Giving Back: The Benefits of Being a Mentor

by Sean Ross

2 min read

A mentor shares information, fosters insight, and helps guide the next generation of business leaders to success. If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, becoming a mentor can be a rewarding experience on a personal level, and it’s also a great way to give back to the business community. However, mentoring can also have some key benefits for you and your business.

Networking

Going through mentor training programs can help you meet other community-minded business leaders in your area. Additionally, your mentees may also connect you to aspiring entrepreneurs in their circles. This type of networking can help to establish you as a leader among your peers, and it can also be a useful way of forging new relationships that may eventually lead to more business for your company. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, there are national organizations such as Futurpreneur Canada as well as provincial organizations such as the BC Women’s Enterprise Centre that can set you up with a mentee. There are also groups focused on specific industries such as the CPA Mentorship Program for accountants, and programs geared toward entrepreneurs with certain challenges such as CareerConnect Canada, which matches mentors and mentees with visual impairments. Ultimately, you should choose a group that appeals to you personally, but you should also bear in mind the networking potential of each organization.

Honing Leadership Skills

Working with a mentee can be a great opportunity to hone your leadership skills. In the business world, strong leadership skills can help with everything from managing employees to landing deals with clients. When you are with your mentee, you are out of your usual setting, and that may inspire you to try new things from a leadership perspective. Additionally, mentees can come from all walks of life. As a result, you may get the chance to work with a person who is substantially different from your usual employees and colleagues. That relationship can be an opportunity to explore leadership skills you may have not tried in the past.

Sharing Knowledge

As a mentor, your role is to guide a young entrepreneur to success. Depending on the mentoring program you select, you may end up working with a new business owner, an individual trying to climb the corporate ladder, or someone at another point in his or her career. However, in most cases, the knowledge doesn’t just flow one way. In addition to you providing your mentee with information and ideas, your mentee may also teach you a thing or two. People who are new to the industry may have fresh eyes that allow them to see things differently than you. Similarly, individuals from different generations may have ideas or knowledge that is beyond your scope. In many cases, even the questions your mentees ask can help you refine business processes or gain new understanding of key issues. The benefits of being a mentor can vary greatly depending on your mentee, the program, and other factors. However, just because you are a mentor, doesn’t mean you won’t ever need help. There may be times when you want to switch roles and become a mentee. Luckily, there are lots of organizations that can help you find a mentor and give the support you need.

References & Resources

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