Mentorship is a great tool for success in anything you do and can take you to a great length. It is equally a key tool for success in online business.
Sometimes, personal drive and education need a boost. If achieving your goals in your online business is becoming hard nut to crack in 2019, you may need mentorship.
Even the most accomplished and talented university graduates recognize that education alone rarely provides all the answers for the real world. Recent research from Gallup found that only 36 percent of university graduates strongly agreed that their degrees provided the knowledge and skills they needed to succeed in the workplace.
Aspiring online entrepreneurs in Africa might hope to find them a training opportunity they need to succeed in business from schools or society, but unfortunately, very few such opportunities exist and even in the few cases that exist, they won’t provide everything.
In other to succeed in business and general life, online entrepreneurs in Africa need mentors willing to invest in their future and teach them to make the most in their business.
Finding the right Mentor & mentoring
Unfortunately, great mentors don’t grow on trees. Finding someone who is successful in business, cares about you, and has the time to invest in you isn’t something that happens without some intentionality on your part.
Below are tips that will help online entrepreneurs in Africa to find the right mentor and leverage that relationship into a more successful business:
1. Choose a business that gives you room for mentorship.
You’ve got to choose a business that will give you room for learning and personal growth. See learning and personal growth as a lifelong project. Also, make it a shared attribute among your business partners and even the people who work with you.
It is not an easy task finding people willing to buy into your vision hence this may not be easy but you have to try. If you’re in a position to choose or change your business, go with only that which will give you room for mentorship, and you won’t find a shortage of generous leaders willing to share with you what they’ve learned. Moreso, you can get involved with a networking group, a trade association, or a learning group.
2. Be realistic in your choice.
If you ask ALIKO DANGOTE to be your mentor, what do you think he’ll say? You can wait as long as you want, but the odds aren’t in your favor.
Mentorship is a personal journey for mentor and mentee alike. Reaching out to a stranger and expecting to develop a good relationship based solely on your need for guidance isn’t a pragmatic strategy. Instead, sow the seeds of friendship by engaging with a variety of people who may make good mentors.
If someone in your network would make a good mentor, become a student of that person from afar. Engage with your would-be guide on LinkedIn and other social media sites. Send the occasional email or article relevant to your shared interests. Make friends with no strings attached; then, when it comes time to ask for mentorship, you can ask a close acquaintance instead of a stranger.
3. Be the best mentee possible.
No matter how good a mentor maybe, a mentee must be coachable. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. When you ask someone to invest time in your development, do that person the courtesy of preparing yourself for the lessons to come.
The best mentees understand they’re not the only priority on their mentors’ agendas. Great mentors tend to be busy people, so be prepared to make the most of each interaction.
Ask questions, take notes during conversations, and implement the suggestions on your own time. Don’t be the person who constantly follows up to ask, “Is this what you meant? Did I do it right?” Instead, take the advice offered to see how it applies in real life. Your mentor will be far more willing to help if you limit your requests to times when you truly need it.
4. Apply your mentorship mindset to every area of work.
Great mentors and mentees share a common trait: insatiable intellectual curiosity. Rather than view your mentor as your primary source of knowledge, follow your mentor’s example as a person who always has more to learn.
Be thoughtful before turning down an opportunity to learn a new skill or explore a new subject. You can find information relevant to your personal growth in the unlikeliest of places. Marketers who learn a bit of coding can open entirely new doors for their futures. Coders who learn sales skills become even more valuable to their organizations.
As you continue to learn and grow, you may find others looking to you for guidance. Take those opportunities to continue the mentorship cycle. Teach people who want to learn from you, and use those opportunities to examine your own knowledge. One of the best ways to codify learning is to share your knowledge with another person.
Mentorship is one of the most effective and sustainable forms of career development for professionals both young and old. Whether you’re considering a business switch or trying to climb the ladder, mentorship is a great way to help achieve your goals this year.
Photo Credit: medium.com