Professional mentoring can help get your business back on the right track and keep you focused on the goals you want to achieve.
People can often get confused about what mentoring actually is, and isn’t. Experienced mentor Peter Johnston helps distinguish how mentors can contribute to business owners.
“Mentors are, I believe, experienced in building a business. And I think that’s the critical difference between coaches and mentors. Mentors have been down the path before; they know what it’s like to build a business. So, they’re a wise set of ears and a wise sounding board.” “They may not be able to give you extremely specific advice about your industry, they can’t take on that responsibility, but they will give you guidance about where to find the information and resources you need.”
Johnston also points out that it is important not to assume that a mentor will do the work of building your business for you, or that they will get actively involved in your business.
“Don’t expect that a mentor will work in your business. In addition to that, a mentor probably won’t follow up or chastise you for not doing something that you said you might do. They will open to door to have you be held accountable for what you commit to and to respect your time and theirs.”
It is important to remember that a mentor is there to lend his or her expertise.
“A mentor is not a coach. The lines can be blurred here, a mentor may do some of that (helping set goals), but that’s really not their gift, their gift is the wisdom and experience of building a business.”
The easiest way to think about it, Peter states, is by picturing the mentor as a wise muse. Johnston believes that business owners may know the answer to their own questions, but just require the confidence that a mentor can provide, to see their ideas through to fruition. Peter Johnston is the head mentor for the Australian Businesswomen’s Network mentoring services and has mentored dozens of business owners. Read more about Peter Johnston, or learn more about the Australian Businesswomen’s Network mentoring services, and how you can work with a mentor.