What is a Mentor?
By the dictionary definition, a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. In school, I recall at least one class assignment to explain who my role model was and why. Classmates, myself included, chose the celebrity de jour be it Michael Jordan, Amelia Earhart, or Serena Williams. But, having a role model in the business world can be particularly beneficial to new entrepreneurs. And, a business mentor is an individual with experience that can encourage and support the less-experienced individual to develop knowledge and skills.
Why Would I Want a Mentor?
A mentor brings wisdom from direct experience in the business world. New entrepreneurs may benefit from that experienced person’s insight and guidance on issues that may have been particularly difficult for them to overcome when they were starting out.
How to Choose a Mentor?
A good mentor would be genuinely interested in your business’ success. Consider starting with people you admire or who are already a role model. Look for in people in your professional network, family friends and former bosses, neighbors, spiritual and community leaders. Also, consider asking about good candidates in your friends and colleague’s networks. The Resource Navigator also allows you to find business counselors and mentorship programs in the Dallas area.
Want to Learn from a Published Mentor?
The Dallas Public Library has a variety of published authors who have written about their personal business experience. After visiting our online catalog, or stopping by one of our 28 library branch locations you will be able to explore some of our small business collection. Some materials in our collection are inspirational such as, In the Company of Women, and Before I was CEO. Others describe more of the steps involved in the process like The Ultimate Start-up Guide, and still others offer insight from successful business leaders such as Quench Your Own Thirst.