Know how: Choose a business mentor to guide you in your journey

Antara Dutta, founder of Ayuvia Integrative Wellness Center and Solutions

An entrepreneur at heart always seeks ways to grow and evolve. It could be personal growth, expansion of markets served, improvement of product and services or increase sales conversions. If you are one of them, you know exactly what I am talking about. Even if you go back to the beginning, when all you had was an idea and some passion, there was something about you that made you different.

The path to success is never simple. There are no magic buttons. If you build it, most of the time no one will come. So you have to learn, and try, and fail more often than not. But if you are one of those entrepreneurs ready to go the distance, you could get one or more mentors on the way that could help you fail faster, learn from other’s mistakes and connect the dots in a way that shortens your path to the destination. A mentor serves as a guide.Who do you trust?

Our go-to mentors are our parents, siblings and teachers as we start out in life. The primary reason that happens is because we trust them. For those of you who have opted into a path of entrepreneurship, it is simply a matter of time before the mentorship and guidance you need will not be available within the first degree of separation. When that happens, you will need a method to match with a mentor.A.Define your need in terms of goals and timelinesB. Research what help is available in the area. C.Select the one that best fits your needs and personal style, interview personally if necessary.

Trust is a must with every mentoring relationship.What is holding you back? If you make it this far and still feel you are not seeing any difference, something is holding you or your mentor back. Transparency and honesty in a mentoring relationship is critical. The shared goal of mentor and mentee should be success of the business. If at any point of time there is a conflict of interest, it should be resolved. If that is not possible it is OK to change mentors. Progress is the only option.Are you ready to do the work?

The last, but not the least, consideration is your action. No amount of advice will move the needle unless you are ready to do the work. The best way to engage with a mentor is to set goals at every session and track progress in between. If it appears that you have consecutive meetings and there is no progress, take a pause; get organized. Take action before your seek the next piece of advice. Return on the advice investment is action.Are you ever done? Learning and developing, you and your business, is a lifelong commitment. While you may seek one or more mentors, at any given point of time you should have at least one mentor. Mentorship is for the life of your business.

Antara Dutta is the founder and innovator-in-residence of Ayuvia Integrative Wellness Center and Solutions —www.ayuvia.com —and the first female SCORE Delaware president and an active SCORE mentor —www.scoredelaware.org

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