RedZed’s Meet the Master contest is back for its third year. Meet the Master gives one lucky self-employed Aussie the opportunity to meet their ideal business mentor, wherever in the world they may be.
Last year’s winner, NSW farmer Kel Gray, flew to Suffolk in the UK to learn from Jonny Crickmore, an award-winning dairy farmer. In 2017, Meet the Master’s inaugural winner Chad Griffin went to Virginia in the US to meet Tuffy Stone, five-time BBQ World Champion.
With Meet the Master, RedZed aims to show the value of mentors to small business owners. A good mentor has the business experience and knowledge to show their mentee how to run their business successfully. Many small businesses have thrived because they’ve had a mentor who has shown them the way to success. Others have failed because they haven’t had someone to guide them through the many challenges that small businesses face.
Put another way, a mentor can be the difference between failure and success. Here are five reasons why you need a mentor, as well as how they can help you:
Show don’t tell
Mentors can show you what you need to do to succeed. As great as pricey seminars and flashy online tutorials are, they can’t help you in the same way a mentor can. A good mentor won’t just tell you how to run your business, they will also show you. When you’re involved by your mentor, when you’re shown how to do something instead of told how to do it, you’re much more likely to learn it and put into practice. It also beats spending your weekends in hotel conference rooms.
Our ideas typically seem best when they’re just in our heads. But the only way to know if they’re any good is to tell them to other people. Mentors are great for bouncing your ideas off. They’ve gained great insight into what’s a good idea and what’s not through years of their own trial and error. They are the ones who can tell you which ideas you should probably pursue and which ones aren’t as good as you initially thought.
New business owners don’t lack for ambition. You need to be ambitious to start your own business. But ambition isn’t enough to succeed, you also need to have other qualities, including self-discipline. Mentors know through the challenges they’ve faced about the importance of self-discipline. They can teach you good habits; impose necessary boundaries; help you to get your priorities in order; and instill in you the self-discipline you need to be successful.
Whatever industry or field you’re in, it’s easier to succeed if you’ve a large network that you can use. However, chances are you don’t if you’re just starting out. But mentors usually do. They’ve built up invaluable networks over the years, and they can introduce you to the people who can invest and partner with you, as well as those who can work with you and for you.
With 60% of Aussie small businesses[i]closing within their first three years, it’s clear that it’s not easy to succeed in business, regardless of what industry you’re in. Running your own business can come with a lot of pressure, which is often hard to bear. Mentors can provide you with the encouragement to keep going and not give in. After all, they’ve been there before.
[i] Australia Taxation Office (ATO)- Deputy Commissioner Deborah Jenkins Speech to the Institute of Public Accountants 2018 national congress
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