January 18, 2020 – January is National Mentoring Month and what a great way to start the new year by letting our ITEN mentors and all mentors know how much they are truly appreciated! Their knowledge, dedication and reliability help the next generation of business leaders achieve their full potential!
Mentors can be used to fill in specific knowledge gaps that the founding team of startups may not have much experience with. Successfully launching a company requires the founders to become experts in a wide arrange of topics. Leveraging mentors to fill your knowledge gap can be an effective way to gain exposure and an understanding of areas that founders may have limited experience with such as financial modeling, manufacturing, eCommerce, social media, etc. And as mentors get to know you and your company, they can also provide much needed connections to investors, other mentors, potential customers, or employees. At various times in advancing your company you may need to select more than just one single mentor. Here is a list of seven criteria that can be helpful in choosing a mentors.
Mentors also find an enormous satisfaction of helping others, but there’s also the test of sizing people up quickly. How sharp is their eye for talent? How could this person help build their network in an important way? Can they cross-link an individual to others in their network, so that the connections benefit everyone involved? Could this individual give the mentor valuable, personalized intelligence about a company or sector of the market?
To mentor effectively, mentors have to command more than just technical expertise. They also have to master the principles of human nature. They have to be able to detect what makes people tick and what unique capabilities they have. Mentoring is a win-win for both parties. Finding the right match and nurturing the connection can lead in any number of directions — to new jobs, new disciplines, and to lifelong friendships. But it requires diligence, preparation and continually asking yourself the questions that will keep you on track and moving forward.
Thanks again to all of our fabulous ITEN Mentors!