No one ever claimed that succeeding as an entrepreneur or climbing the corporate ladder was easy. To start and grow a thriving business, or to success within one, you need a wide range of skills. That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed if you’re lacking certain talents and knowledge right now. With the help of a mentor, you can fill in the gaps, boosting your odds of realizing your career aspirations. Helping you develop necessary skills is by no means the only way a mentor can assist you in achieving your goals. To better understand how you could benefit from working with a mentor, consider how they can help in the following key ways:
A strong mentor is someone who already has a wealth of experience in your industry. They probably know other people who can support your business, whether as investors, clients, vendors, or on your team as you grow in your career. Someone your mentor recommends can turn out to be one of your key early hires.
Knowing the “right people” is a big part of career success, but you don’t need to already know them to succeed. With help from a mentor, you can meet these people now.
Offering Emotional Support
It’s easy to get discouraged when pursuing your business goals. Regardless of how much effort you put in to your career, you’ll inevitably encounter setbacks from time to time. Those setbacks don’t need to prevent you from succeeding. Chances are your mentor encountered similar challenges in their journey. They’ll understand that you feel discouraged, while also providing the necessary emotional support during times of struggle. Embrace your scar tissue and with the help of a mentor, learn from it.
Getting Honest Feedback
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your perspectives and opinions are always correct. Confidence and self-assuredness are essential for any leader, but hubris can be toxic to your career. In addition, there will be instances when your instincts lead you down the wrong path, simply because you haven’t had enough experience to fine-tune them. In either case, a strong mentor can provide honest, well-informed feedback or a much-needed reality check, letting you know when you need to reconsider a decision or strategy.
Boosting Your Own Confidence
It’s easy to lose confidence in yourself when facing new challenges. This is another key reason to find a mentor you trust. When they let you know you’re on the right path, you’ll naturally feel more confident in your own decisions. When you’re up against a major challenge they can give you the confidence boost you need to walk in the room and own it.
It’s not always easy to perceive your own weaknesses. An objective opinion from someone who isn’t as directly involved in your business situation can be invaluable. A mentor can provide that opinion, letting you know when it’s necessary to hire a new employee or outsource a project to a contractor, or allow one of your co-workers to handle a particular responsibility.
While you can of course develop new skills by reading books, attending seminars, taking classes, and participating in networking events and business organizations, mentors are better than any class or book. They provide essential guidance tailored to your specific needs. This degree of personalization helps you save time. For instance, maybe only two or three chapters in a business book are genuinely valuable to you. Instead of reading the entire book, you can work with your mentor to gain the knowledge those few chapters would impart, and you won’t have to take any time away from your business while doing so. Remember these points as you continue to scale your career. No matter how dedicated and talented you are, you’ll simply be more likely to turn your aspirations into reality if you work with a mentor.
Originally published at https://morganbrookcapital.com on January 6, 2020.
About Dylan Taylor
Dylan Taylor is Chairman & CEO of Voyager Space Holdings. Dylan is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, Member of the World Economic Forum and Co-Founding Patron of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Dylan is the Founder of two global non-profits, Space for Humanity, an organization dedicated to the democratization of space access and Fired Up, a non-profit dedicated to encouraging under-represented students to develop a passion for STEM education and space exploration. Earlier in his business career, Dylan was a Fortune 1000 executive serving in the roles of CEO, President and Board Director for multinational companies including the Jackson Mutual Fund Complex, UMB Bank, Colliers and Jones Lang LaSalle. Dylan holds a MBA from the University of Chicago and a Bachelors in Engineering with Honors from the University of Arizona where in 2018 he was named almunus of the year. Follow Dylan on Twitterand Instagram. Full bio available at www.dylantaylor.org