When you’re just starting out in business, it’s difficult to find clients and to set yourself up for success. It’s also lonely, being a solopreneur and working from home as we continue to work the 9 to 5 (like we often do when we’re just dipping our toes in).
Finding a mentor can be a game-changer in your business, something that means the difference between quick growth or long-term struggle.
A business mentor is someone who:
- Has been there, done that
- Knows which mistakes to steer you away from
- Cares about the success of your business
- Acts as a sounding board for you as you grow
- Can offer advice and feedback in an open, honest way
No one in business can do it all alone. We need guidance and support, especially if you don’t have support at home. This is even more true if you’re new to business. You don’t have the expertise and experiences to make quality decisions (or to feel confident about your decisions).A biz mentor is someone who’s been there, done that, and can help you do the same. Click To Tweet
And while a business coach is a great investment for any business, I recommend finding a mentor who works in your industry–someone with bookkeeping or accounting experience. They will understand better how you run your business and be able to speak to your individual challenges and goals.
So how do you find a mentor who checks all these boxes and meets all your needs?
Follow people you admire on social media
You need to really be able to relate to a potential mentor, so it’s important that you share similar values and beliefs. You also need to make sure that you like their personality and work style. Following someone on social media (whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can tell you a lot about a person.
Take a course from someone with the expertise you want to possess
I have a few mentors who I look up to and interact with on a regular basis. One of those mentors is Stacy from StacyK Academy. I took her course in July 2015 so I could master my craft and truly learn from the best. And even today, I keep in touch with her and email her questions from time to time.Learn from someone who will help you master your craft and grow your business. Find a mentor. Click To Tweet
Network in bookkeeping and accounting circles
I also spend a lot of time networking with other bookkeepers and accountants, because I see the value in getting to know others in the industry. I don’t know everything about my field, and I appreciate being able to pick up the phone and talk to someone else to field questions. Whether it’s a difficult situation with a client or questions about how they’ve done something, I appreciate another perspective.
When you find someone who resonates with you, take action.
Some mentor relationships are paid while others are not–it truly depends on the kind of support and guidance you’re looking for. But when you find someone who really resonates with you, take action. Find out how you can work with that person, have a virtual (or in-person) coffee date or simply sit down with your potential mentor at a conference. The worst the other person can do is say no, but I’ll bet they’d be flattered regardless.
Don’t think of a potential mentor as a competitor. As I said, you want someone who has been there and done that; someone with the experience you want already under their belts. Chances are you don’t serve the same exact type of client anyway, or you offer slightly different services or price points.