The Business Mentor's Holy Trinity

in Small-business

Whenever I'm discussing my philosophies on the purpose of hiring a mentor service, I sometimes notice an elephant in the room that no one wants to address: Just what the heck IS a mentor anyway? Sometimes it slips my mind that there isn't a clear definition of what these types of services are for in business. My own personal definition of a mentor is pretty much the norm for the business world, but should probably be reviewed, regardless.

I've always felt that a mentor is not there to buy, sell or negotiate. A mentor provides a service. In essence, mentoring is simply helping someone else play their cards right and become successful in their home business or other endeavor. They're not there to do anything for you, but rather listen and advise you based on their own experiences. Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, etc, etc.

So that's my definition of a mentor and it's important to note that this brand of mentoring has been a business practice for awhile now. Ask any person involved in a successful business and they'll admit that using a mentor was a standard business practice for them at some point.

Something I've noticed that people don't keep in mind about mentors is that benefit in this arrangement to them is the experience, not the monetary reward. When you're working in the capacity as a business mentoring advisor, you're there to share what you've learned in the trade, but also to try to learn a few more nuggets along the way. After all, what good is information and experience if you don't share it with someone who needs a mentor down the line?

There is a "holy trinity" to being a successful a mentor. You've got to think in terms of a trainer, a financial expert, and a technical advisor if you want to help someone start their business.

Personal Trainer

You're there to motivate them and keep them focused on their goals for success. They're going to become discouraged and they're going to need to be built up by someone that isn't just placating them. You're there to keep them meeting their own personal best so that they can push through every failure and not be enamored with every minor success.

Financial Advisor

You're there to rein them in when they may get a "pie-in-the-sky" financial scenario that isn't feasible. It's extremely simple to think that the right office or a large staff of employees or a brand new delivery van with all of the trimmings will be the best tools for their business. Maybe these items will be, but making sound financial decisions with an objective voice of reason works a lot better than going with your first gut instinct.

Technical Advisor

You're there to get them the tools to start and grow their business in the best possible fashion whether that's incorporation documents or the best tools for search engine optimization. You'll find out that it's not a matter of the client being ignorant, but uninformed about what's available to them in terms of resources and options. Being a helpful, knowledgeable, and quick with a recommendation should a need present itself will make you an asset.

You'll wear many hats in this type of job, but these are the three that matter most.

Why go through this all on your own? Why make the same mistakes that have already been made by others? Find an experienced person that knows the three aspects to successful mentoring. Find someone who can help you on the road to success by giving you the benefit of their experience.

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Ellisa Brenneman has 1 articles online

At Ethos Mentor your mentor's hindsight becomes your foresight.
Ellisa Brenneman started her career, after receiving her Bachelor Degree from the University of British Columbia, with the Canadian government merging academic rigor and business savvy to produce and disseminate research findings. She has been published multiple times in scientific journals for her research findings. A born entrepreneur; her zeal for entrepreneurism soon took hold. She's started green businesses and has vast experience managing public, media and investor relations for small-cap public companies. Ellisa is the owner of Ethos Mentor. Ethos Mentor provides entrepreneurs with affordable one on one mentoring, business coaching and capital raising services so they can launch and grow their businesses. Visit for additional information.

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The Business Mentor's Holy Trinity

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This article was published on 2010/03/30