Being an entrepreneur is no doubt glamorous but is definitely not easy as it may sound. For each success you achieve, you have ten more challenges gnawing at your heels. Start-up is all-consuming – it occupies the major part of your life, changes your life irrevocably, sometimes you feel lost, at times you get lonely, but the one person who will get you past these pitfalls and pull you up, for the next run, is your Mentor. Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This is precisely how an entrepreneur sees his mentor and also the reason today successful entrepreneurship programs in India are focusing on finding the right mentor for their students. A mentor emancipates you from the clouded vision and the uncertainties. They listen to you and doesn’t “just advice you” but builds a relationship of trust, where you can have open discussions, free-flowing conversations, exchange knowledge and learn from their, been there done that experiences.
For a young start-up, a mentor can be the secret sauce to its success; it’s no surprise that behind even the top names in the business today was a great mentor, standing with them, encouraging them and having a profound belief in the company’s potential. Our economy is on the cusp of an entrepreneurial evolution and entrepreneurship courses in India play a vital role in promoting the importance of mentorship for young entrepreneurs.
Some important benefits of having a mentor:
- Help you with your business idea – Mentors give you an honest, unfiltered and realistic perspective to your business idea. As someone who looks at your business from an external view, they will be the first one telling you or cautioning you if your idea is still not developed for the market or does not solve a problem. They can help you keep the business innovative and relevant.
- Open doors for you – Always remember “It’s not what you know, rather it’s who you know”? Mentors are often well connected due to their experience in the industry and their frequent interaction with the Start-up ecosystem. This opens up multiple possibilities for collaboration, investment, hiring the right people, and even finding an early adopter for your product/service.
- Better decision making – Never downplay the importance of learning from others experience. The knowledge a Mentor, who is also a business owner, goes far beyond books and academic learning. With an unbiased view, they can offer you advice, show you the hard truth and bring a fresh new perspective. A genuine mentor will choose a Start-up or an entrepreneur with a primary focus on building a company which will contribute to the Start-up ecosystem, make it more informed and for their passion for supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.
- Support system – Oprah Winfrey once rightly stated, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” This holds true, especially when you are moving into uncharted waters and need all the moral support. A Mentor-Mentee relationship is based on trust and is free from any ulterior motive; this helps you to be completely transparent with them and share your concerns. Having someone who can guide you through your professional journey creates a sense of reassurance and boosts your self-confidence.
Start-up is not a one-person show. It takes a great team to run it and an even better Founder- Mentor team who will ratchet it into the future. Mentors are worth their weight in gold, and while finding the right one can be difficult, we as an entrepreneurship development institute who recognises the importance of mentors would be happy to help you connect with some of our Coaches and explore more about it.