MENTORING – A way to grow your business
A word that I like is co-opetition: in business, your success doesn’t require others to fail – there can be multiple winners. In most industries there is enough business to keep everyone going and growing.
A simple definition of mentoring is helping others avoid the mistakes you made in solving a problem. I believe that helping others helps you focus on solutions to problems that, in many cases, have been an obstacle to your own growth. Perhaps there is a fine line between teaching and mentoring but in either case; you become recognized as a leader in your filed.
Leadership in an industry has a lot of benefits. The first, and perhaps the most important, is that it forces you to know your product/service when you reach out to help others. Being recognized as a leader also allows you to reach out to your target market via news releases, speaking engagements and of course social media. It allows you to add to your own resume the testimonials you have received from those within your own industry that you have helped.
One of the best ways to start is by writing an article on some aspects of your business in which you have had a “Eureka” moment, something that you are doing that may be a little different but has provided positive results. This can be written to benefit other members of your industry and can be published in a trade journal, posted on line, or even to become part of an industry newsletter that may be absent in your area.
Teaching a class is now easier than ever. Local libraries offer free space to hold classes, and other strategic partners that work with your target market may provide the space and even help gather an audience. When you stand up in front of a group, by association you are considered an expert. If you deliver valuable content amazing things can happen.
Two short personal stories to share. When I opened by first business at the age of 21, I had no experience and was not ready to make cold calls. My mentor told me that I had to get up in front of groups and share my expertise. My first few attempts were speaking to civic organizations. I put together a “make-shift” slide show on my business, wrote out a script and sat in the back of the room running my slide projector and reading my script. The same mentor told me that I needed to write an article about my profession. Without much experience, I went to the library and read several books from which I compiled an article. I took that article to my trade association and introduced myself as an expert in the field. I was blessed; the editor needed material and published my article. With that article in hand I went and called on my target market, introducing myself as the expert in the field. Yes, that business is still under my ownership and the principles’ I learned have allowed me to grow my mentoring practice.
“We rise by lifting others.” Robert Ingersoll
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