A mentor is one of the most important tools in an entrepreneur’s kit bag. Growth companies constantly reach forks in the road – so, which way? As your business gets bigger, then hopefully the team you have created will help you to make the decision on which road to take. However, there are often BIG decisions that are outside the scope of the knowledge of the guys sat around the table. Having a mentor – someone who’s experience and judgment you trust can be a serious crutch on these occasions. Asking those very simple questions like, what would you do? How would you approach it? Who should I go and speak to? Who are the best advisers? – to someone who has experienced the scars of the pain you are feeling is all too often the answer. Every successful entrepreneur we have worked with (and that’s thousands) lean on someone they respect, all too often that advice comes over a beer or coffee. It’s not formal, it’s not shrouded in business plans and three-year P & L calculations – its good, solid common sense.
The reality is that there are so many individuals out there who have succeeded in business, who are more than happy to provide a helping hand – the fact is they have not been asked. The wisdom, experience and insight to help us make better decisions often comes free from willing souls, who just want to help others overcome the hurdles and challenges they face.
So the conclusion is, if you are trying to grow your business, find someone who has been down your path – invite them for a coffee and use the magic words – please can I ask your advice. It could be the best couple of quid you have ever spent.
Most of the battles in business you have to win are in your mind first. Your mentor can help you work out your game plan and indeed make better-informed decisions.
Wisdom is the term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. The term also implies that the ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined and, hence, may be reevaluated upon further examination. Many of us conduct and live our lives within the framework of established principles of wisdom. They can govern our personal life, relationships, work and professional advancement. For many of us they can have an overwhelming influence on the way we think, and behave, this applies to both individuals and organisations. However we must acknowledge that conventional wisdom can limit our thinking and create boundaries to our aspirations. They can misguide our intentions and infer that some things are not possible – when in reality they are! We must question – is it true wisdom or dogmatic views on how things operate or how things are done. It is vital that we don’t take at face value the wisdom that applies to our own particular situation – it could be wrong.
Successful and ambitious individuals will if necessary contest conventional wisdom that surrounds their circumstances. A burning desire to pursue a dream or satisfy a need that is not being catered for can lead us to challenge a preconceived ideology that masquerades as wisdom. Don’t take the words of experts as being that of the Oracle, whilst their wisdom may have value and may have a role to play – it does not automatically mean they are right and their word is final. Listen to your inner voice, does it feel right, if it doesn’t, then ask Why? Why not? What if? What about?
We can run the risk of our creative energy and new ideas being misdirected by people supposedly in the know. Don’t think twice about challenging views. Breaking new ground often means “Creating New Wisdom”