People like to do things by themselves, to be independent and often don’t seek help from a Business Mentor. In today’s working environment, there seems to be huge pressure placed on results and often people don’t have that much time to plan accordingly as they’re caught up, head down, churning out work to meet the usually tight deadlines set. The week flies by and you don’t seem to have achieved a great deal of those good intentions set at the beginning of the week. Sound familiar?
Today, business leaders face more challenges than ever due to the high demand our system places on results, and if not handled properly, can lead to a disaster in the business, and uncontrollable stress to the individual.
Every great athlete is surrounded by coaches, mentors and advisors. In a business context, you can think of a business mentor as an advisor who can help you set goals, implement strategies and track your progress so that you can reach your goals in the shortest possible time. You also benefit from a non-emotional objective view of your business and their experience in handling a vast range of situations.
I used a business mentor, a very good mentor I must add, when I had taken my company to a reasonable level, and the results from a few months’ of mentoring sessions changed my life and my business. The following points explain the main reasons on why I think its imperative that everyone should consider using a Business Mentor.
It can be a lonely job at the top of an organisation and many entrepreneurs I have spoken to admit that they wish they had someone to ‘bounce’ ideas off because often they are unable to discuss certain issues with people in their organisation. If the going gets tough, then the business leader needs to maintain a positive attitude among their team and conceal ‘delicate’ issues so that morale is not affected.
There may also be certain topics, or discussions that they are unable to have with their team due to confidentiality, especially for new ventures or partnerships. So whilst the team are working away on the day-to-day activities of the business, the buck stops with the leader and therefore there is always that added pressure.
Running a small business has many different dynamics to running a large business, and with the typical goal to grow your business, there comes a time when you need to learn new approaches on how to manage your business.
When running a small business with a handful of employees, the leader tends to take on many tasks himself/herself and adopt a repetitive approach on how to lead. Many entrepreneurs (falsely) think that because they are the leader that they must know everything and be able to do all types of tasks from operations to finance and HR. But this often leads to delay and failure because people are consumed by tasks that just don’t suit their skills and they lose focus and enthusiasm for the main duties of the business.
Using a mentor who will be looking at things from a different perspective, will help to identify which areas of the business can be outsourced or delegated so that the leader can work on the areas that suits their skills more and to concentrate on the future strategy too.
Being a good business leader starts with having a good personal attitude. If you look after yourself then you can look after your business more effectively. Using a mentor allows you to not only focus on the business goals but probably more importantly focus on your personal goals too such as health, fitness and general wellbeing. There really is no point achieving successful business goals whilst living a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle or enduring toxic relationships.
You can learn new positive habits, live a more balanced life having time for your family and for yourself, whilst still achieving positive growth and results in your business. Achieving this ‘balance’ is one of my definitions of success.
Many people get caught up in the detail and day-to-day running of the business and sometimes all they seem to be doing is putting out fires. It seems normal to them and they will continue in this loop.
If you don’t know where you want to go then how will you ever find your destination?
A mentor will assist you to set clear goals of where you want the business to be in the future, and they will help you to focus on this rather than the more trivial matters that take up your time. By focusing on the priorities you will achieve your goals so much more quickly and be better organised. You will learn to manage your time better so that you can capitalise on new ideas and creativity.
How hard do you find it to delegate? Do you say that it’ll take longer to show someone what to do, so I’m better off just doing it myself, plus I’ll do it the way I want it? It is very common to be in this mode and people often take too much work on and can never seem to get on top of things.
By passing on tasks to your team, not only will you release lots of time for yourself but you will also make your team feel so much more valued and part of the company. Providing ownership to your team may seem daunting at first, but you’ll be amazed at the results once you finally do pass on important tasks and decision making.
By working with an experienced mentor you can identify an action plan on how to create more time for yourself and when and who to delegate other activities to.
When you don’t have anyone to answer to, its easy to slack and allow procrastination to creep in. Then it becomes a habit and you wonder why things are not happening for the business. You may set new to-do lists and have good intentions but because there is not much accountability then it often results in a below-par performance.
Having someone to check in with every other week provides you with this accountability, someone independent for you to answer to. We all perform a lot better when we know there is a deadline or there is someone to answer to. This will undoubtedly lead you to gain the confidence, assertiveness and self motivation you need.
Finding the right mentor is important. Someone who has a track record of success in business and someone who has had positive results with their clients. Many mentors talk the talk and learn the theory but may not necessarily have any real business experience
Of course, there is a financial commitment, and you may think that your business just cannot afford this overhead. However, when you consider that you can make instant improvements in your business, gain more direction and confidence, lead a more balanced lifestyle, pass on more trivial tasks to your team, or drop some unnecessary tasks, and deliver greater results overall, then it shows that an investment in a good business mentor can be an investment well made.
Don’t be too proud to ask for help, for that request may just lead to the solution you need.
I’m David Gowans, a proven entrepreneur and business mentor. My aim is to help people across the world to build their business and live the life they dream of. more