Episode 9: Getting the best out of your mentor
Welcome to another episode of Her Business is Our Business where we, Gayathri and Aparna look at Women Entrepreneurship beyond funding – sharing expertise, experiences and tools to grow your business.
The topic of discussion in today's episode is, 'Mentor'. We speak about the importance of having a mentor, how to find the right one, points to note while working with them and most importantly, we share some thoughts on how to get the best out of a mentor.
So, if you are on the lookout for that someone, your guiding light a.k.a a mentor, listen on.
It is always good to receive new perspectives/ directions on your business/idea from someone with the experience.
Do your research about the mentor's background, strengths, areas of expertise, working style, nature of business they are in, etc. before you meet or get in touch with them. This will help you ask the right set of questions.
There are various sources like your own network, professional sites (LinkedIn) or business networks through which you can find a mentor.
While looking for a mentor, do not just narrow down to one area of expertise, they might possess experience or skills in other areas too, keep the conversation open.
It helps to set expectations before you begin working with your mentor such as what you need, what they can offer, etc.
Be upfront if it is not working out and also tell them the reason. Chances are, they might be able to put you on to someone more suitable from their network.
Important points to note while working with a mentor:
Be Punctual. Ensure you are always on time
Know what you are going to ask and define the outcome of the meeting beforehand
Explain your business and give as many details as possible
Be honest and open about your current situation, wants and limitations
Do not seek approval
Prepare an agenda for the meeting and follow up on it post the meeting
During the meeting, ensure you keep some time for free-flowing conversation
Respect the perspective of your mentor