I've just got back from meeting with my business mentor - and just had to share my enthusiasm for the brilliant support a fabulous mentor can provide!
I'm fully confident that, through my mentor, I'm getting the advice, insight and unbiased support I need to realise the business goals we've set. How much help do you get in your business?
We all need help now and again. Those who say they don't need it probably need it the most!!
Who have you got to bounce ideas off that doesn't bring their own baggage into the equation? And do you seriously believe that someone, somewhere hasn't had the same challenges you're experiencing right now?
If you listed your top three current challenges, I would bet that these are issues that most business owners, business leaders, sales professionals have experienced in the past. Whether you're running a small business, managing within a larger organisation or intending to do any of these in the future, seriously consider getting yourself a mentor. It could mean the result of reaching another level of your sales success. What's a Mentor? *
Someone who you feel can help you in your pursuit of your career objectives, whatever they are more sales, a promotion, improved leadership skills, more self control, better networking techniques etc. *
Someone who can give you a neutral take on your latest challenges - they should have no axe to grind. *
Someone with a vast bank of knowledge that you can tap into - who's been there, done that...and collected a few T shirts along the way. *
Someone you check in with now and again to bounce your latest ideas. *
Someone you trust to challenge you, to prod you, to ask you searching questions. A good mentor...
...will use a variety of different approaches and move seamlessly between them - coaching, counselling, mentoring, advising, training, guiding, whatever you need. Critically, you can learn from their mistakes! Get to know the pitfalls and how to avoid them. Getting yourself a mentor isn't a sign of weakness. On the contrary it's a sign of strength, a sign that you are willing to garner all the resources you can in your pursuit of your goals. It's not about copying them, it's about using their experience and advice and adopting it in a way that works for you. How does mentoring work?
Any way you want it to! You can go the formal route - regular scheduled sessions with a paid professional coach or mentor who can offer you the level and breadth of experience you need to tap into. More informally you might find someone in your organisation that can help (bear in mind it can't be someone you report to). Ask them if they would be available as a mentor and offer to take them for lunch now and again in return for picking their brains. You'd be surprised...
...how experienced achievers like to be asked about how they have achieved success - they will be impressed by your drive and initiative! You and your mentor need to get on well. Choose someone you have good rapport with. Get away from your normal place of work. No phones, no interruptions, it all helps. Look upon it as an investment of time and money in YOU. How long should you and your mentor spend together?
Anything from an hour a month upwards. You may need more time at first then top up mentoring sessions further down the line.
So - don't plough that lone furrow. And let me know how you get on.
Until next time. Leigh