Why Entrepreneurs Should Be Mentoring

PushFar Co-Founder Ed Johnson explores why mentoring is so important for entrepreneurs in the start-up world, both in being mentored and in mentoring others.

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Entrepreneurial Mentoring
Being an entrepreneur is all about risk taking. That is, in fact, the definition of it. And when you step into the unknown and take risks you will, likely, fail - several times over. That’s not said to scare you. As co-founder of PushFar, my third business venture, I know about failure. Failure can come in all shapes and sizes. Naturally, not all failures are terminal. Failure within business is often seen as the collapse of a company or organisation. That is the extremity of failure. It’s the smaller failings and mistakes which are often the more valuable to an entrepreneur. This might sound crazy but it’s the failures I have faced which have taught me far more than the successes. Now, failing is never something you should strive to achieve – obviously! However, when they happen it’s important not to focus on beating yourself up or living in regret but instead taking that failure and using it to your advantage going forward.

My Real Example of Failure
When I setup my first venture I was naiver than I am now. I thought that having a good marketing budget and spending it with the right agencies would guarantee me traction, coverage, brand awareness and ultimately business success. Having spoken with our investors too, one of whom is a very successful businessman in their own right, we decided collectively that the investment of £15,000 on a PR agency was critical to our success. The PR agency pitched well. The slides showed us the coverage they had previously secured with some big international and national press publications. We signed the contract and we spent that money. It resulted in minimal coverage for us and ultimately, we could attribute less than 100 newly registered users. That equates to spending £150 per free user sign-up! Failure.

How Does Failure Relate to Mentoring?
You might be wondering why my failures as an entrepreneur relate to mentoring. Believe it or not, they have a lot more relativity than they might at first appear to. As I mentioned earlier, the failures I have experienced so far in my start-up entrepreneurial journey, have helped me to make wiser decisions in new business ventures and daily I learn more. This learning and understanding helps my business to succeed and our venture to grow the right way. Sure, I still make mistakes, but the failures of the past have reduced them significantly. Having a mentor can further reduce the risk of mistake and failure. Why? Because the failures of others can teach us just as much as the failures we experience ourselves. And it’s certainly not just in the start-up, entrepreneurial world where mentoring and failure come into play. However, because as an entrepreneur you will be treading on new ground every day, it becomes even more critical to have the support of a mentor.

Should I Be a Mentor Too?
If you have been in business for more than six months, I think that more than entitles you to be able to offer help and support to other new entrepreneurs in the form of mentoring. Being a mentor does not have to be hard work, in fact, it can be both incredibly rewarding and empowering. It doesn’t take up too much time either. Offering your services as a mentor, you can set the expectations. Even if it’s just a half hour Skype call once a month – it’s certainly going to be of benefit to someone out there.

If you are interested in finding out more about mentoring and becoming a mentor or being mentored by others, be sure to read our articles here and register your interest for PushFar’s mentoring platform here.

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