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The Business Mentor – Four Essential Criteria When Searching For A Mentor

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A Business Mentor in life…

…is defined as a wise and trusted guide and advisor. This can mean your parents, teacher, coach, wife, husband, neighbour, or even a working colleague. The idea of having a teacher has been around for thousands of years. People always need someone they can trust, and, moreover, someone who knows more than they do about a certain subject.

No matter…

…what type of business you’re planning on running, it’s always better to defer to the experts. Unfortunately, many only seek out the use of a business mentor after their previous business attempts have failed.

Anyone can be a mentor and anyone can seek a mentor; but when dealing with particulars, some mentors are better than others. For example, a business mentor wouldn’t necessarily be your football coach. If you wanted or needed a business mentor, one of the prerequisites is their personal experience with business, thus someone who knows the finer points of business you want to engage in is a must. Having a business mentor can easily mean the difference between success and failure.

Rather of working “with” the mentor…

…many entrepreneurs end up using the business mentor’s experience as a launching pad to generate own success. If the idea of bringing on board an experienced person in the chosen field were followed from the beginning, a business relationship could have been formed and possible pitfalls avoided. It is definitely not suggested to employ a business mentor just to build the business for you. If you do not have the passion to build your own business a mentor will never be able to put in place the dream you desire.

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OK, how do you now find the right Business Mentor for you?

Find Your Business Mentor…

The world is at your finger tips. Use Google (Google+), LinkedIn or any other search engines/networks to research all the options that are available both locally and nationally. Don’t go for the first option which shows up! Find 5, 10 or 20 options and narrow it down to the best 3 based on your desired criteria and your own personality. This is about doing the best for you and your business. What better investment could you make in yourself and your business than using enough time to get it right?

Check Measurable Results…

Any good coach will want to quickly establish measurable results. They want to show that they are able to add value to your business development. After your first discussion you should have both spoken about what your objectives are and what is the measurable definition of success? Without such a crucial conversation you have nothing to aim for. In choosing a Business Mentor make sure they concentrate on your goals and are focusing on getting you there. If they are having something else in mind, find someone that helps you to achieve your goals.

Interview These Business Mentors…

They will work for you remember! In many cases talking to someone with more experience than you puts you on the back foot. Remember, this is your business and your life. No amount of experience can take that away from you. Feel free to find out about them, challenge them and ask them questions. Push them away from the initial sales copy and really try to find out what they are like and what motivates them! Would you like to work with them? Do they try to challenge you already in this stage? What does your gut feeling say? If it doesn’t feel right interview a few more until you feel comfortable.

Follow Testimonials…

A lot of business mentors provide recommendations about their service. Don’t take that at face value! Ask to speak to some of their past clients. If the Mentor is good, his/her clients will be more than happy to speak to you about their experience(s). Don’t feel shy about asking clients the difficult questions that you want answers to. Listen to their tone of voice and let your gut instinct tell what they are and are not saying. You should get really quick an idea of how good the business mentor in question is. Speak to more than one client is definitely a benefit. The more you talk the better impression you will get to see if this is the right business coach for you and your business.

Now with the above criteria…

…you have a good set of tasks with you when hunting for the right business mentor for your business and in extend for your life. Together, you and your mentor will be able to work on your goals and strategies in your business, thus overcoming problems as they arise and before they do any lasting damage. Taking on a mentor is a great way to succeed in business, especially if you’re an owner of a start-up venture. Feel free to get in contact with Alexander Paul and jump on his newsletter a little further below… 🙂

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20 Responses so far.

  1. Great article Alex … I haven’t had a mentor (in the traditional sense) in a few years, but the lessons I learned from the one true mentor I had when I first started in business have really stuck with me over the years.

  2. I really appreciated this article! It was well-laid-out, and clear. Let me ask, though — you were using “mentor” and “coach” interchangeably. Did you mean to do that?

    Thanks for giving some tips on how to find a mentor, and interview them. You’ve convinced me on the importance of having someone who’s experienced to walk my journey with me,

  3. Joyce Edwards says:

    This is a great topic since I have been interested in finding a mentor. But I do have to agree with Pastor Sherry on the meaning of mentor verses coach. I have always thougt of a mentor as a person who is working in the same field and you aspire to become like them. I have had excellent mentors when I was younger and starting my career. I didn’t hire them they were there in my training program to guide me. I have never hired a coach but I think that a coach is someone you hire to help you reach a specific goal. Maybe they are the same but I never thought to hire a mentor.


  4. I recently hired a personal coach to be my mentor and it was the best business decision that I ever I made. I just finished up with 3 months of personal calls where I could get help in specific areas. It makes such a big difference to have that personal attention.
    In fact, this coaching was so helpful that I just hired my coaches coach to help me further. I think that I will always hire a coach or mentor just to keep me on track. It’s awesome! Thanks for the post.

    -Kyle Quinlan

  5. Marc Korn says:

    Hey Partner,

    Great article about a very important topic…
    “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” ~ John C. Crosby

    You have discussed 4 excellent criteria for finding the right Mentor for any business person.
    The value in finding the right Mentor can’t be underestimated, as it is critical in the final outcome of your business success.

    I have been fortunate to have had and continue to have great Mentors and Coaches.
    I also know first hand, that you…Alex are an excellent Mentor and Coach and anyone would be lucky to have you in their corner and guiding them along the path to success.

    Thanks for these great guidelines for conducting our due diligence when looking for a Mentor. Whether you are looking for a Mentor, Coach or sponsor for a business opportunity, it is always wise to conduct an interview and make sure it is someone that you like and trust and want to work with.

    Keep up the great work,

  6. Great points here Alexander. As a business coach, I have some points to add on the criteria when searching for a mentor first find someone with a proven track record in the field of business. Another one which I consider really important is going with someone who truly cares about you and your business and not only in the paycheck you will hand them after. Your “Follow Testimonials” is a tip on how you can track if this mentor is willing to spend as much time as needed just to make sure that you’ll get to where you would like to be in your business.


  7. Rene Petrin says:

    Good article but I think it was focused more on the coaching side. What I would add is mentors provides emotional support, which is often more critical than their coaching component. So explore within yourself what kind of emotional support you want/need from a mentor and factor that into what you’re looking for in terms of their expertise so that you don’t skew your search overly in the results area.

  8. William Earl Amis Jr III says:

    this is the first step one should take before establishing that final decision on which avenue will be the one to have a Home Base Business. Get a great mentor and team they go hand and hand. Can’t have one without the other.

    You have shown all your reader and I the logical steps to follow in making a decision on who would be a perfect match for your mentor. This person will be in your life and around your family. This is a lifetime journey if your going to succeed at any level. You will not make it on your own. Just choose wisely. Think of it about picking out a car. Your not going to just accept the first price that sales man give you. Well put that much thought in creating your business. It is not a hobby this is a real business with all the responsibility that goes with it.

    Alex, your a great mentor and visionary. I look forward in working with you now and in the future. Thank you for sharing quality content that helps all readers and myself.

  9. Great article full of quality advice. Readers looking for a business mentor would be wise to follow your advice. I know too many that have fallen away from success with their own business because they did not effectively choose a business mentor. I’m blessed to have a few mentors that are wise in helping me successfully reach my goals.

    Terrific Tonya Heathco
    National Seizure Disorders Foundation

  10. Andy Nathan says:

    There are so many great mentors out there that it does not make sense to just choose the first one you meet! Definitely spend time finding someone who matches your needs.

  11. Rick Salas says:

    Hi Alexander,
    There are some great tips you have on this post my friend. I really like your tips on interviewing possible mentors. Having a good mentor can not only guide the right people with the right attitudes towards a 6 figure income but they can also teach entrepreneurs on focusing on the best money making activities to get there. Having ongoing checks coming in the mail requires certain objectives people have to complete. Having a mentor that has the skills and peoples best interest in mind can save so much heartache. Going through the steps of creating a huge online business needs mentors to help the masses that are going online. Helping people attract new business requires a huge set of skills. By looking for good mentors you can learn not only skills they use everyday but how best use them in your own business plan. Might cost you money if they’re a good mentor but if you find a good one that gives you a great deal it will be worth every penny. Your Global Freedom Builders link on this post is a perfect place to start searching for good mentors and learning the most important money making activities for sure. You’ll never find the pot of gold if you don’t look for it.

    Rick Salas

  12. Several comments make note of the use of terminology, especially coach and mentor. And even then, I did not agree with the clarifications. It can be useful to add other helpers into the mix, like consultant, trainer, and teacher. While their functions and methods can overlap (they all help people improve in various ways) they also all differ with respect to their main way of helping – methods. Unfortunately, the analogy of an athletic coach can be more confusing than helpful as very often athletic coaches employ methods similar to a biz coach, consultant, mentor, trainer, and teacher all combined into one relationship. But as applied to business, certainly, there are very definite distinctions. For example, consider the role of a coach as defined by the International Coaches Federation (ICF). Those who understand the professional role of a business or life coach in that way will see that a coach, unlike a consultant for example, will not be advising you about what works best from their experience. In any case, as we grow our business, we most certainly need the help of others… often a coach, other times a mentor, other times a consultant.

  13. Irene Kusters Berney says:

    Alex, what a great topic, and well writen article.
    There are some great mentors out there, and it is more important to find the mentor that works best for YOU!
    Mentors and the success of your Team are your inner-circle. This Process will be a lifetime story. People will come and go into your life.
    Thank you for your great guidelines and possitive input.
    Your partner and friend,
    Irene Kusters Berney

  14. Rick Lelchuk says:

    Your thoughts for finding a mentor can apply to any professional you seek. Listening to your own inner voice is so very important and keeping from being caught up in the standard sales verbiage will help with a proper choice. I know that I want instant action from my clients but will take some time when making a purchasing decision for myself. I think your advice is to be taken to heart. Well said.


  15. Alex,
    I have never thought about interviewing a mentor. I have just went on a search and had a lot of those pitfalls that should have been avoided. If I had read this about 2 years ago, I would have followed your advice then.
    I recently found the right mentor that listened to me and made me dig deep to get to my “WHY” and now pushes me to reach my goals.


  16. William Earl Amis, Jr. III says:

    I just had to add more information on this much needed subject. There has been an increase of more people becoming mentors. I mean, everyone has something that they have mastered more than ten years. They apply this to creating successful mentor-ships. It goes more deeper than making an attempt at this course of business.

    Mentors, have the hardest responsibility of all. They are the ones held accountable for others success and failures. Yet, every mentor understands that failing is an illusion. It can only surface if one gives up. So, there are too many ethical ways to get things done for anyone to believe in being a failure.

    Mentors will not judge and guide. They listen and motivate daily. They expose your core beliefs based on activities you start and stop. They keep you aware of yourself without being involved with moving things for you. Your the one the focus all their attention on. They are not ones that are in the same business as you or in your business. No, that would be a coach.

    This is the most desired and pressured position in the whole leadership rolls. Coaches, visionaries and teachers have it good. Yet, mentors are held on a higher public eye than all. This is one position which takes years to master. Even then one can not truly get all the concepts down without more exposure to various characters of their clients.

    Good luck and my hats off to mentors. I would love to have been a continued mentor for only one person who came into my life. They past on at such an early age. This was an experience and one that all should not take lightly.

    Alex, you are a great mentor and have always been straight with me. You have supported my beliefs and activities. I agree, with my friend Marc on everyone who comes into your presents is blessed. All who you except to become their mentor will reach each goal set before them.

    Thank you for sharing this post. I love your site and will be back soon for your next amazing article.


  17. Raena Lynn says:

    Hi Alexander,

    This is one of the rare posts I have come across about selecting a mentor. You listed four things that should be done during the process. You emphasize to dig deep and find at least 20 possibilities and narrow them down to 3. Be sure to have your goals and objectives outline beforehand so you know that the interview will define that a particular person will fit for your personality and your business. I agree. Do not settle on what sounds convincing:

    1) Find Your Mentor
    2) Check Measurable Result
    3) Interview These Mentor
    4) Follow Testimonials

    I think paying attention to testimonials is the most important item on your list. A person wanting to provide their services can say anything to persuade or convince another to have them join and mentor their business. I think the real proof is in what others say about their work, approach, attitude, philosophy and work ethic. The core of the ultimate marketing tool is “word of mouth” and when you are looking for someone to help you escalate your business, it is worth effort to spend time researching for the right placement.

    Raena Lynn

  18. Barbara Harnsberger says:

    Hello Alex,
    Wonderful post. You are one of those mentors that people would be lucky to have you helping them. The right mentors help all of us achieve success in this industry or in our personal lives. You need to check them out and find the best on that will work for you.
    Thanks again Alex for posting this…

    Your Team Member,

  19. jo-ann r. says:

    Hello Alex,
    I am an educator and maybe a mentor to some of my students. Thanks for sharing such useful information. Your article is clear and well stated, I will use this as my guide in many of my online activities.

  20. Alexander says:

    Hi FHZ (what’s your real name?), thx for popping in and leaving a comment. I agree being able to find a great mentor especially in Internet Marketing is a huge benefit and can eleminate lots of trial and error. If you are interested then join the RSS feed or jump on my list (the form on the right) to get notifications of future blog posts. All the best, Alex

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