens so that you avoid the same mistakes. The perfect example of this was when Bill Gates advised Mark Zuckerberg not to act arrogant and flippant as he once did during his senate meeting in 1998 that has served him well during his career.


4. Create A Life-Long Friendship

Over the course of your mentor-mentee relationship, your trust in each other grows and you develop a strong bond.  Knowing that your mentor has no ulterior motive for you or your business besides helping you grow creates an assuring support system. Famous mentor and mentee Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have nurtured a friendship over the last 30 years. “A person that I admire as well as like—that’s the perfect description of how I feel about Warren,” said Gates.


Having a mentor that guides you through your journey is one of the greatest assets that any entrepreneur can have. They act as navigators and help you pass through the pivotal milestones of your professional journey.


The great Steve Jobs once said, “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” And that is exactly what your mentor is going to do for you.