Mentorship can be formal or informal
Mentorship can range from informal, where the entrepreneur meets the mentor for advice over coffee every now and then, to a formal arrangement, where mentor is paired with a business owner for a series of mentoring sessions over time. Mentorship can be a fluid relationship, starting off informally and evolving into a formal, paid relationship.
A mentorship relationship cannot work unless there is complete trust and mutual respect between the mentor and business owner. In many ways an experienced competitor would be an ideal mentor for your business, but obviously that would not work because you would not want to share the inner workings of your business with your rivals. As a business owner you must feel comfortable sharing information on all aspects of your business with your mentor.
Be willing to learn
Entrepreneurs can be obstinate and strong willed, which is good for starting a business, but can be a barrier to learning. You can still hold on to the vision for your business, but be open to different paths suggested by your mentor towards fulfilling your vision. Leverage the knowledge and experience of your mentor for the benefit of your business.
Although mentorship has short-term benefits, it is generally not a quick-fix solution to your business problems. The mentor provides deep business insights that takes time to understand and absorb. Mentors do not implement solutions in businesses themselves, but patiently coax business owners to do it themselves.
Mentors are not just for start-ups:
Even established businesses can benefit from the guidance of a skilled mentor, who can make you look at your business in a fresh way, or prepare you for a leap in business growth.
Mentoring is a transformational experience
The powerful insights that mentoring can bring will change the way you look at yourself as an entrepreneur and the inner workings of your business. You can expect the impact of mentorship to last long after the mentorship ends.