“A mentor is a person with more experience in business, or simply in life, who can help an entrepreneur hone her or his abilities and advise him or her on navigating new challenges. A mentor can be a boon to an entrepreneur in a broad range of scenarios, whether they provide pointers on business strategy, bolster your networking efforts or act as confidantes when your work-life balance gets out of whack. But the first thing you need to know when seeking out a mentor is what you’re looking for from the arrangement.” So what are you looking for??
Mentoring is a blessing!
For most of my life I had a mentor. I was so impressed by my mentor (Jack) that I just wanted to help others as Jack had helped me. It just seemed natural. I now understand the blessings that Jack received from investing those many many hours in me. He provided me an example of what mentoring was all about by allowing me to experience the joy and blessings associated with investing in others.
So mentoring was just a natural thing for me. I felt during my career that I was helping my clients solve their business problems. But I was more of a partner in their businesses than I was a vendor. I would spend days, weeks, months and years understanding their businesses and their business issues. When it came to doing business with them it was easy because I had a recommendation to real business problem they were facing. So decision-making was a bit easier because I had identified a problem and as offered a potential fix.
You know your in the job you love when you retire and find yourself volunteering to do the job you had been doing for money. For the past several years I’ve been working with SCORE (Society of Retired Executives) mentoring business owners. I now spend much of my time mentoring/counseling family businesses. I enjoy working with these family businesses because I can completely relate to their issues. How those issues permeate all of the interactions related to home life, vacations, holidays and work environment.
Succession Planning… is tough but very rewarding!
Today I spend much of the time with my clients dealing with those specific issues which surround succession planning. I deal with the hard numbers and the soft emotional issues which will drive a non emotional decisions. These financial indicators provide the parents with the comfort necessary to understand the health of the company while the transaction plan is implemented. When these simple metrics are met their hyper critical management style is unnecessary. Owning and reporting these numbers as part of their management style allows the incoming family member/executive to expand and “OWN” on the business. The satisfaction I receive from helping them improve their businesses, find and implement systems, procedures, financial controls, and develop their long term personal goals is rewarding.
Many of those families I’ve worked with have become my friends.. I serve on their advisory boards and I’m frequently asked to reengage for short period of time to deal with an issue they don’t have the time to work with.
Trust is build with time! There are no short cuts! You must earn it! However, trust is imperative in a mentor’s roll if your going to be effective.
Based on the conversations I’ve had with many of my clients they want more of me than I can give regretfully I have had to limit my volunteer work and “say yes” to “a few good men/women” that I can work with over the long run.
I look forward to finding out if we can invest the time you need to get the job you need done.