Being a Mentor means sharing time and knowledge. The experience and lessons learned will save someone else time and money with your help. You will know when and why you want to be a Mentor; you are likely busy in your own business or have time available as a result of your past challenges and successes. What you will discover in being a Mentor are there are plenty of personal rewards, here are a few.
Mentors like to give: Mentors are driven by a desire to help others succeed. Mentors themselves have often experienced the benefit of a mentor and see their commitment to gifting their time to others as an opportunity to pay-it-forward. While Mentors are a special breed, there are plenty of personal and professional rewards in being a Business Mentor.
“It’s about paying it forward and passing on the knowledge and advice I’ve received from others over the years. I also gain a personal sense of satisfaction from knowing that I helped someone develop their business skills.” - Jenny Henderson
Mentors want others to be successful: As humans, we are hard-wired to share our knowledge, it’s a mechanism to ensure our survival and prosperity as a species. With business mentoring, it’s this shared knowledge that ensures avoidable mistakes are avoided and businesses have an improved chance of profitability. The personal reward for a Mentor seeing a Mentee benefit from their experience is immeasurable.
“I initially became involved in mentoring to repay some of the advice and assistance I received during my career but I have become aware of several other significant advantages including keeping my mind active, meeting and working with a wide range of people, networking within the community and giving some tangible purpose to the days I am meeting with mentees" - Geoff Ormandy
Mentors have knowledge and experience, and a need to learn: Continuous learning is intrinsically linked with business success. Part of Business Mentors New Zealand’s structured support for Mentors is the ‘Effective Mentoring’ workshop, where we teach our new Mentors mentoring best practice. As Mentors, we need to continually evolve, as do our Mentee who are trying to make successful businesses in an increasingly competitive environment. Changes in technology, market demands, product development, systems, management techniques, customer buying trends, economic impact, environmental concerns and compliance requirements are continually changing. To keep ahead of existing and potential competition, we need to research to learn new skills. As a mentor you gain exposure to new people, new business ideas and differing perspectives. While we are giving, we are also gaining new insights on what makes a successful business.
“I mentor because I feel my years spent in a variety of industries and roles - in corporate, public, private and not-for-profit entities; plus the other life and soft skills learned along the way can be of benefit to other business owners as they strive to be the best they can. I am fortunate to be in the position where I have both the time and energy to be able to give my time as a volunteer Business Mentor. Every new assignment brings new opportunities to further my knowledge and skills, so I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.” - Leone Evans
Mentors care about their communities: Knowing we have in some way improved our environment, means there is greater hope for our future generations. Small business is the core of our community wellbeing, and business failure creates debt and hardship for not just the business owner and staff, but their families and broader dependants. Feedback from Mentees after having had support from a Mentor is consistently positive. By majority, the feedback is not about how they have improved their business, but “how their lives have been changed”. That is the ultimate reward and an outstanding legacy to have.
“Small businesses are largely locally centred and successful business grows communities. I enjoy helping small businesses grow and connect for the benefit of the owner and the wider community they operate in”- Murray Seamark
Business Mentors New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation that has about 2000 Mentors nationally who gift their time. We are always looking for new Mentors to support the thousands of small business owners, start-up entrepreneurs and social enterprise executives who use our service. Do you have what it takes?